Twitter Search: "Authority" versus "Popularity"
December 29, 2008 Leave a comment
Interesting threads going on in the ‘sphere w/r/t "weighted" Twitter search results.
TechCrunch posted "Should Twitter Add Authority-Based Search?", linking to a Loic Le Meur post asking Twitter to add an "authority" filter to the Twitter Search. He suggests prioritizing of results weighted by the number of followers for the author, implying relative importance of the conversation.
From a pragmatic view, this sounds more like a popularity contest than a relevance indicator to me; Robert Scoble agrees, in his "Thanks Mike Arrington for taking us off the rails into Twitter Idiot Land". Of course, Robert is a bit more outspoken than am I.
The beauty of Twitter (and the Web at large): use it the way that suits you, and enjoy your usage (else don’t use it at all). For me, Twitter is a way for me to stay in touch with those for whom I care, but won’t sit down and write an email (nor will they). It’s a way for me to keep a finger on various Web pulses in near-real-time.
On a side note, my Twitter habits will never win me the popular vote:
- I don’t auto- or random-follow (there must be programs that do this, as the oddest collection of people start to follow me).
- I follow only those whom I recognize, or are relevant and / or interesting to me. I follow TechCrunch, O’Reilly, Hinchcliffe and a smattering of talented Web .Next folks .. along with some of my more colorful co-workers and friends.
- I look at anyone who follows me (email alert), and if they’re not active, known, relevant and / or interesting to me, I block them.
- I prune my follows / followers from time to time; their voice and recent activity are my primary constraints. It takes seconds to tell us what you’re doing .. don’t be shy!
I will never follow 1,000 people, and likely won’t ever have 1,000 followers. That’s too much management and risk of overload for me .. not from too much information: I can handle the incoming information I choose to read, but if I’m missing the bulk of the relevant tweets because of volume, what’s the sense of following all those people?
My Tweets overlap my blog post messaging; a bit more whimsy than my blog, and of course, far more immediate. Who else Tweets the "Pancake Shape of the Day", you might ask? 😛 As I point out in my blog: I have a voice. If my voice resonates with you, then I have an audience. Either way I still have a voice.
As with all things Web, there’s always more. TechCrunch posts: "Ask and Ye Shall Receive: Twitority Launches Authority-Based Twitter Search".
Memo to all: Get Over It. Use Twitter (and other Web 2.0 toys) in the way that suits you.
That said, I suspect we’ll be echoing about this for a bit.