Information Technology Dark Side

Struggles of a Self-Taught Coder

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The Perpetual Twitter Death Cycle

July 10th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Twitter is nearly dead to me. Let’s call it terminally ill. Currently, I only use twitter to post thoughts and read @replies. That’s it. Here’s why:

Exponentially Declining Interest
Putting a lucid thought that is meaningful to anyone and everyone in 140 characters or less is hard. Most people stink at it. Even people I like aren’t great tweet writers – my circle of friends and colleagues is not limited exclusively to the twitterati.

I’m following just over 100 people. That means I get the banality of 100 different lives thrust into mine. It’s not interesting, and it gets less interesting every day.

Follow Me Spam
There is a strong stupidity movement in twitter – to get lots of followers so you can use your twitter account to promote yourself or your product. People try to get more followers by searching on some relevant term, then following everyone who comes up, then waiting a few days and un-following everyone who doesn’t follow them back. I get followed by 2 to 10 people every day with whom I have no viable connection. Ironically, my follower count isn’t going up at the same pace because I also get dropped by 2 to 10 people every day when I don’t follow them back.

The net effect of this idiotic behavior is that I no longer bother checking out who follows me. If I don’t recognize them immediately, I don’t care. The email goes straight to trash.

Twitter is Easy to Live Without
Fifteen years ago almost no one needed a cell phone. Twenty-five years ago nearly no one had computers. A hundred years ago cars were easy to live without.

Try giving up one of those three now. This is also how I feel about google, ubuntu, NetBeans, WordPress, and plenty of other software products. That’s why these products are successful – we don’t know we need them until we have them, but once we have them it’s hard to live without them.

When I imagine my life without twitter, I experience a feeling of release and freedom. One less thing to worry about, one less communication channel to monitor and support. I’m happier without it.

The Twitter Death Cycle
I think my experience is typical. I bet huge percentages of Twitter users drop out within 90 days. Fortunately, many new twitter users go through an early stage where they energetically post and recruit their friends to do the same, perpetuating Twitter’s life beyond the current constantly dying user base.

How long will it take Twitter to churn through the entire internet? Who knows? I certainly don’t. But it doesn’t matter. I’ve been through the cycle – Twitter is pretty much dead to me.

Too bad it also took my feed reader with it. Fortunately, I’m having some success (and happiness) bringing it back to life.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Allen // Jul 10, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Facebook seems to be more of a keeper. Especially since you get to better control who is following you. It doesn't have the technical flexibility that Twitter has.

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