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Actually nothing is wrong with Twitter, the application. The Twitter app is great, perhaps a work of genius. The problem lies with the culture that has developed around Twitter.

I’m a firm believer that less is more. "More," as in "more impact." Twitter culture, however, clearly believes more is more. If this was email, 90% of the stuff would be called spam, and there would be angry and alarmed calls for it to stop. In Twitterville, however, no one seems to mind. Of course, you can quit following people, but then the benefits of Twitter are also lost; not much of a solution.

The culture is being driven by some of the biggest names in social media, who live, eat and breathe social media. Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse, and Lee Odden, for instance, tweet as many as (sometimes more than) 20 times a day. Though I’m a fan of these people, I rarely follow any of their tweets. I know somewhere in there are some nuggets, but I don’t have the time or willingness to sort through all the stuff I don’t care about to find them.

My hope is that the Twitter culture matures into a platform on which the clutter is reduced, and clicking on a link in a tweet is more likely to have some value. I’m betting, however, that it’s headed for a scenario described by Yogi Berra referring to a restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too popular."

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One Response to What’s Wrong with Twitter

  1. Andrea Lane says:

    I know exactly what you mean. Why do people follow so many people? How can they possibly sift through all the dross. Lots of people are following me. Why? I’m not that interesting. Some of them, I know are following me because they’ve spotted an odd post about weddings (I’m a photographer) and they want me to sign up for their wedding website or maybe they want to sell me a laptop (How many of them are there!? I block them)

    If someone follows me I’ll check out their last few posts to see if they’re interesting and maybe follow them for a while. If they don’t post much they might just stay in my list as I forget about them but if they’re boring and just posting ‘I’ve had my coffee and now I’m off to bed’ then I unfollow them.

    Reminds me of Monty Python. SPAM spam spam spam spam