Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Searching for my twitter identity

Ewan of SMS Text News came to see us at Esendex yesterday. One of the subjects we chewed on, over Coke and tomato juice (boy it was a wild afternoon ;-)) was twitter.

I've followed twitter for a while and been intrigued, if not wowed, by the service it provides. "What are you doing?" is a question potentially of interest to a some people I know but in the most part, they're probably not interested in everything.

I decided to try and start using it last week and was soon tweeting about a trip to Legoland with the family, the triathlon I competed in, an 'interesting' thought on mobile I'd had. I've setup twitterfeed so whenever I post a blog entry that appears as well. I dropped the widget on my blog and sat back, proud that I was embracing the latest in social networking, communication, thingies. But then I looked again and realised it was just noise.

It was a stream of consciousness with no theme and questionable relevance to it's audience.

People I know in the industry and with whom I discuss trends, happenings, etc are likely to be interested in my thoughts on my trip to Global Messaging 2008 as I am with their's. If we're to shape an industry this kind of collective knowledge sharing is fantastic. Unfortunately most of those guys don't care about me building part of record breaking Lego tower. In fact, having that on my stream is a positive hinderance when we're all following multiple people and trying to discern what everyone's doing relative to the mobile industry.

Likewise my mates with whom I cycle and race with will want to know of my racing exploits. My Mum want's to know about Legoland and her grandchildren. That is assuming that these groups actually use twitter, given most of them aren't geeks that is unlikely, but that should probably be the subject of another post.

So it comes down to a question of identity. What should my twitter persona be? Do I need multiple twitter personas? What if I want to overlap those personas?

The ideal scenario for me would be to be able to categorise my tweets, set up sub-micro feeds. Your own categories could be presented as a optional set of check boxes on the update page. The main feed would still work, but these categories would be presented as sub feeds.

SMS input could still be preserved by twitter providing multiple text in numbers that can be mapped to your mobile number and category. Meaning, multiple people could use the same numbers with different categories. They'd only need as many numbers as the maximum number of sub-feeds people would need/be allowed. I can't imagine it costing them any more money.

However, for me this would only solve part of the problem. A big question is. "Is the world tweeting about something of relevance to me?". It's all very well if the people you follow know about something but the world is a big place. The new iPhone goes on sale and they're all broken, my customers are complaining about my services, a band I desperately want to see have just released tickets for some surprise gigs, there's an impromptu demonstration about human rights abuses happening NOW. All of things would really require a common syntax, semantic tagging, to be accurate. Something I'm chewing on and will post on later.

So, for the moment is going to become an extension of this blog, alongside BlogIt and the good old fashioned web browser. Another means of registering and diseminating my thoughts and views on Esendex and the industry as a whole. Let me know.

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