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Posts Tagged ‘twitter noise’

Twitter Needs A Mute Button

Twitter has a problem with noise.

That’s right, I said it. Somebody had to say it. It needed to be said. But, of course, this is hardly a revelation. Twitter has always had a problem with noise, even back when it was just nine people and Stephen Fry. Nobody can possibly please everybody all of the time, and there are occasions when even your biggest fan has had just about enough of you… for that day.

But what’s the solution?

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On Twitter, You Are Not In Traffic – You Are Traffic

Be one of many, not many of one.

That checkbox that says ‘send updates to Twitter’? I get it. It’s so tempting. So convenient.

And so unnecessary, and so noisy.

If you’re not part of the signal, you’re part of the noise. And the noise is a LOT bigger, and likely always will be. But it’s a bit like anything else that seems overwhelming and not really your problem – you can make a difference, however small. Because all those teeny, tiny differences add up to a much greater whole. All of a sudden, there’s much less of a problem.

Yes, the perception of noise is entirely relative, but taking that stance is a real easy way to shirk responsibility. Deep down, we each know our contributory value – our ‘internet worth’, if you will. And if you don’t, Twitter will tell you.

Bottom line? If this is your idea of an acceptable journey on Twitter, then you need to think about taking a different route.

my6sense Announces Chrome Browser Extension For Twitter.com To Help You Cut Through The Noise

Regular readers of Twittercism will know that I bang on about Twitter’s signal-to-noise ratio quite a bit. Unless you invest in optimising your Twitter network, it’s all too easy to let that clutter overwhelm you.

Help is on the way. my6sense have announced the introduction of a new Chrome Web browser extension for Twitter.com – cutting through the noise of millions of updates to find the most relevant items for every individual, all without leaving the homepage.

The Chrome extension adds a dedicated ‘my6sense’ tab to the navigation bar on Twitter.com, leveraging my6sense’s Attention API. This new release adds to the company’s product portfolio which includes dedicated applications for both iPhone and Android.

And don’t worry – it’s free.

“my6sense is the proven leader for this new world of personalized streams,” said Barak Hachamov, Founder & CEO, my6sense.”With our new Chrome browser extension for Twitter.com, we are bringing the best of the real-time Web to loyal Twitter users who are looking to gain even more benefit from one of the world’s most successful new services. The new my6sense for Twitter.com carves through the day’s updates from friends and brands like a knife, helping make Twitter.com an even clearer destination for instant and relevant news and social updates.”

Highlights:

Keeping in tradition with my6sense’s market leading products on the mobile platforms, the new my6sense for Twitter.com ranks items due to users’ implicit behaviour in the site, intuitively sensing the importance of each update to the stream for each user, and helping make content consumption of Twitter personal in a way never previously achieved.

The extension, scouring deep within the linked content, looking well beyond the 140 characters of the tweet, or the title of an article, rapidly learns to prioritize content thanks to many signals from the user, including tweets and links read, replied to, favorited, retweeted, and the tweets’ metadata, including source, time, relative time and many other factors – enabling fast on-boarding of users and rapid acceleration for new users to the my6sense platform.

Content viewed in the my6sense tab for Twitter.com also includes a deep preview of the embedded linkage within the site and  recognition of rich media. my6sense automatically recognizes and expands the overwhelming majority of top URL shorteners used on Twitter.com by the service’s fast growing user base.

The delivery of the world’s first natively integrated relevancy engine for Twitter eliminates users’ feeling that they are missing updates in their stream, or that Twitter updates from those they follow are off-topic and irrelevant. Meanwhile, users’ activity on Twitter.com enhances the service’s ability to provide them on-topic data, and the reverse – rewarding frequent users who regularly use the service.

I’ve loaded it up and had a play around, and it looks very promising. As above, the extension learns over time as you educate it with your Twitter.com interactions, so things should only get better. If you’re finding noise on Twitter an issue, this is definitely worth a look.

