What Twitter Needs

Twitter feels like its at the same crossroads Blogs were at in 2003.

Blogs were interesting, but a quote can be found by yours truly where I said "Blogs are just bad content management systems". Some people liked the simplicity, but it drove me nuts that the full potential was not reached because they lacked...

  • Security how could I make one post public and another post private.
  • Taxonomy (or structure) - Tags are good.. but Taxonomy and categories could be tied to security. I.e. you could see posts in one category, but not another. Or you could subscribe to a category, but not the whole blog. 
  • Other Post Attributes - info like location, start date, end date, video, photo's, file attachments, tags etc. 
  • Versioning - the ability to track changes

Those features made a post more powerful, it made the content more responsible.. all which made it a more likely tool a business might use. Oh, little shameless plug, but after we added those features Forrester published their first Wave Report on Corporate Blogging systems and guess who was the top of that chart? Awareness (aka iUpload at the time). But I digress.

Twitter is in the same boat. Social Media Rock Star, Chris Brogan, wrote about how he'd like to see it fixed.  Twitter Needs Two Channels

JigSaw Co-Founder, Garth Moulin, isn't even sold on Twitter for business. No Digging On Twitter
 Garth owns a Web 2.0 company that specializes in keeping a directory of business professionals and Twitter has like a gazillion users.  He should be loving this stuff right?

I think the issue is that some people (myself included) "tweet" everything (seriously, that's what you call a twitter entry.. I still have to suppress a smile when I say it). I tweet that I am "shoveling snow", "picking up a kid", and when I have something meaningful to say about "social media". Some people love the mix, some people only want parts. My friends in Facebook (where my tweets automatically update my status) don't get why I am quoting Social Media Research in my Facebook status. Some clients and colleagues might not care that I doing something trivial like"picking up milk" .  Some tools are adding your location to it.  Do I want everybody knowing my exact location? Does everybody care?  In most cases its "No".  I don't want people to stop tweeting everything.. I just ant to be able to adjust the firehouse a bit.

Here's another issue we have to be aware of as part o the solution.  Twitter uses mobile devices and SMS (aka Texting) extensively. So only 140 characters. (this limit was based on early cavemen who had to chisel the message in stone and people got really tired after 140 characters... OK, I have no idea why that is the limit of SMS messages) Today in twitter you can @somebody and it's like a reply to a message. E.g. "@dkrcarter I totally agree with you about twitter" (dkrcarter is my twitter name.. feel free to follow me)But depending on the name, you lose valuable characters for the actual message. What works on the web might be too complicated for text. So all that in mind, here is what I propose.

Add Category's and short codes to Twitter


Like a blog, let the Twitter user create categories for their account. Allow those users to segregate each category as "protected" just like they can do with their entire Twitter feed now. So I may create three categories in Twitter and let people follow any or all of those categories.
By the way, it's not about segregating business and personal. I may have a category for Social Media, a category for Family, and a category for my Fight Club (I'm not really a member of a Fight Club it's just an example to show that it's not always business or personal. Also, the first rule of Fight Club is never talk about Fight Club... so that would be ironic) The user can assign each Category a 2 digit short code for the category prefaced by an Exclamation mark (or whatever character we think is better). So let's say I use !SM for Social Media, !FA for Family, and !FC for Fight Club. I might tweet

"!SM @Forrester should be releasing their new Wave report soon."


 And only followers of that category or all content would see it.

"!FC we are meeting at the gym for the next fight".

@Ev, @jack and @biz you love it don't you?

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BY: Jenny Berthiaume (12/9/2021 6:29 PM)
COMMENT: Dave, I love it. I couldn't agree more, matter of fact I was just thinking about this concept for creating categories for my friends on my Facebook, from my fun friends I keep in touch with, old high school friends (haven't seen you in 15 years friends), my friends that are co-workers and just those who are co-workers, other than the time sucking Privacy options that FB currently has. This would work a bit different however it is right in line with the same thought process. There are definitely two lines here and as you mention, some want in both and others do not. To be able to control that would be fantastic. I look forward to seeing how Twitter evolves in the coming year, as well as other SM sites. Keep warm shoveling that snow. -@jennycb

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BY: Rick Mans (12/11/2021 2:32 AM)
COMMENT: If I recall correctly @ev did mention that groups would be implemented in the near future. That would be a real killer feature in my opinion, it would be even a feature worth to pay for to be able to share Tweets with only a selected trusted group of people.

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