Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Twitter - Both Loved and Hated by Spammers...I mean Bloggers

So a few weeks ago I finally succumbed and joined Twitter. From day one I pretty much had looked at the service as a playground for the ADHD self involved but more and more of the bloggers that I follow were yelling from the roof tops that "It's the Best Ever...Really!" Much like other things I've tried (Mint.com, which has been great) I'll sometimes jump onto services and try them out because folks I have respect for are recommending.

What I found was interesting. Well, not really interesting, but still a good exercise.

1. Twitter IS in most cases the playground for the ADHD self involved.
2. For smaller groups that want a SMS mailing list. It's pretty cool.
3. There is limited structure to communication so 'tweets' can get pretty wacky, pretty quickly.
4. There is a there, there. Not sure that Twitter will win in this space but the general technology has legs and I am sure will breed some competition or new ideas that will be valuable.
5. The service is constantly down.
6. It is a breeding house for spammers! Or spewers, as Dave Winer calls them.

And 6 is why the bloggers love Twitter. Those spammers, I mean bloggers, are the same guys that are recommending the service over and over and over again. And of course they are going to push the service, it is a completely free e-marketing/spam tool for them. Read my blog, watch my video, chat with me on-line, put a reply on my post. When I first joined Twitter I subscribed to TechCrunch, Scoble and a few others. Following them on twitter felt like my e-mail without a spamfilter...100 messages a day telling me about cheap Viagara or penis extensions.

The sad thing here is that the spammers (bloggers) that put the most load on the system and bring it to it's knees are the same guys that are bitching the loudest about Twitter's downtime...and the same group that is going to kill Twitter. At some point Twitter is going to need to block them. The bloggers will be up in arms (for a few minutes) and then quickly move on to other networks. Twitter will be left with a system that can then run and provide service to the millions of other users that could benefit from their service.

You can tweet me on my no longer used Twitter account. I'm @johnrowell.

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