How to Find People to Follow and my Anger about Twitter

I said in class that I tend to blog when I am angry or unhappy, since I am so angry about Twitter now, I decided to write why I am angry first and then write about how to find interesting people to follow there.

What makes me angry about Twitter (disclaimer: these are all just my personal opinions based on the way I use Tiwtter, the purpose I use Tiwtter, my situation, my technological background, etc. I understand that different people use it for different purposes, and different tools are designed for different purposes. ):

Twitter Web UI

1.First of all, I tends to use more than 140 characters whenever I really want to express my idea. So blog is way more suitable for me than twitter. I know I have to learn to be concise, but I don’t want to be concise to a point that I have to write so many abbreviations and acronyms that don’t make sense to me, nor other people. I am intending to substitute twitter with blog, they are different platforms anyway, but something like Facebook status or Google+ stream would be better.

2. I set the preference for notices whenever I get mentioned or replied, but I get notice sometimes, sometimes NOT.

3. Why I heard so much complain about privacy issue on FB, not that much about Twitter. People just forgive it because it’s simple, and because it’s meant for public?

4. There is not a concise way of organizing the conversations, they are all just mashed together. I cannot just follow a the conversation about one hashtag, I have to hear all the irrelevant tweets by people in the list.

5. I cannot use Google Voice number to send text to or get text from Twitter! This maybe a problem of Google Voice, rather than twitter.

Tweetdeck:

1. I took me forever to find the “favorite” button, and actually it’s not a button.

2. I don’t know what is the difference between group and list here, when I created a group, it automatically turned to a list, and the group is empty. If you don’t want the concept of a group, why leave the function there?

3. I feel it’s convenient to use the notice window to reply people’s tweets. However, if I write reply here, the autoname function disappears and the auto-including hashtag function disappears too. I have to manually type them in.

4. The biggest problem here is that I cannot see the back-n-forth conversation among people very clearly here. If there is one original tweet, and several replies. When read the original ones, I cannot see the replies. When I see one reply, I can click “in reply to” to see the original one and this one reply, and also many other irrelevant conversation between these two people will also show up, and I cannot see other relevant replies. The Web UI has a right arrow at each tweet that is nicer. The right arrow and the “in reply to…” are different functions, and tweetdeck only has “in reply to…”

5. When I reply somebody’s tweet, I cannot see my own reply in a thread, which will make think I didn’t reply successfully. I have to go to check my tweets again.

6. A good thing here about Tweetdeck is that I can create a search column, so I can only follow the relevant tweets here.

Twitter iPhone:

I am very disoriented when I first started to use the tweetdeck iPhone, I don’t know which column is which, and how to go to the next column. The screen is so small and cannot display the whole name of the column sometimes.

My iPhone, my email and Tweetdeck send me notices at different paces, and sometimes one of them will omit some tweets, or delayed for a long time. Or sometimes I am not in front of my laptop and have to rely on my phone. So I cannot turn either of them off, in case I didn’t see some important tweet. However, sometimes they are really disturbing, I just want to turn all of them off and do something else!

As we are going to talk about Internet Culture next week, I feel every phenomenon is existing and has evolved around a culture. Twitter is like this too. It is designed for 10 people, and has evolved to this point today because of the collective effort of people who like it or use it. These people grew up with this culture and are very much used to this culture. Other people, like me, very different to enter into this culture. Of course, the difficulty also depends on whether I really want to enter into this culture or not, whether I think it’s worthwhile. If I decide that I have to enter into this culture no matter what, because it will bring value to my future, I will do it no matter what. Similarly, I am always angry that there are so many abbreviations and acronyms in English, but this is how this language has evolved, thus if I decide to use English for the rest of my life, I have to embrace it.

Now I think the key point probably is that to put important time urgent information on Twitter is a bad idea. Time urgent information should be left for emails and phone-calls. Twitter is just a loosely coupled information system, where we may find interesting people and interesting articles to read if we want. To put timely urgent information there is simply too much pressure, because then I cannot turn if off as I want anymore. I understand the practices on Tech621 is just for us to immerge in the social media world, but no more in my normal life.

Okay, let’s go to talk about the real topic: how to find interesting people to follow on Twitter. Although twitter has made angry for many parts, but there is still one part that is crucial and useful to me, that is, I can find important people to follow and find interesting article to read.I am sure there are many ways to identify people, and Dr.V has mentioned some in class. Here I just provide one unique one that works for me:

First, follow an organization. Second, follow the people that showed up in the tweets of the organization. Third, unfollow the organization.For example, I followed an organization @socialmedia2day. It will tweets people’s names and their interesting blogs, then I will go to look at the blog and decide if I am going to follow the people. After a certain period of time, then I starts to know many people to follow, and starts to utilizing other more advanced ways to follow people, then I can unfollow the organization.

