Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Not All Twits Can Tweet

Twitter is hard. No, that's not right. Twittering is hard. No. Using Twitter--Tweeting is hard. Never mind, just trying to figure out how to refer to the site is hard. Twitter, the site where people use a mere 140 characters to form messages, is home to the most simplistic forms of communication on the Internet. Ironically, in some ways it is the most difficult mode of communication to use.

Picking a user name is hard. Using Twitter.com/YourRealName is too boring. The trend of placing "Not" or "The Real" followed by one's name has quickly become cliche. Yes, The Real Shaq is indeed Shaq. Far and away the best user name on all of Twitter belongs to Full House star, Jodie Sweetin (@JodieTweetin). No, that is not debatable. It is fact.

Limited to 140 characters. You know how hard it is to strip down a sentence to the bear essentials? To trim a sentence of the fat that is grammar and all other writing conventions, just do
wn to the absolute minimum needed for comprehension? As Levinson said in New New Media, simply saying "I'm bored" takes the flick of a finger, but trying to compose a message with any kind of thought-filled-statement takes 10 or 15 minutes, and I've found that to be true. Do I keep this apostrophe, remove this comma, and delete this word? If nothing else, Twitter shows us how we are all masters of the English language. To be able to change it around, chop it up, and still get a point across is an impressive feat, and testament to our decoding skills.

Poorly Organized. It is very difficult to find people. If you are searching for a person, the results yield a list of tweets which mention that person. The people results are separate, and often times make it difficult to discern which account is real (unless it is verified). Even more frustrating is having to sift through "following" and "followers." There is no efficient search like Facebook has once you start typing a friend's name and it fills in the rest. For you popular kids, thumbing through your 1,400 Facebook friends every time you wanted to find someone? Well you don't have to strain your imaginations because on Twitter this nightmare is a reality--and they aren't even in alphabetical order.

Who to follow? Twitter's user base is radically different than Facebook's. Chances are your friends don't have a Twitter account. So who do you follow? Celebrities? Well celebrity or not, I don't feel more complete knowing that Larry King is enjoying a beautiful day in Mexico City. Once a sizable number of people to follow has been established, there is no easy way to look through the Timeline to see "what's happening?" More often than not, the only visible Tweets are from the 2 people I follow who Tweet every 30 seconds.

Unlike Pownce you can't include images, music, or video in a Tweet. If you want to include an image you have to make a separate account--TwitPic. Even including a link requires the extra step of going to
bit.ly. We don't want extra steps, we want everything to be integrated into one place, and for it to be easy. Trying to use Twitter has been an uphill battle. Micro-blogging may sound quick and easy, but so much of Twitter is such a challenge that needs to be made easier.

Follow me @idontgiveaDan.

1 comment:

  1. Some of the problems have been improved, but you're right that there are better alternatives. But without a critical mass, a network has little or no value.