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1500 More Reasons Twitter Must Die

Posted: December 29th, 2008 | Author: Agitationist | Filed under: buzzwords, tools | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

In a previous post titles “15 Reasons Twitter Must Die“, I accused Twitter users of oversharing the petty, mundane details of their sad, pointless lives. 

Incensed Twitterers jumped to its defense. Twitter was a useful tool, they said, and wasn’t just reducing conversation to idle noise. It could be used for sharing ideas, networking, and gauging the zeitgeist.

Thinking I might have been a bit hard on the Twittersphere, I thought I’d revisit the issue. Using the much-celebrated (though hardly revolutionary) search technology recently added to Twitter, I set out to see just how illuminating the average Tweet was.

The idea that Twitter seemed to frequently be a report on what the user was having for lunch seemed to particularly gall the Twitterers who wrote in. So let’s see how many tweets in the last 24 hours concerned the topic of “lunch”.

Off we go.

Well it appears we’ve found the limit of Twitter search: 1500 results. And in the time it took to write that sentence, 16 more results were added.

Keep in mind that as I write this, it is 8:00 am Central Time, which means that unless Greenland is taking an early break, it is not lunch hour in any populated area on Earth. 

Just a few sample results:

technobohemiaPlaying WOW, but craving Chinese food…when will it be lunchtime?
half a minute ago
SamShepherdwent to M&S to get lunch and came back with sushi. I’ve never eaten sushi. don’t know what inspired that
1 minute ago
dihsjpwaiting for lunch
2 minutes ago
qwghlmRight, feeling vaguely progressive and have tidied the living room. Now for lunch
2 minutes ago
Rebecca_Agralunch
4 minutes ago
einerleiback to library…finally, after having a nice lunch with a friend
4 minutes ago
WehtamBack home in sunny Manchester. Off to cash checks after lunch.
4 minutes ago
mauricio_kimuraHungry and ready to go for lunch !!!
5 minutes ago
timwastedhaving some lunch and watching bad tv – but at least its warm inside
6 minutes ago
Jedbeck2 hours til lunch with my girls
6 minutes ago
Knickiis going to skin some potatos for lunch.
8 minutes ago
eburgosgarciaback from lunch & hairdresser..
9 minutes ago
[Incidentally, that last one was a gentleman. Do men generally refer to their "hairdresser" where you come from?]

The disturbing tendency here is toward externalizing what should remain, in a reasonably civilized society, the inner monologue. This is partly the medium’s fault for restricting itself to 140 characters. Even Oscar Wilde would have a hard time coming up with 20 pithy quips a day under those conditions.

Now, to make this experiment somewhat scientific, we need a control phrase.  If “lunch” brings up a list of 1500 mundane tweets that no one needs to see, what word or phrase will reveal the intelligent, illuminating, useful tweets I keep hearing about?

This where you come in. Please make your suggestions in the comments, and if I don’t hear from you, have a great lunch.

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10 Comments on “1500 More Reasons Twitter Must Die”

  1. 1
    Cat said at 3:33 pm on December 29th, 2008:

    Twitter is a place for people who talk constantly to continue the conversation when no one else is around.

  2. 2 Agitationist said at 3:43 pm on December 29th, 2008:

    Well said, Cat. Or as I commented the other day on Phil Baumann’s blog, “Twitter is to conversation as porn is to making love”.

  3. 3 Daniel Tunkelang said at 5:33 pm on December 29th, 2008:

    Here are a few:

    http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%22social+tagging%22

    http://search.twitter.com/search?q=hcir

    http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%22faceted+search%22+OR+%22faceted+navigation%22

    And those are just topics that are top-of-mind. Twitter is a lot like the web at large–most of it is cacophony. But that doesn’t stop some of us from finding the music buried in that caca.

    Of course, it would be nice to see people investing in better tools to support listening to and engaging these conversations. Instead, the loudest voices agitate for tools to make their own voices louder. No wonder we are drowning in caca.

  4. 4 DE said at 2:56 am on December 30th, 2008:

    Twitter to the help of diplomacy perhaps: http://eurekadejavu.blogspot.com/2008/12/israeli-consulate-to-host-twitter-press.html

  5. 5 150 Visitors a Day in 2 Weeks: the Bootstrap Method | The Agitationist said at 1:53 pm on January 7th, 2009:

    [...] posts strictly to gain traffic. But when I saw people streaming in, I wrote a follow-up on more reasons Twitter sucks. Hey, I ain’t [...]

  6. 6 Santiago said at 2:27 pm on January 12th, 2009:

    I joined Twitter last week. I just read the “Everyone” tab when I’m super bored. I only follow those with major drama in their personal lives – - sort of what I did when blogs first became popular. But sometimes I do feel like I have interesting insights and I tweet those ideas…hoping to foster more thought. It’s quick, easy, painless and most important, who gives a damn.

    What I do think is stupid, however, is how some people take it so seriously. Like the writer on Mashable who wrote the “do’s and don’ts” of Twitter. Gimme a break! In the final analysis, it will be a popularity contest; if not a “race to monetize” contest. Excuse me while I puke.

  7. 7 Andre Shoumatoff said at 12:34 am on January 16th, 2009:

    Ha,
    I found a guy a lot like me except a little less ‘terroristic.’ :)

    I couldn’t agree more… You may enjoy my post “Social Media has boobs, and in 2008 the experts were caught staring.”

    Twitter is a communications tool, primarily. It also irks out a lot of people back in the real world. What a little world the microcosm of social media bloggers has created for itself. Really, as I understand it, it’s at least over 50% retards who have no understanding of social media and correct, follow the zeitgeist way too strong. Lots and lots of slurping going on, as they say, because it’s so easy to get lost out in expanse of the wild west we’re in right now…

  8. 8 Why is Mashable Obsessed with Twitter? | The Agitationist said at 11:51 am on January 26th, 2009:

    [...] you’ve read this blog before, you know I’m no fan of Twitter, the over-hyped tin can on a string of the 21st [...]

  9. 9 Twitter Fails Once Again, Slavish Devotion Continues | The Agitationist said at 12:28 pm on February 11th, 2009:

    [...] I’ve written of my hatred for Twitter, including 15 Reasons Twitter Must Die, 1500 More Reasons Twitter Must Die, Twitter Fails Again, Twitter Officially Goes Mainstream, and Why is Mashable Obsessed with [...]

  10. 10 Mashable Hysterical Over Twitter Outage said at 2:49 pm on December 18th, 2009:

    [...] It is unknown whether the “Army” acted in response to my repeated exclamations that “Twitter Must Die“. [...]


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