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October 02, 2008

After the Twitter Blackout, part 2: What are "Best Practices" Now, Two Months Later?

Today is the 2 month anniversary of when Twitter accidentally deleted my account. Actually, my first post on this was shortly after midnight on August 2nd, so the account was deleted on the first. Here is the background for those who missed this.

Twitter Banned Who?: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/etechlib/archives/2008/08/twitter_banned.html

Twitter "Banning", Day Two Report: Social Media Troubleshooting: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/etechlib/archives/2008/08/twitter_banning.html

After the Twitter Blackout, part 1: Lessons Learned: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/etechlib/archives/2008/08/lessons_learned.html

I find, even two months later, that this event had a large impact on my life and how I work. I grieve that even a month after the original event, there were people still suffering the same problems. One individual had to wait over three weeks to get Twitter to restore their account, if you can even believe that.

Get Satisfaction: Twitter: Account Deleted/banned with no reasoning: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/etechlib/archives/2008/08/lessons_learned.html

At the time my account was deleted, there were several other accounts deleted. There was a fairly substantial community outcry and expression of concern. Many people offered suggestions and asked for Twitter to make visible changes in how it handles community support. Has Twitter addressed the concerns? Not as far as I know. Maybe they did, but it was done quietly? One of the most often repeated requests was for Twitter to post information about this problem and its solution to the blog. This certainly never happened.

As a result, my personal engagement with Twitter has changed. Frankly, I don't trust them anymore. I still Twitter, but I am not as enthusiastic about it, I'm not there as often. The relationship has been wounded, and the wound seems to be totally one-sided. So, what am I doing about it?

I have changed how I microblog — I have become diverse, and work aggressively to be present in a variety of microblogging platforms. I am pfanderson in Twitter, Plurk, identi.ca, Pownce, Jaiku and Friendfeed. I spend time in each of them, in roughly that order.

Web 2.0: Microblogging Web 2.0: Microblogging
Web 2.0: Microblogging Web 2.0: Microblogging
Web 2.0: Microblogging Web 2.0: Microblogging - FriendFeed

How am I maintaining a presence if I don't visit them equally often? I'm using Ping.fm.

Web 2.0: Microblogging

Ping allows me to post simultaneously to several locations, and allows me to customize groups or subsets of places I want to post at the same time, as well as allowing individual posts. Advantages are many:
- present in multiple spaces;
- posts are archived in many places as well as in Ping;
- time efficiencies;
- convenience.

Twitter, Plurk and Identi.ca I try to check daily or more often. Pownce and Jaiku I visit monthly or when I receive a notice that someone has commented or replied to something I've posted there. I wish I could be equally present in all, but I just don't have the time to manage it. If anyone else has worked out a good approach, let me know. I'd love some ideas on best practices for microblogging.

Some people really dislike the approach I've taken.

Web 2.0: Microblogging

It is a bit like being a tourist or summer resident in a beach property. You engage with the community, but only three months of the year. The relationships are not as rich, as intense, as deep.

Aside from microblogging itself, I am relocating my blog to a platform that will allow me to archive my tweets as blogposts. This blog is currently in a branded institutional Movable Type platform. It lacks a lot of functionality, which I have tolerated specifically to be associated with our institutional brand. No longer. It is costing me too much. I will be switching this blog to WordPress sometime over the next month, I hope.

The really big thing for me out of all this is FriendFeed. I am starting to love it kind of like I used to love Twitter, but ... I am reluctant to trust any one platform at this point.

I am sad about it, a bit. Excited to have learned these new tools and strategies. I miss being deeply engaged with Twitter, marinating in it the way I used to. I have found new communities in the other spaces. I wish all my Twitter friends were in FriendFeed or the other spaces, so I could really easily engage as richly and deeply as I used to. It is kind of like moving to a new town. You miss your friends, but you make new friends.

I welcome other thoughts and suggestions. Exploring widely ...

Posted by pfa at October 2, 2008 08:59 AM

Comments

i think my twitter account was suspended around the same time as yours. i thought about dissing twitter too but have found that i'm too attached to it. at least right now. you bring up some v. creative ways to keep up your online presence by not putting all your eggs in one basket. thanks for the post!

Posted by: shamsha.damani@gmail.com at October 18, 2008 01:14 AM

Thanks! I have mixed feelings about all this. I am trying, but like you I still really really love the Twitter community. I don't really want to bad mouth Twitter, but I very much more want them to do better with community service and management. I hoped they would learn from this series of events. I still hope they will, but am afraid it may be too late for the long term survival of the service. For example, other companies comment on blog posts about their service, such as this one and my earlier ones. Where are the Twitter reps? According to other bloggers, they actually pride themselves on having NO community managers. Not so good ...

Posted by: pfa at October 18, 2008 05:30 AM

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