I’ve been trying to love Twitter, the current darling-child of Web 2.0, but I can’t get there. Now I realise why: Twitter is broadcast. It’s no better than Television.
I initially saw Twitter as another excellent way to continue the conversation. Someone like Dave Winer or Jason Calacanis would tweet something, and I could @reply them to comment on it quickly and efficiently. But now I find out why Dave has been ‘ignoring’ me: he can’t see my replies.
Twitter’s dirty little not-so-secret is that people won’t see your @replies unless they are following you or they specifically enable the replies. So the A-list guys like Dave, Jason, Robert Scoble, et al just get to prognosticate from the mountain, even more so than in their blogs. They build a massive list of ‘followers’ (disciples?), to whom they can tweet a command to be followed ("read my blog", "comment on this photo", "check out this new Web 2.0 site"), and a good percentage of their followers will do their bidding.
The more I think about it the more I wonder if it is some giant mind-control experiment.
From now on if I want a conversation with someone I’ll be using email, or commenting on a blog.
Side note: this is where FriendFeed can nail Twitter: all threaded replies on FriendFeed seem to show, regardless of whether you are following the commenter.