What Twitter could learn from Facebook when it comes to privacy and noise reduction

 

I’ll start this one with a short excerpt from my recent post Two Twitter Features I’m longing for to reduce the noise:

The fact that Twitter introduced lists is great. But wouldn’t it be even better if you could choose which lists should read the tweet you’re sending out?

A couple of scenarios:

  • I created a list of German speaking Twitterers writing about social media. If I now stumbled across an interesting social media related German link and would like to share it with my followers, it unfortunately doesn’t make much sense to non-German speakers. So I’d like to have the opportunity to share it with this specific German list of my followers.
  • You’ve created a list of real friends, close ones, not the ones from Myspace, and don’t want to share some kind of personal stuff with your whole timeline but just with the folks on your close friends list.

If Twitter had only taken a quick glance at a the privacy options Facebook rolled out roughly half a year ago, the above-named issues would have been solved right away. 

Marshall Kitpatrik from ReadWriteWeb nailed it:

The new Facebook publishing feature lets users share things with just a particular list of their friends. (Or with the public at large if they so choose.) The contexts are un-collapsed. Communication is human again. That’s a very big deal and is the kind of change that could make far more people comfortable sharing far more information about their lives on Facebook. It’s also a feature that no major competitor (namely Twitter) offers.

Facebook may be solving one of the biggest problems in social networking – the unnaturally uncontrollable nature of communication.

As a matter of fact, somebody unfollowed me on Twitter yesterday, telling me that too many of my tweets seemed too extraneous to appear in his timeline, therefore putting me on a list.

So basically, Twitter would just have to copy Facebook’s feature to reduce the noise in our timelines & make communication on Twitter more sophisticated in general. Just by enabling users to choose which lists should see their tweet. I’m not a very skilled coder, but this shouldn’t be rocket-science.

To conclude, I’ve put together a how-to-video of the above-mentioned Facebook feature for those of you who haven’t heard of it yet :

 
 

Two Twitter Features I’m longing for to reduce the noise

 

There are plenty of ways to use Twitter. Some use it in the “old-fashioned” way to stay in touch with their peers by telling each other what they’re doing. Some use it for marketing purposes, others try to be funny or something.

As I’m primarily using it as a source of information, as well as a platform to spread some (hopefully) valuable information, I’d really like to see some Twitter features that actually reduce the noise that is out there. If I’m looking for information, I select Twitterers because of the subjects they’re writing about / interested in. Thus, I don’t really want to know that a guy who tweets about enterprise 2.0 has just caught a bus in time. And I guess some of my followers don’t want to read some of my tweets as well because they just don’t have any value for them. There are two kinds of information I’m referring to in particular:

Tweets in a language my followers don’t understand

They might be helpful for my fellow Krauts, but don’t make any sense to followers who don’t speak any German. So instead of forcing them to learn this incredibly complicated language, I’ve had the idea that it’d be great if Twitter introduced language hashtags as a feature. And I guess it’s not just for German, but for a lot of people that don’t want to nag their mostly English speaking followers with Polish, Turkish or Spanish tweets, just to name a few.

An idea to solve this problem could look as follows:

#de Moin, dieser Tweet ist deutschsprachig und wieso sollten Leute ihn lesen, wenn sie kein Deutsch können?!

In this case, the #de-hashtag would indicate a German tweet. If Twitter now allowed its users to select the languages they actually understand, their timelines could be purged from “foreign” tweets that don’t make any sense to them, indicated by the specific hashtag. This would reduce the noise for Twitterers who don’t understand the language of multilingual users they follow. Other than that, it could also make a 2nd Twitter account superfluous.

Nicole Simon for example, a renowned German Social Media lady uses an English (main) account and a 2nd one for her German tweets. I also gave this solution a try by creating a German account apart from my main Twitter account SMartens83, but it really got tedious. I consequently started tweeting in English and German on my main account again, which does create noise for many of my non-German followers, but is much handier for me at the end of the day, I’m afraid.

Tweeting to specific lists

The fact that Twitter introduced lists is great. But wouldn’t it be even better if you could choose which lists should read the tweet you’re sending out?

A couple of scenarios:

  • I created a list of German speaking Twitterers writing about social media. If I now stumbled across an interesting social media related German link and would like to share it with my followers, it unfortunately doesn’t make much sense to non-German speakers. So I’d like to have the opportunity to share it with this specific German list of my followers.
  • You’ve created a list of real friends, close ones, not the ones from Myspace, and don’t want to share some kind of personal stuff with your whole timeline but just with the folks on your close friends list

These are the features that come to my mind when it comes to reducing the noise I create for my followers. If you have any other ideas or any workarounds to make these ideas a reality without a new Twitter feature, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch on Twitter. But please don’t DM me in Swahili ;-)

 
 

The Iranian Election and Social Media – Aljazeera Interview with Social Media Expert Robin Hamman

 

Fomer BBC Senior Community Producer Robin Hamman, who’s been leading the Social Media Team at Headshift for roughly a year now, was interviewed about Iran’s online media battle by Aljazeera.
As the Iranian election is still a trending topic on Twitter, it’s definitely worth watching, especially because Robin knows what he’s talking about:

A couple of other interesting links on the Iranian election and the impact of (Social) Media:

 
 

You can place Twitter ads in Media Agency’s Turi2 tweets now – Here’s why you shouldn’t

 

German media advertising agency turi2 has announced that you can henceforth place ads in their tweets. They will cost EUR 250 minus 20% direct booking discount.

