[LINK] Tweeting @reply

Stilgherrian stil at stilgherrian.com
Fri May 15 09:40:46 AEST 2009

I should point out that the backlash Twitter received for changing the  
behaviour without asking was immense, an it was reverted within hours.

On 15/05/2009, at 8:34 AM, Jan Whitaker wrote:
> Sounds quite a bit like cyberstalking to me. Or Peeping Toms. [no
> offence to those named Tom]

Not at all. Anyone wanting to make their message private just has to  
use a direct message (DM) instead of a public @reply.

Replying to someone in public is one of the most important reasons for  
Twitter's success. "Naked Conversations", to use the title of Shel  
Israel and Robert Scoble's book (which I haven't read). I'm tagging a  
tweet with someone's name to draw it to their attention, but making it  
public so if anyone else find the information useful, there it is.

If I say, for example...

     @alice That amazing contemporary gallery in Hamburg is http://example.de 
  (Hat-tip @bob.)

... then someone like @eve, who's following me but neither @alice nor  
@bob, not only discovers something which satisfies her own interest in  
modern art but also potentially finds to new friends with similar  

Remember, everyone in this scenario has *already* decided to  
participate in the naked conversation.

What Twitter's change meant was that @eve would not see that tweet,  
even though I had chosen to make it public. An important source of  
serendipitous connections was removed. As I say, though,it has now  
been restored.


Stilgherrian http://stilgherrian.com/
Internet, IT and Media Consulting, Sydney, Australia
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