TECH621 Assignment: Social Media Sites Classification

Instead of coming up with some kind of classification system myself out of nothing, I did a search about some existing classification system. I found this article very interesting, and I agree with the classification system it proposes, at least for this time being. This seems the most widely accepted classification system by now, unless we come up with something else within our brilliant minds in our brilliant Tech621 class 🙂

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59–68.
This is the classification in this paper (please click and zoom in to see clearly):

I think Content Communities and Social networking sites took a large part of the social media sites, at least the 20 social media sites each of us in the Tech621 has come up with.

This article also talks about the definition of social media in comparison with Web 2.0, which is the topic we have discussed last week. This article talks about another concept User Generated Content. In the opinion of this article, Web 2.0 is considered as the platform for the evolution of Social Media, and Social Media is a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content. This makes sense, I think maybe there is a way to merge this with our discussion result in last class.

There is a section in this article titled: “2. What is Social Media–—And what is it not?” I was anticipating greatly to hear it talks about what Social Media is NOT, but I think, as far as the way I read it, it only talks about what is social media, then went ahead to talk about the classification of social media, didn’t really talk about what it is not…

Examples and Thoughts:

High Self-representation, Low Media Richness: Blog (LiveJournal), Micro-blogs (Twitter, Sina Weibo)

(I should say that blogs and micro-blogs are initially for sharing thoughts using text, but people can also post rich media like photos and video clips there. As technologies advance, some things or features tend to fuse, but I still think this is a valid classification based on the initial purposes.)

High Self-representation, Medium Media Richness: Social Networking Sites (Facebook, RenRen, , Couchsurfing, Foursquare, Friendfeed, Posterous, Orkut), Friendster (Social Gaming), Dating websites (Fubar)

High Self-representation, High Media Richness: Virtual Social (Second Life)

Low Self-representation, Low Media Richness: collaborative projects (Wiki, Googl doc), Q & A forum (Quora), old discussion groups (Usenet, telnet, BBS), information searching and sharing (Yelp, Eventful, Sourceforge), Zotero

Low Self-representation, Medium Media Richness: YouTube, Flikr, SlateBox (collaborative visualization tool), Spotify, Xiami, LastFm

(There are people on YouTube writing video diaries, which support an even higher self-representation than Facebook. I can only say that there are unlimited possibilities how people use social media, as long as the technologies allow people to do so. Even when the technologies do not support, people will make it possible by improve the technologies. Social media is evolving by people’s need and sometimes random thoughts, not by how they classify the sites initially, but when we still need to classify them, one standard is their initial or main purpose.)

Low Self-representation, High Media Richness: World of Warcraft

TECH621 Assignment 1: 20 Social Media Sites

20 Social Media Sites that I didn’t know before (Some of the descriptions are quoted from Wikipedia):
1. Slatebox.com—Collaborative visualization tool
2. Quora.com—Question & answer forum created, edited and organized by its community of users
3. Foursquare.com—A location-based social networking website based on GPS-enabled mobile devices
4. Friendfeed.com—Real-time feed aggregator/sharing
5. Posterous.com—Blogging and sharing
6. Vimeo.com—Video sharing
7. Sourceforge.net—Find, create, and publish Open Source software for free
8. Friendster.com—previously social networking, and redesigned to social gaming
9. Orkut.com—Social Networking operated by Google, popular in Brazil
10. Eventful.com—Search, track, and share information about events
11. Cyworld.com—Korean social network service
12. LunarStorm.com– Swedish commercial advertisement-financed social networking website for teenagers
13. Skyrock.com—Social networking, blogging, profile, messaging
14. Bebo.com—Blogging
15. Ryze.com—Business networking
16. tribe.net—social networking
17. LiveJournal.com—Global social networking
18. Couchsurfing.com—A volunteer-based worldwide network connecting travelers with members of local communities
19. BlackPlanet.com—African-American community social network site
20. Dogster.com and Catster.com—social network for dog and cat owners

A bit problematic ones:
1. Google offers (beta) http://www.google.com/offers —Offers about places to eat, play, shop and stay. (not sure whether users can contribute to the information yet)

2. Nepster.com—Started as a P2P music sharing service, then turn to a music store because of copyright issue. (not sure whether it’s social media or not now)

3. Amazon Mechanical Turk http://www.mturk.com—Since this one has stimulated lots of discussion in class, so I’d like to list it here. Now I think Amazon Turk may not be fully qualified as a social media site, but it does emphasize and utilize one very important as aspect of Web 2.0 platforms, that is collective intelligence and crowd sourcing–the importance to utilize collective human effort to maintain and improve data quality.

Some social media sites from China:
I was thinking that China’s social media sites are largely controlled by government censorship, so there’s not that much to say about them. However, this turns out just naive thought out of my mind. Just because of the censorship, and people’s desire to express themselves freely, the social media territory is very controversial and is fostering many opportunities too. (reference: China’s Social Network Problem) Here is some examples among the most popular social media sites in China:
1. Renren.com–Social Networking, a Chinese version of Facebook

2. Youku.com–Video sharing, a Chinese version of YouTube

3. Tianya.cn–Internet Forum(news, gossip, etc)

4. Douban.com–Book, movie, music reviews and a lot more

5. SinaWeibo (Weibo.com)–Microblog, a Chinese version of Twitter, but better in my opinion