The race to zero has started. A race towards quality. A race toward real connections. A race towards intimate yet broadcasted bridges. To a real social architecture on the web.
Twitter is on the verge of becoming a huge link machine, a vast broadcast microphone. I’m not sure it’s lost some if its appeal that brought me there in the first place, but it’s certainly changing, making me alter the way I’m using it.
Like many, I’ve tried auto-following people that were following me for a very short while -when SocialToo appeared –I even tried the auto-dm, what a nightmare. It was unsatisfying. I ended up not knowing the people I was following and those didn’t seem to be interested in what I was writing.
That was in 2008.
Fast forward today.
I was right. Somewhat unknowingly.
Here’s the rub: who you follow defines you.
Robert Scoble’s views about endorsement are correct. As far as last week, I was trying to convince myself that following someone on Twitter wasn’t a gesture of endorsement.
It definitively is. And how can I endorse random people connecting to me without even really knowing them? Without having a sense of who they are.
the line between endorsement and friending varies on a person-by-person case
I might not consider a follow an endorsement, I might not consider a LinkedIn connection an endorsement, but if the other thinks it is, my point is lost.
The major shift for Twitter is when it became a massive discovery machine with both its search engine and the users embracing retweets (I’m on the fence about hasthags, though).
I don’t need to follow people to find content anymore, I don’t need to follow people to be listened.
Will listen only those interested. Will listen only those who care. Nice if mutual care, but with both overlapping and different interests every person possess, there is actually no need for reciprocal follow.
I don’t care if people I’m interested in don’t follow me. It doesn’t matter. I can still interact with them, there’s no limiting factor as in the Facebook reciprocal world –which is why I’m moving towards a Page, whatever people think about it. Point is:
I’m getting smarter again so want to share what I’m seeing with other people.
Sorry, if you’re some affiliate marketer promising me massive returns, I’m not interested. You might have a valid message. But not interesting enough to me.
You might even have an interesting message buried in so many updates, but I’m not willing to cope with the noise. And I ask you to do the same with me.
This all boils down to noise and absence of context.
I had a debate over noise with Rick Martin. His blogging, like mine, is sometimes all over the place –again, because of many interests. He said that it was hard to know where I resided online and he was right.
Yet, what I want is only what Rick rightly points out:
you can be on as many social networks as you want — but if you’re not taking the time to share the shit that matters most to you, then you really aren’t being very social at all.
It was an attempt to cut the noise. By allowing people to chose amongst my blogs, I wanted to filter my outputs through various prisms.
Most of the current tools, from Feedly reading to the hide function in Friendfeed puts the recipient in the noise-fine-tuning cockpit. It shouldn’t be this way. It’s up to everyone of us to define our own social architecture. It should be the responsibility of the sender to sort his messages.
That’s today biggest flaw about lifestreams platforms. The output can be overwhelming, to the point of becoming useless.
Same goes for Twitter, a lifestream of sorts. Do you really care about everything I say? You probably don’t:
What can be said in 140 characters is either trivial or abridged; in the first case it would be better not to say it at all, and in the second case it would be better to give it the space it deserves.
The evolution of blogging is a necessity, but it has to go further than Posterous (for all the love I have towards this service). Having a central command to share news is only the first step.
The second step will be more complex. The tools will have to evolve with better management of tagging or labels, to allow selective content to be displayed to selected recipients and the bloggers and lifestreamers alike will have to responsibly use them.
tweets are broadcast indiscriminately. I think this further devalues them
Context doesn’t need endorsement. Only people do. By freeing yourself of the 140 character limit from time to time, you’ll allow your content to be the endorser and reduce the noise.
It’s not enough to create content. As you know, anyone with an opinion, a keyboard, camera, or microphone, fueled by the desire to freely and perpetually share it, can do so at will nowadays. The question is, how do you as an authentic and genuine aficionado or maestro convince me that you’re believable, qualified, and ready to lead? Build the bridges that connect you to those whom you can soundly advise… Once we understand how to build the bridges that connect knowledge and aspiration, we ultimately become accomplished and experienced social architects.
To be honest, I still haven’t found the appropriate way to cut my own noise. Until I do, please accept my apologies.
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