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Andrei in the office


Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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Andrei in the office

To twit or not to twit...

Note: I've been working on this post for over a week. Time and a desire to get this post complete have delayed it)

As many have noticed I've recently added overnight twitter aggregation to my LiveJournal. To give the full detail, I've in fact linked a twitter account, a facebook account, and my LiveJournal.

The twitter aggregation occurs at 3:35 in the morning. (This time is in fact intentional and bonus points to anyone who can tell me why)

This led to two very honest, direct, and excellent questions
Awww...Andrei, why are you twittering? :-(

Can you make a filter and filter me out?
I started to answer in the comment that asked me this, but realised that my answer needed to be far more broad based. (translation, overly verbose with many side topics that wander very far from the question before giving a specific answer)

To avoid the trappings mentioned let me get the following out of the way:
1) Curiosity
2) I'll see what I can do.

So, why use twitter to begin with?

For those who are unfamiliar with the side net craze that is twitter, it is best described as MicroBlogging. The interface is designed for people who only have text message or cell phone access to leave a message that they'd like to put onto a blog... (Binary Log). As a result, clients such as twitter are limited to roughly 140 characters per posting.

The failing of twitter, like many other tools is that the average person uses it for seemingly banal reasons. "6:00pm, I'm having dinner." and other such nonsense. Granted... for each person who abuses a tool there are people who find usefulness in the tool. (I will not get on my soap box at this time about the evils of persecuting the tool not the tool user.)

Jeff Jacques the online comic author of questionablecontent uses it to comment about experiences that influence his comic and also posts updates as to when the comic is available to the public.

Joss Whedon (do I need to explain who he is) uses the tool to send periodic updates as to the state of his web creation "Dr. Horrible" including distribution information.

In essence, like LiveJournal, like SexMagick, like political debates during election season... Twitter is a tool, no more.. no less. Its intrinsic value is determined by the way a person sees it used or abused.

I've been actively researching "Social Networking" web sites and Tools for over a decade now and I've been exposed to computer based Social Networking for nearly 30 years. Each 'phenomenon' is striking to me. In the tool's execution, popularity, use, and of course misuse. I study the extensibility.

Admittedly, as a result... I have accounts on more sites (many defunct) that I think I can count. (Orkut anyone? Genie? AppleLink? sixdegrees... no the original one?, My compuserve acct was XXXX,XXX. That's right... seven digits, not nine.)

This is why I am exploring twitter.

And as a result I'm dumping it into my journal in what I feel is a controlled manner.

Personally, I view this in a manner to exploring the True Will. To learn by doing. But then again... this post is not meant to spark a debate over Thelema, and anyway it's behind a cut... so maybe only glitch25 and about 3 others are actually reading this far. (Why yes, I am in a confrontational mood)

As for filtering posts. That is a problem with LJ as a whole. It is encumbant on the poster to create filters that a minority of people may be disinterested in. There is no way to filter, "Public minus 3 users". There is "all subscribers" termed the ever hated "Friends List" and then the filter which is basically a subset of the "friends list."

Interestingly, when a person asks a post to be filtered that is otherwise public they are effectively asking you to no longer make a post public and create a filter that's everyone else in your list but them. Misuse of a tool. And looking at the level of the request... actually a little inappropriate.

In an environment where people are abusing the process, I can fully understand how some may find the act of MicroBlogging with timestamps (as a whole) annoying. Everyone has things that annoy them. There are many things I find annoying as well. For me some of the things I don't like are smoking or perhaps pushing a personal agenda through the use of bad statistics and empty rhetoric and referring to it as debate. But in good form I don't ask people to stop doing it in Public, let alone in their personal space.

Now, I really do strive not to be an annoyance. But at the same time... I value the things that are me in my own place. I admittedly get defensive. Much as I wouldn't demand a smoker quit no matter how much the smell of cigarettes makes me kind of queasy. As a result, I am looking for ways to minimise the impact of my experimentation with the Twitter system.

For starters, I'll probably put them behind a cut on LJ for starters, guaranteeing as we've established... no one will read them. I'll once again submit my "reverse filter" request to LJ dev. This is where not only the poster makes filters, but the reader does as well. "Let my friends page show all my friends minus any posts Stu or Jerry have in grassrootscommunity if they've tagged them debate, membership or tithing. Hmmn, perhaps I'd make my filter on that regardless of community.

Does this mean I will no longer be using Twitter. No, not at the present. I will continue to experiment with the drug. Does this mean that you won't have to see it anymore? Sadly, no there as well. But hopefully I will lessen the annoyance factor. At least I'm taking steps. I know for some it just wasn't fast enough.

My place, my words. If you are still offended, I hope it is the least offensive thing that I ever do.

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I am of the mind that I don't have to read your journal if I don't want to. You can post whatever you want. It is your space. The caveat to that is if it is where others can read it, they are "allowed" to have an opinion about it and tell you unless you disable comments. I have done so a few times on posts where I was just lancing wounds. If someone does comment, you are "allowed" to have an opinion and their opinion and so on and so forth. I always hope that these online exchanges can maintain an adult tone, but sadly, that doesn't always happen.

I find most peoples' posts enlightening, entertaining, and sometimes thought provoking. I don't always agree with what is said, and I have learned pretty quickly who will take it well and who won't.

Blog on good sir, blog on.