"Baseball, Baseball, Baseball!" (AKA, Twitter, Please Give Me A Frickin' Filter)

I have a main list on Twitter called influencers. It’s a group of people whose tweets I don’t like to miss – tech pundits and blogs, VCs, news feeds, Twitter personnel, one or two comedians, and a couple of novelty accounts. Each has an impact on Twitter, both for me personally and (to a greater or lesser extent) the entire ecosystem.

It’s an eternal work in progress, and people come and go from the list all the time.

However, in the last couple of days the list has seen a major purge. Why? Baseball.

Baseball, baseball, baseball.

I don’t care about baseball. I don’t care about the World Series, and I don’t care about the San Francisco Giants.

However, it seems that a lot of tech folk do care about baseball, do care about the World Series, and do care (a lot) about the SF Giants, because suddenly that’s all they seem capable of talking about. Which is fine – everybody should feel free to tweet about what they like. That isn’t the point of this article.

All this baseball talk does, however, present me with something of a dilemma – either my ‘influencers’ list is clogged up with useless, personal opinion tweets about baseball, or I have to remove a lot of people.

I went with the latter. Now, I have no baseball updates, but it means I’ll have to monitor the folk I’ve removed to re-list them again once all this baseball talk is over. Well, some of them at least. You’d be amazed how many players in the tech world have the most mundane, ‘this is what I had for breakfast’ personal Twitter feeds on the planet. And lots of them work at Twitter. Some of them even run Twitter.

This would all be a lot easier if Twitter allowed me to use permanent filters.

Yes, I know TweetDeck and some other apps have filters, but they’re very superficial. The tweets you’ve filtered out are still being delivered to you by Twitter, and simply hidden by the app. I don’t want that. I want filters I can set that mean I’ll not only never see the content in question, but that it won’t even be sent to me by Twitter.

In a way, I want to be able to do a Gmail and mark tweets as spam. Or, for want of a better explanation, mark tweets as irrelevant. Anything filtered out would go into the folder of irrelevancy, just in case Twitter screwed something up. Which, of course, it would for the first few weeks, up until it had enough information to learn exactly what I didn’t want to see.

And taking another cue from Google’s excellent email service, I’d also like to be able to mark tweets as important. These tags would be carefully monitored by Twitter and it would do its very best to make sure I never missed anything that was vital to my wellbeing, perhaps by using a version of Friendfeed’s super-convenient Best of Day functionality. This could be coupled alongside a take on Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, so that it learns what I expect and, more importantly, want to see in my stream. These important tweets would float to the top, guaranteeing a moment of my time. Once read, I click a little tickbox and they drop back into the abyss.

Hashtags are not the answer, as they’re easily gamed and, to be honest, mostly full of irrelevant nonsense, and/or good, old-fashioned mentals.

I don’t want to mark users as important, because not everything any one person says is interesting 24/7. This is a fact of life. But certain types of content can be interesting 24/7, and that’s what I want Twitter to do for me.

In fact, I want it to bend over backwards to try and do this for me. Me, me, me. I’m the important one in this relationship. I don’t want some generic answer, like trending topics. I want a personalised experience. YOU want a personalised experience. We all do. Why compromise?

Important Note: As usual, I’m not looking for apps or external services that mirror this functionality. I realise some of these things already exist elsewhere, but as I’ve said before – if I have to leave Twitter to enjoy Twitter, then Twitter has failed. I want everything built into the roots of the service, so that Twitter.com and any client I would like to use has that functionality available from the core.

I realise that user-led filters can put a lot of strain on the system, but there has to be a better way to improve the noise/signal ratio in my stream without having to remove and/or unfollow somebody because they’re going massively off-topic for a few days, or even weeks.

Yes, I suppose we could all simply ‘get over it’, but that’s not the way most of us like to live our lives. Moreover, once you start getting over things and just accept mediocrity and poorly-conceived functionality as ‘the way it is’, it won’t be too long before you start looking somewhere else. Tweet relevancy is an absolutely vital part of the Twitter experience. But it has to be relevant to me.