I’ve been using Twitter pretty heavily for the past few weeks, and I’m definitely grasping why some people really like it – but I also see some of the typical social networking abuses I see elsewhere. Take RSS feeds for instance: I un-friended some people on Facebook when they started pulling in their gadget blog feeds. If I’m interested in being Facebook friends with someone, I’m interested in them as a person – not necessarily in their gadget blog. I can read their gadget blog via my RSS reader – cluttering up a Facebook feed, which is supposed to be about people, with technology news is counter-productive, at least from my point of view. The exception to this is if they’re importing the RSS feed from their personal blog – again, since I’m interested in them as people, seeing what they’re writing on their personal blog is an extension of that.
I’m seeing the same thing happening on Twitter – people I’m following are importing their tech blogs so I get alerted whenever they post a news item to their blog. I’m sorry if this sounds rude, but if I’m following you on Twitter, it’s probably because I’m interested in what you, the person, are thinking/doing. Getting a steady stream of RSS updates just adds noise into the equation. Odds are good I’m already following your tech site via RSS, so getting alerted twice whenever you publish something is a waste of my time and attention.
I think the solution as far as Twitter goes it to have a Twitter feed for your technology site(s), and one for yourself. That way people who want to get Twits when you post a new story to your site can get that, and people who want to connect with you as a person can follow your personal Twitter feed…until they stop following you because you’re Twitting every 5 seconds about really inane things. But hey, no system is perfect.