Why Twitter and Facebook don’t cut it

So I have dove into the whole social network stuff pretty heavily, like most anyone related to technology. I now find myself following many people on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The information for the most part is interesting at best but to be honest about it, most of the information simple stinks. The “rivers” of information are just that, uncontrollable rivers that have no structure or guidance. Someone you follow posts great stuff then all of the sudden has a flurry of useless posts and information, only making the river harder to navigate. When you wake up in the morning and there are over 200 tweets or 300 plus new facebook events that is pretty hard to consume and navigate.

So yes, there are filters, search tags, and a couple of other ways to limit the feed but the reality is the information is inconsistent and not reliable. Twitter is even more of a nightmare to follow for long conversations between people. I spend most of my time in Facebook deleting messages and stop following posts by people or applications than actually reading anything fun, funny or business related.

Then you throw in LinkedIn. I am actually beginning to favor LinkedIn over all of the rest because of one simple element – the professional groups. I can easily navigate to a group and see “what’s going on” in that particular space. Almost like a news section of a newspaper. I also enjoy seeing the job changes, profile updates, etc of the people I follow because usually that information is interesting.

Lastly, there is PlanetLotus and PlanetEclipse. I think there is something here with controlled aggregations. I can go to a centralized place to read things related to a given product or technology or at least be guaranteed the content is somewhat related to the community.

So yes, this is a rant as I sit here tonight and find these social networks more frustrating than useful. Maybe I will feel different tomorrow when I wake up and see 800 things I have to ignore.

5 thoughts on “Why Twitter and Facebook don’t cut it

  1. Couple of things shout at me… ‘When you wake up in the morning and there are over 200 tweets or 300 plus new facebook events that is pretty hard to consume and navigate.’ and ‘I spend most of my time in Facebook deleting messages and stop following posts by people or applications’…

    Seems to me you are approaching social tools as something you ‘need to manage’ like your email. This is (for me at least) an inappropriate and unobtainable goal. Instead, treat them as ‘rivers’ that you can dip into and out of. Grab in the great links and comments that flow part, let the rest flow by. Don’t try to catch up in the morning on what has gone through the night before, just step right back in and see what comes by.

    Just as I would never think that I could read every news article written the night before, I can never read every blog post, or see every tweet. Instead, appreciate the added context, trends and information that you get to see that would have previously passed you by.

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    • I am not sure completely agree with that. I often miss very funny things on Facebook or I miss a great Twitter conversation because I am working or away from some device. I still feel there is something missing in this social area so people don’t miss these little nuggets.

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  2. Well, a couple of things.

    1) Are you using a Twitter client or the website? I personally feel that the site only gives 10% of the Twitter experience, if that. Grab a copy of Tweetdeck and begin to set up lists and search columns to grab tweets that have relevance to you. e.g. I have columns for ‘lotus connections’, ‘quickr’ ‘ls11’ etc. Create a list for those key peers that you don’t want to miss tweets from, and make sure you check this. Let the rest flow by.

    2) If you have an iOS device, grab a copy of Boxcar. This great app creates a combined activity stream of updates from FB, Twitter, 4sq, Gowalla, Reddit, Google Voice etc. This pulls in all the stuff you can’t afford to miss into one view. Superb app.

    I’m serious though. If you set yourself up to see every conversation or post, you’ll only ever fail and the guilt will build up. Let it flow…

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  3. Pingback: Jeff Probst has 57,573 followers on Twitter » Balfes.net - Software and nothing but, ok maybe not

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