Twitter Noise and Asymmetry

by Tom Carroll

I have become addicted to twitter. There is something about twitter that makes me feel like I am ease dropping on other peoples conversations. At times the bits of conversation I gather are informative and interesting, other times they are nothing but non sequiturs and noise. It’s the latter that drives me nuts. I have commented that twitter is a means of distributing the awareness of the future that has already occurred. I still believe that to be true but I also believe that titter will also go the way of every other common space.

This is why:
There exists within twitter an asymmetry that favors the so called “A” List. I don’t know that I believe the whole “A” list BS but I do believe that there exists a group of people that exploit the herd that follows them on twitter. Jason Calacanis provides a classic example by putting up his “You Should Follow” posts. With this request he creates an audience for the person he recommends (I wonder if he charges for this, I bet Scoble does.). At the same time the audience gets limited value. The recommended person now can send endless plugs for their start-up, book, service, ect.. to no end. At the same time the person following the recommended gets little or no attention from the person Jason just pimped. In my book it is all about quid pro quo, tit for tat. I search for those that interest me and I try to provide some interesting and valuable bits.

In the case of the so called “A” List it’s all one way and it isn’t in your favor.