Having 2.360 followers they probably thought they could give it a try.

Considering US-American Twitter users with 10 to 100 times more followers than turi2, this might be a bit questionable, but is it maybe still worth a try?

No, it’s not!

It seems to me that they’re just trying to exploit the recent (but warrantable) hype around the service Twitter in Germany.
Twitter has been in the Tagesschau, there were articles in the Sueddeutsche and in the Wirtschaftswoche among other print media.

So some people who don’t know anything about online-marketing might think something like “Wow, this is new, this is getting media attention – let’s jump on the bandwagon!”

Negative feedback is already there and there will be more to come

These ‘not internet affine’ people should be warned. First of all, it’s very likely that Turi2 will get negative feedback in the blogosphere, as well as on Twitter. Sascha, for example, already commented that he has unfollowed the turi2 account without further ado.

The Return on Investment of Turi2 Ads is at least questionable

Let’s do some maths (wow, I’d never have thought I’d ever say or write that throughout my life).

Turi2 has 2.360 followers and charges EUR 250 per ad tweet. Let’s disregard the branding effect of that tweet and assume a generous click-rate of 10%.

Having ~450 followers, that’s pretty much the click-rate I am having when I post a more or less interesting link on my Twitter account. My Tweets are also displayed on Facebook though and my followers know that I’m not getting paid to post links ;-)

So that’d be ~ 240 clicks for a Turi2 ad tweet, therefore costing ~ EUR 1,04 per click. At the moment you’re primarily reaching a more or less tech-savvy crowd of followers as Twitter is currently in the early majority phase, if at all.

The #1 position AdWords CPC for the keyword phrase “billig telefonieren”, which roughly translates to “Cheap calls” is currently at EUR 0,76 on Google and EUR 0,96 on Yahoo with ~ 66.550 monthly searches.

So, correct me if I’m wrong, but:

Why should anyone pay EUR 250 for a tweet of a Twitter account with 2.360 followers, where you don’t even know the clickrate?
I wouldn’t. Even if I got the 20% direct booking discount ;)

I’m also quite sure that there will hardly be any multiplier effects – or would you retweet an advertisement?

Looking forward to reading your views on that! I’m ready to be taught otherwise.

Btw: I’m still redesigning my blog from scratch – sorry for the current theme. Should hopefully be done within this week I suppose.

 
 

Maximo Park’s new Album Quicken the Heart and a free Download of the song Wraithlike

 

This blog post is a tribute to my favourite band out there – “Quicken The Heart” together with a DVD and was lucky to be one of the first 1000 purchasers who get a signed copy. A great marketing idea indeed :-)

In addition to that Maximo Park has really gone web2.0. Maximo Park got accounts on the following services:

Thus, as a fan, you got 5 ways to have a conversation with your favourite band. This is actually a prime example of how to leverage social media as a band. Other than that, they also joined a community on their revised website, which is a good idea as well.

The only downturn at the moment is that they are not following back on Twitter, which they should, because you can get much more out of conversations than from just listening to people.

Another goodie is the free download of the new Maximo Park song “Wraithlike” from the new album Quicken the heart, which is due to be relased in May 2009.

If you don’t wanna download it, you can also watch it on YouTube or, due to the power of Social Media, watch the Maximo Park – Wraithlike lyrics and video below:

Maximo Park – Wraithlike Lyrics:

Here’s a song that finally you can understand
A minor statetement meant to counteract the plan
A list of wraithlike things, that quicken the heart

Just another song of faded memory
A raison d’etre for the entire family
I don’t remember it well
I was in love for a spell

Copies of “Sight and Sound”
She left lying around on the floor
She said i’d forget her voice
That’s untrue
It’s just not as sharp as before

Find some transparent words to give security
Another vacant smile that says rely on me
No way, commitment’s a bore
Where have I heard it before?

I could’ve sworn that everything was crystal clear
But I was shackled by a language of ideas
A desert has its own rules
Outside the circle it’s cruel

Copies of “Sight and Sound”
She left lying around on the floor
She said i’d forget her voice
That’s untrue
It’s just not as sharp as before

(voices, voices/ promises, promises)

The final verse is often meant to tie things up
But in this case my morals’ve been most corrupt
I don’t remember it well
I was in love for a spell

Copies of “Sight and Sound”
She left lying around on the floor
She said i’d forget her face
That’s a lie
It’s just not as real as before

Thanks to YouTube user Candave1.