Why I Hate Twitter

Twitter, the strange but oddly addictive amalgamation of a message board, AIM, and text messaging has been making inroads into the affiliate marketing community thanks to the efforts of Sam Harrelson and Brian Littleton's Twitter experiment at Affiliate Summit.

The basic concept is nothing new. Post 'shout outs' and other people can see them, answering the simple question posed by Twitter, "What are you doing?"

If you share them publicly, anyone can see them. You can also make it such that only your friends can see your posts. Your friends are people who you have added to your profile, whom you've found through an invite, or through browsing through other users' profiles ( here's mine). You can send and receive messages in IM and even your mobile phone via text messaging.

It's not for just major stuff like, "I'm standing at the altar in Las Vegas with a showgirl.", but also random stuff like "waiting 45 minutes for a #$&*@ taxi." It is a fun continual lifeline to your friends. "Awww, Scott's getting hitched in Vegas", or "Poor Scott, I hope it's not raining".

One of the best things about Twitter is that you can get updates to your phone. If you're on the road, or just making a packy-run, you're never far from your friends.

Twitter's strength is also it's greatest weakness.


It is irresistible to respond to people's "twittering" and ultimately it turns into an IM conversation between two or three people. If I've enabled Twitter on my mobile phone, I'm the unwilling witness to long conversation between a few of my so-called friends. Clearly, they're using Twitter's web or IM interface and twittering back and forth in the comfort of their computer about dinner plans or something. My phone buzzes away with every post. Why are they doing this to me? Don't they know they're setting my phone off with every hit of the enter key?

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

To my friends: The next time you're about to submit a message to twitter, please think to yourself. "Is this something that all 73 of my friends need to see?" And does what you're writing actually answer the question, "what are you doing?"

Friends don't let friends Twitter badly.

There is Some Relief in the Twitter Commands

The guys at Twitter have thought of a lot of stuff. If you haven't already, you should familiarize yourself with the lingo and commands. You can send the following commands to twitter in IM and your mobile phone:

  • get - gets the recent updates from all your friends
  • get username - gets the recent updates from one friend

the most important commands...

  • leave username - disables updates from one person
  • leave all - turns off all updates
  • off - disables twitter updates (seems redundant with leave all)

and if you're feeling lonely...

  • on - reverses an off command
  • follow all - reverses the leave all

Twitter Commands that are Sorely Needed

But they haven't thought of everything, I hereby submit the suggested commands to the guys at Twitter:

  • batch n - batch my updates every n minutes.
  • throttle on - if a conversation gets out of hand and I'm not in it, automatically batch the messages.
  • to username - send a message only to a particular user
  • chill username - suspend the updates from a particular user for some short period of time.
  • zap username - send an electrical signal through the user's texting device if they're twittering out of control. Sort of like a dog bark collar. Requires the user to have the "Bluetooth Twitter Underwear Attachment".

Do you have any twitter commands you'd like to see? Comment here.

BTW, If you want to add me to your friends list, here's my twitter profile. I apologize in advance for my liberal use of the 'off' command.

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