What Twitter Needs (penalties and props)

Courtesy Hugh MacLeod.

Influenced largely by Hugh MacLeod, I've grown more expressive—and experimental—with Twitter. I'm more likely to preview new ideas, promote the work of others, or just get wonky. I've seen mutations happen with other friends too: some share tiny music and movie reviews, others become increasingly dada. It's all good—except of course when it isn't.

Now I have my own opinions about how compelling my friends messages are, but I have very little data about their opinions of mine. I'm sometimes fear that I'm going to turn off my good friends by getting too pushy, too esoteric, too frequent—too anything, really. Meanwhile, my friends have no polite recourse. They have a very stark choice: put up with tedious missives or dial down my twitters to the point that they stop following me.

I don't want anyone following me to have to live with this choice. That's why Twitter needs a lightweight, anonymous feedback system. Two simple responses—penalty and prop(er)—would allow people to feedback to their friends in a gentle and anonymous way twitter messages that are more attractive or less attractive.

This would be a great way for Twitter to complete the sentence.

Read also: Hugh on Twitter.

Postscript: You could certainly abstract this further to any kind of web publication that's focused on an intimate audience, including photos and video and the like.

Post-postscript: Watching the gooftastic audience in Ryan Adams live special on MHD, you really understand his apparent audience hostility.

Posted February 26, 2008.