Mar 30, 2008

Toad Stool Comment Fun

Steve Rubel twittered a link to this blog post.

It listed ten things the writer "hate"-ed about Twitter. The first one thing:I WISH I had the ability to temporarily turn certain people off. Especially people who feel the need to live-tweet an especially boring commute to the office or conference or concert or something else I am not interesting in learning about in 5 minute intervals.
I read the whole list and post and the comments he received, but was struck most by that first thing and left this comment:
I don't think you're following the right people. The only people I follow are people I can learn something from. The ones who post links to their blog posts, links to posts and articles on other sites. Steverubel is great. Also scobleizer. These people usually aren't craping around telling you what they ate. They're telling you a new service they've discovered, new meme, etc. Twitter, for me, is a learning tool. Just sharing my two cents. And by the way, it was Steve Rubel who linked to you (via twitter of course) in case you didn't know. Thanks.
I thought nothing about leaving the comment. I hear this complaint often, and wanted to share my experience with Twitter.

He wrote a new post about the huge amount of traffic (or twaffic?) he got from Steve Rubel...and my comment!
Among the many comments I received, there was one that got me to thinking. One of Rubel's minions, while chastising me for having non-utilitarian Twitter friends, mentioned that he only links to people who provide him with great insights via their useful links.

And that lead me to wonder if the ultimate path of Twitter is to be a place where we learn from experts, rather than share with friends. I mean at some level it makes sense: Twitter, by virtue of its non-reciprocal Follower/Following paradigm, could allow us to follow people we deemed experts and leaders. Which could be anyone from Steve Rubel to Steve Jobs to Steve Nash.

They'd send out links, wise thoughts and whatnot, for their followers to absorb on a daily basis. Heck, we could even monetize it and charge a fee for their wisdom. I've suggested that using a celeb's tweets from a relevant event would be a good marketing use of Twitter, so why not take it to the next level?
First off, I am happy to be called a "minion" if it means I am learning. Second, this writer assumes my friends are knowledgable about the topics I am interested in. They are not. My friends are actors and have no clue about twitter, no matter how much I tried to get them into it. They also have no knowledge of the topics Rubel, Scoble, Laporte, etc, twitter/blog/write about. Yes, I have a few tech-ish friends, but they don't share their knowledge on twitter. They talk about football and new beer. So for me, I use twitter to learn from people who are knowledgeable in the topics I care about.

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