Monday, February 23, 2009

Twitter Spoilers

I was forced to unfollow someone on Twitter today.

This was nothing to do with the depressingly regular instance of blocking someone who only wants to garner followers or spam me with some get-rich-quick scheme, but was necessitated by a difference in philosophy - what I wanted from Twitter was not what he wanted to give.

Social networks can be a boon or bane, and Twitter can be both at the same time, unfortunately. The small posts make for a neat medium for transmitting news items and regular updates. Twitter is how I get a lot of my tech news right now, since it is full of people who have more time, inclination or professional need to scour the internet for interesting tidbits.

If, however, I want more details, I have RSS readers for that and I can go get my sports results, for example, at my leisure.

And herein lies the rub. Twice in the last week I have taped a sporting event to watch later. Twice in the last week some bright spark has announced the result on Twitter. No.... "cover your eyes, here it comes" announcement - Twitter, after all, does not lend itself to that.

It's no big deal, but it highlights the need to carefully assess what each Twitterer is offering. I followed @putt3r because he had some useful golf-related insights in general. But now I have had to unfollow him because he announces tournament results as soon as they finish, and he is in a time zone which usually means I will see the results before I even get a chance to record the program, let alone watch it.

I have also unfollowed a couple of people who insist on giving me a blow-by-blow account of their particular favourite sporting event as it happens. WTF? This is like radio commentary but without all the excitement....

The "always on" nature of Twitter can be one of its greatest strengths - it can also make it one of the biggest pains in the ass.


Wesley said...

Would be good if tweetdeck or other alternative twitter clients could provide support for this;

include #spoiler in the tweet and the tweet will show up in black, click a button to reveal, etc..

Bob Walder said...

Nice idea