Twitter By Phone, Now With Default Scoble
What’s not to love about Twitter? It’s nowhere near the commitment of a blog. You don’t have to dodge people chucking books and sheep at your head like you do with Facebook, and it captures the brilliant laziness of a Christmas letter — why send personal messages to your friends when you can send an instant message to all of them at once?
Until yesterday, I only used the web version to update my status and browse through what my friends were doing. If I was traveling, I used the mobile web version (which is to say, mostly, I’ve used the mobile version). As with many things, I never used it in the way it was originally intended. I think the idea is that you find out what your friends are doing via text message and then you text back what’s going on with you. I would think this concept falls apart with more than a few friends, not only because you wouldn’t have time to do anything except check your phone, but also because you’d eventually run out of money paying your text messaging bills.
But everyone I know is on the Twitter-by-text bandwagon, and I was feeling a little left out. Natala said that the fastest way to get in touch with her was by Twitter. And I’ll never forget having dinner with a bunch of fellow geeks after Gnomedex, with everyone’s phones on the table, vibrating every few seconds with Twitter updates.
So yesterday, I decided to give it a try. First, I checked over the list of people I’m following. If I was going to start getting text messages about every waking moment of someone’s day, I figured they should be from people I actually know. Then, I hit the switch and on came the texts.
First thing I noticed? That you feel very popular and surrounded by friends when you’re getting texts from them every few minutes. Twitter messages on my phone make me feel warm and fuzzy in a way that scrolling through a web page just can’t measure up to. Yay Twitter. Send me more!
I also noticed that sometimes I would get a Twitter text long before it made it to the web version, and in some cases, the web version didn’t show up at all. I need to keep text messaging on just so I don’t miss anything!
Next, I realized that my phone really doesn’t have much storage space. Things filled up pretty quickly. I have an unlimited text messaging plan, so I wasn’t worried about costs, but I need to hit that delete button more quickly.
And then I found a fatal flaw with the direct messages coming to my phone. It’s difficult enough for me to keep up with and reply to regular email. When someone sends me a direct message via Twitter that then goes to my phone, how can I possibly remember to email that person back if I don’t have time at that very second to reply?
My next problem was that I didn’t actually read the directions and wasn’t sure how to send Twitters from my phone. So, my ability to Twitter each new moment was a bit hindered.
But the biggest problem? Robert Scoble. I was overloaded with Scoble Twitters that piled on like that downpour of salt following around that girl with the umbrella. Ironically, he was Twittering to people who were complaining about his barrage of Twitters.
@jbb tells me I’ve broken Twitter’s unwritten rules again and that I should go back to my blog. Listen: there’s a little unfollow button” in Twitter. Just use it. Why try to make me feel bad? I have a lot to say. If you don’t want to listen, unfollow.
I totally agree. What kind of whiner subscribes to what someone is writing and then complains about the frequency of that writing. Dude, unsubscribe.
Indeed, it’s ridiculous for me to complain about getting his Twitters on my phone.
I’m not following Scoble on Twitter.
Because he’s so prolific and I have such little time, I much prefer to scroll through his blog or Twitter feed when I have time. His is pull, rather than push, content.
As you can see, when I look at Scoble’s profile, I see the “follow” button.
Compare that to Baratunde who I am following, whose profile shows a status of “following”.
So why am I getting Scoble’s Twitters on my phone? I don’t see them in the web version of Twitter. He is following me, but I don’t get the Twitters of anyone else following me who I’m not following in return.
I turned off phone notifications while I figure it out. I might try following him, then setting his notifications to off, although that seems like a bit of a hack. (I do need a way to get back that feeling of all my friends keeping me company with their texts though, so it might be worth it.)
A while back people were talking about Scoble hijacking the newsfeed on Facebook. I have my account set to “less of the Scoble” and I still get him there too.
Maybe social networks just operate now with default Scoble, whether you sign up for him or not.