tweet-twutter-twat/look ma, a dead bird

I am a man of principles, but those principles can be bent for practical reasons. I never really saw the need to advertise my blog in any explicit manner before, but with the release of our ie6 css fixer tool earlier this week I figured it would be nice to play the field a little. And so the quest for social networking (read spam) tools started.

Now, there are many things I could rant about. From horrible captcha implementations to laughable search interfaces, from evil overview designs to an overload of dead communities. But none of these matched the horrors of the 140 character capped clutter chaos that was baptized Twitter. An application designed as simple decentralized chat, which blew out of proportions a long time ago and is being raped and molested for all possible purposes nowadays.

the introduction

A good week or so ago some heavy traffic started flowing in from Twitter. Apparently someone had mentioned my article (explaining the ie6 bugs), which had led to the unexpected traffic. I thought it would be nice to contact that person about our upcoming tool, so off to the registration form it was. After some fiddling with a rather easy subscription procedure I had my own Twitter account. Hooray!

Getting a message out to this source was a little harder, but after a little digging I found how to send a message to a specific person. Sadly, there was no overview of the sent messages whatsoever and unless the one you sent it to is a follower, there is no way to check whether your message actually arrived. It was gone from view. Not quite reassuring for a first-time user.

hello stranger

In this past week I've written four messages. I now have five followers. I know none of them. I read through their posts but found little that got me engaged. Who are these people and why would they want to follow someone who has said little to nothing? How on earth did they find me?

I myself am following two other people. They spam the crap out of my Twitter, so I can't image how it would be to follow 10s, even 100s of other sources. Still, I'm rather confident I wouldn't find it a pleasant experience.

wondering why

Now, I realize why Twitter was set up. The format is ideal for following whatever nonsense your friends are up to, kind of like the Facebook wall (which does a way better job at that). If you want to plan a quick meeting and all your friends are on Twitter, I'm sure a tool like this comes in handy.

But after wandering around on Twitter for a while, that's not what is happening. People have started to use the tool for many other purposes, such as (blog) commenting, link spamming, inspiration posts, little in-between conversations. Above all the friend talk messages that is. This has created a chaotic pool of shortened conversations, tiny url type links and completely uninteresting crap that only someone's closest friends would care about.

Following the Twitter mud pool is like listening in on someone's sms messages, trying to figure out what all these scrambled links are in between and reading about someone's hunger for a Snickers. I fail to see who thinks this is actually a worthwhile waste of time. My patience was tested when I was forced to comment on someone's blog through 140 characters of measly Twitter crap. I don't want to see my opinion reduced to 140 characters.

dead birds

It's not up to me to decide what people should like or dislike, but my interest in Twitter has faded really quickly. It's the exponent of modern surfing behavior, expanding banner blindness to content blindness, trying to find a needle of useful information in a haystack of cluttered nonsense. And here I am, worrying that people who are interested in my work posts might be bored by my personal writings, splicing up my blog in three different profiles.

And so, this is where my Twitter adventure ends. If I ever feel the need to use it for its intended purpose, I'll venture into Facebook land. At least you can post inline videos, songs, pictures and other funny junk. As far as I'm concerned, the blue bird can die a horrible death.

I apologize to those 5 people currently following me, but I won't be much use to you on Twitter. Take care though!