The only person who has complained to me about it unfriended all of my LJs, so I guess that they really, really didn't like it. :)

Honestly, I use mine instead of a bunch of oneliner posts on LJ. *shrugs*

I can't remember whether I've seen them explicitly say this, but I'm pretty sure the reason LJ allows only whitelist filters and not "public minus three" filters is that they conceptualize filtering as a security tool, not a presentation tool. It's about making sure that only people you have approved can see your posts. If they allowed you to hide a post from only certain individuals, I guarantee that there would be people who assumed that meant LJ would keep track of those people's computers, or something like that. Their lives would be ruined the first time one of their friends logged out and checked their journal...

You might reasonably say that they should still give users the option, and let those who fail to pay attention learn from their mistakes. But LJ has positioned itself as the easy, user-friendly blogging system, so I don't think that's in the cards.

It's your sandbox. Do what you want. I have this nifty SCROLLING THINGY that lets me skip stuff I don't want to read.

Some people's children. I swear.

Wow. That was sooooooo long...and behind a cut.....

I thought I would NEVER make it to the end...(smirk)

(O.K., now to the content)

You must have very different friendships than I. I use the posting aspect of my LJ for two reasons: 1) express my emotional state & personal views and 2) promote my artistic expression. I'm not certain I would even acknowledge someone asking me to alter my posting habits. Maybe I would. But it has never happened.

Seriously. I have had people "unfriend" me in the past, and I assume (rather safely, I think) that they either were not interested in my emotional state and/or personal views, or they didn't care to see another Eleusyve update, ever. Since there is no way I would stop either of those things, I don't really worry about it.

I suspect there might be people who would prefer to be filtered out of one type of post or the other, but filtering my public announcements would be rather counter to the fact that I like them public...

Then again, maybe that's why they drop me as an LJ friend and don't ask me to change. I am just too predictable. And, for what it is worth, I don't equate being dropped as an LJ friend with being dropped as a friend. I have many friends who have no interest in reading my blog.

So, from my perspective, you got yourself an odd request there...they must feel very close to you in order for them to request that you to alter your blog to suit them. I'd feel weird doing it.


I did read the whole thing... And my feelings are that this is your LJ. YOURS. You can do what you want with it. If you wanted to post silly updates: 6pm, dinner was cold; 6:15pm, dropped my napkin on the floor. That is your right. If someone doesn't want to read what you are writing, they can go elsewhere.

I'll second that - your LJ. Say what you will. And if folks don't want to read it; then they shouldn't. That's up to them and shouldn't have to be up to you. :)

I signed up for Twitter but turned it off when I left for a trip away (about 2 weeks later) and haven't put it back on.

Just curious: what's your GOAL(s) in learning more 'bout social networking tools and social networking in general?

I am one of the few, the proud, the ones who read it all!

I've thought periodically about trying one of the microblogging services, but keep deciding that I really don't have *time*, and I've also been finding that I tend to skim over other peoples' twitter feed posts. I'd rather read the meaty posts that they've put time and thought into, because it feels like it gives me more access to them.

I enjoy Twitter.

Miss talking to you.

To my mind, twitter is like lj except smaller. So if you want to update lj via twitter, who effing cares!? What's the difference between that and using ljtxt or whatever it is.

Twitter away.

it's interesting to me that the reason this person claims to be frustrated by Twitter is that "It's not personal" and yet has things in their blog that don't exactly seem personal and could very well have been Twittered. They're short, to the point, etc.

How is Twitter different than lj? Other than just the tag? You had content in yours--"My computer is about to die" or some such.

I don't mind your Twittering at all.

I don't think I'm seeing these posts. I've looked back in your lj too, and I don't see any twitter aggregations. I'm on twitter too, I keep trying to figure out what your username is. I went back and checked the twitter tag, but I can't find it. Mine's my firstnamelastname (as usual)

Edited at 2008-10-07 01:00 pm (UTC)

this shouldn't be allowed -

skipping past the cut to comment, as I am doing right now -

Just to ask -
Hey, can you tell me how to do that? Aggregate my Twits on LJ?

Read it all.

It's your blog, do what you will.
They're my eyes, I'll read as I will.
Anyone who wants you to change your posts to make it easier on them... that's just lazy.
At the same time, I'll say that I almost automatically skip my friend's twitter posts.

Take care, my friend.

An idea your irritated friend may be interested in:
I decided that I wanted to keep lots of people in my friends list, but I sometimes only have time to read the posts from my closest friends, so I created 2 filters for my use when reading LJ: ReadRegularly & ReadOccasionally. When I view my Friends page, I can go to the top of the screen and activate the ReadRegularly filter if I am in a hurry, then go back at my leisure with the ReadOccasionally filter activated and catch up on the posts of my other friends.

Yes, it would be nice to be able to read someone's posts excluding particular tags (such as knitting or political), but I too have that handy scroll feature LOL.

LJ has this one totally kickass filter known as "Default View". Everybody gets one and is quite welcome to use it.

I use it to exclude certain communities that are ridiculously post/image-heavy from my f-page INSTEAD of exiting them all together.

Maybe that should be your response to people who don't want to read your twittering -- USE DEFAULT VIEW.

This subject interests me as well.

Enough that I came back to read this when I usually am vary lackadaisical about reading LJ at all...

I also twitter, and LoudTweet it to my LJ. I don't really favor microblogging on LJ, so for me the one a day style of LoudTweets is just right. At some point I tried to do it myself by keeping one post open and just add to it all the time, but I never enjoyed writing that way.

In the end, it's your journal, post what you will, it's your journal, fuck everyone else.

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