It’s good that Twitter is learning a lot from its experience in the last day. It’s not good that tweeting, which most of us treat as something inherently public and non-proprietary, such as blogging and emailing, seems to be privately controlled, with one company in the sole responsible position. Sez Biz at that last link,
The problem with the setting was that it didn’t scale and even if we rebuilt it, the feature was blunt. It was confusing and caused a sense of inconsistency. We felt we could do much better.
So here’s what we’re planning to do. First, we’re making a change such that any updates beginning with @username (that are not explicitly created by clicking on the reply icon) will be seen by everyone following that account. This will bring back some serendipity and discovery and we can do this very soon.
Second, we’ve started designing a new feature which will give folks far more control over what they see from the accounts they follow. This will be a per-user setting and it will take a bit longer to put together but not too long and we’re already working on it. Thanks for all the great feedback and thanks for helping us discover what’s important!
Here’s what’s important: tweeting needs to a standard convention that’s NEA: Nobody owns it, Everybody can use it, and Anybody can improve it. Like blogging, texting and emailing.
Maybe it’s already there — meaning that implemented Web, Net and Phone standards, plus the API, take care of business. Maybe Twitter’s mashability with other services is “open enough.” Maybe the fact that I can use gwibber or Thwirl to access multiple microblogging services covers enough bases.
Certainly Twitter is carrying the tweeting world on its shoulders for two reasons: 1) they invented it; and 2) they have the best and most widely used tweeting service out there. And maybe Twitter isn’t running a walled garden, but just a service that makes it easy for tweeters to operate in a wide open tweeting environment.
(And has it already happened? I don’t know. If so, fill me in.)
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