Andrei Freeman (lordandrei) wrote,
Andrei Freeman

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.
Tags: censorship, offence, social networking, twitter

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