One of the rare cases where I will encourage you to read the comments.
As a side note, this would be a good opportunity for Twitter to look at a mute feature, which roughly would be the new blocking behavior, just implemented alongside the block feature that forces an unfollow. Third-party apps have been doing this for a long time; it seems to make sense to give people the ability to curate their feeds more carefully if someone is being loud (like live-tweeting sports, for instance).
I’m not a huge fan of Twitter’s new blocking scheme. These two posts do a great job of explaining why:
Blocking, even on a public account, is surprisingly effective at dealing with low-grade harassment. Most harassers just aren’t that invested in the person they are bothering, and putting up the tiniest roadblock will make them move on to their next target. I had this conversation with a Googler shortly after G+ shipped, as its blocking behavior was at the time the same as the new Twitter behavior. I have no idea what it is now because I hate G+ and don’t use it, and I realized that this may be unintuitive to someone who hasn’t experienced harassment before – but trust me, as someone who has, it works a lot of the time. Which is great!
Unfortunately, by enacting this policy change, more people will simply lock their accounts to bring back the capabilities of the “old” block. Not exactly the transparency Twitter is hoping for.
Here’s advice virtually nobody in the Charleston area will take:
Don't drink #chs
— HUMAROID (@plurcx) May 1, 2013
Back in 2008, Charleston Twitter users began to use
#chs as a hashtag to talk about everything relating to the city, what’s going on, traffic, etc. We expanded on this in 2009 and it’s been pretty successful.
Then, high school students — many of which who go to schools starting with the letter ‘C’ — caught on to Twitter and started hashtagging their stuff with…
#chs. Hilarity and frustration on the part of Charlestonians ensued. A while ago, there was an experiment with
#chas that didn’t really pan out either because it, too, was crowded. So, we’ve hung tough with
#chs, high schoolers and all. Occasionally, the mix produces some great, out-of-context tweets like the one embedded here.
In the end, I didn’t have to go very far to find a Mac-native Twitter client that was capable of real-time User Streams; there was one already in my Applications folder: Echofon for Mac. I had forgotten that they had opened User Streams up to every user (and not just paid Pro users). After self-updating, User Streams was turned on for all my accounts. Echofon is tiny and sits out of the way — really what I want from a Twitter client (though interface-wise I still think the enigmatic Tweetie for Mac wins). TweetDeck is just too immersive for passive Twitter usage, which is more of my mode these days.
For as much as I think TweetDeck is an excellent client, I would still far prefer to run a Mac-native client rather than an Adobe AIR one (and please note that I felt the same way when I was on Windows primarily — this is not an Apple vs. Adobe hit). There are some great native Mac clients out there, but I’ve yet to find one running User Streams for real-time Tweets, and my expectations now outpace the periodic refresh that most clients offer. (It’s why I have had a very love-hate relationship with Tweetie for Mac.) Are you running one? Did you write one? I’d love to hear about it.
One feature of New Twitter is that it puts your new followers right in plain view on your home timeline. As someone who doesn’t get new follower e-mail anymore, this is a handy feature. However, it’s just been damned disappointing how many accounts follow me that are either pure spam or just a feed of links to a blog. Come on people. You can do better than that.
Designers are doing their best to adapt to New Twitter, but I still think trying to pin down a background image that would be hidden on many small-screen laptop/netbook resolutions is going to be a losing battle in the long run. Sure, do something cool and creative back there, but don’t rely on the image for conveying critical information. That’s what the Bio field is for.
I along with a lot of people got the new Twitter Web interface yesterday afternoon. It’s a pretty radical departure from the Web interface I’ve gotten to know over the last few years. While I do spend plenty of time in a client (lately TweetDeck User Streams Edition), I do like to use the website to run quick searches and take casual glances at Twitter (as TweetDeck can be an attention suck). Here are a few of my thoughts on the new Twitter Web interface.
I’ve been fortunate enough to test the TweetDeck User Streams Preview in a private beta over the last month, which enables TweetDeck to display a constant flow of Tweets, unencumbered by API rate limiting, in true real time. Last week User Streams entered public beta, and if you haven’t tried it, do it. Real-time Twitter is something Twitter veterans haven’t seen since May of 2008, and a vast majority of Twitter users have never really experienced it (unless they were among the few to turn on SMS updates for everybody). While this isn’t honest-to-God Twitter over XMPP (though the Streaming API will make such an application possible once more), this isn’t a bad alternative. Give it a try and let me know if you are overwhelmed — I know I was at first (I follow over 1700 people and bots on Twitter).