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Strong opinions, weakly held

Twitter everlasting

Tyler Cowen on Twitter:

Think of it as Google focused on one time-slice and giving the weight of crowd opinion no more than linear force. If an opinion is more common it will receive more tweets but otherwise your search brings up the splat, ordered by chronology, and thus it is more idiosyncratic than the first Google search page and often in a good way.

What’s interesting to me about Twitter is that it is different things to different people. Some people get lots of value from Twitter search — I hardly use it. But I find Twitter to be invaluable as a place to sound out ideas and keep in touch with people in my network. And I have very good luck seeking advice on Twitter.

4 Comments

  1. Twitter, the big public face, not my individual timeline, reminds me of that fateful exchange in Gladiator:

    Gracchus: Fear and wonder, a powerful combination.

    Falco: You really think people are going to be seduced by that?

    Gracchus: I think he knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they’ll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the senate, it’s the sand of the coliseum. He’ll bring them death – and they will love him for it.

    Twitter is ‘the mob.’

  2. Twitter is about version 0.1 of something much more useful. Which is why I find the billion-dollar valuation so funny – the programming for Twitter could be replicated in a day or two. The scaling is more expensive but the kind of thing that is well-understood by now. The user base will move to the next better thing in a heartbeat.

    I use it but I would be hard pressed to describe exactly what I find useful. Facebook does a lot of the same stuff only better, but I dislike Facebook’s default-private settings – I think it’s much healthier to have conversations in public – and control over your data.

    The better future would be a distributed system with no single point of failure, with widespread data replication. Such systems are hard to make money out of though, so they don’t tend to be produced by venture-funded organizations.

  3. I agree with that. Twitter as a medium is interesting. twitter.com, less so. The parts of Facebook that are Twitter-like are interesting, but the rest of the cruft that come along render Facebook almost unusable for me.

  4. Jacob,

    Replicated in a day or two? No. Sorry, but you are just plain wrong.

    Have you even read the story of Stackoverflow?

    http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=679931

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