Tweetstorms

6 thoughts
last posted July 7, 2014, 1:47 p.m.
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ThoughtStreams provides a better means of curating and organizing tweet storm-like posts and the new presentation mode feature provides a much more interesting way to view/flip through them.

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tweetstorms solved:

  1. Create a thoughtstreams account.
  2. Pour your thoughts into a stream.
  3. tweet the stream.
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When I see tweets like this it's hard to not respond that ThoughtStreams has been a "a blogging platform with several unique characteristics" for the past two years. Yet, ThoughStreams is and will be capable of so many more interesting things than being able to handle tweetstorms.

The thing that I can't stand is all the ass kissing and attempts to garner the attention of Andreessen and others on twitter when they start musing on something that could be considered "a thing". Some of the followup tweets are thought provoking and interesting, but others from people claiming to have a solution for the problem being mused about can remind me of Arnold Horshack raising his hand in class.

I have no problem with people pushing their ideas through social media, we do our fair share of it for sure, but there's a balance. You don't want to seem desperate. In the case of ThoughtStreams, you also don't want to pigeonhole it as a solution for a specific problem when it's capable of so much more. You'd prefer to have your site, service or solution speak for itself.

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Looks as though the meaning of tweetstorm has evolved a bit over the past few years. This 2012 post refers to tweetstorms as a form of digital activism.

While the more recent definition is essentially the same, i.e. that a tweetstorm is a collection of related posts on a given thought or topic, in the context of the article, it was more about trying to flood the twittersphere with hundreds if not thousands of related posts on a topic to raise awareness around something. This again, is something that ThoughtStreams handles naturally, and without people feeling as though they've been spammed.

The more recent definition and use of the tweetstorm by people like Marc Andreessen and Fred Wilson really just seems to be more about working around the inherent limitation of what you can express within a single 140 character post.

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Tweetstorms an investment opportunity? I'm not convinced that it is. It's a compelling twitter feature sure, but unless it were included as part of a broader strategy around re-thinking platforms like twitter, it doesn't strike me as something that you could or would want to build an entire business around.

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The multi-part tweet, or "tweetstorm" as it's been called seems to be creating a fair bit of debate lately on twitter. While ThoughStreams wasn't developed to specifically deal with this issue, it does handle this problem quite naturally. The more interesting thing I think is that a handful of features aside, emulating (the basics) of a service like twitter would represent just a subset of planned ThoughtStreams functionality.

I don't know that adapting twitter to allow for multi-part posts fits well within the design assumptions of the service and the way people like to use it or the way that it was intended to be used. I'm not saying that they couldn't find an elegant solution to handling tweetstorms, I just think that if there are a lot of additional things like tweetstorms added to twitter, the original intent and spirit of the service may end up being lost which is something I don't think they can afford to do. While twitter adoption rates are still going up, and it's still a very powerful platform, there are still enough people in the world that "don't get it" which could ultimately limit growth. Dramatically altering the use cases, and adding levels of complexity only creates further barriers to adoption.

The other thing that you see when reading about tweetstorms is that many twitter purists seem to view the tweetstorm as spam. Unless a solution can be found that can quiet that perception, continued proliferation of the tweetstorm may turn some people off to the service entirely.

Granted, ThoughtStreams has its own features to implement and problems to solve, which it will through the constant iteration that we've been doing on the site. However, it's important to note that while ThoughtStreams can handle a lot of things that twitter can't, it was never intended to be any sort of direct response to twitter, but rather a personal publishing platform that represented something new and different between the microblog and the blog that would enable users to do more interesting things with thoughts, observations and ideas.

The really great thing about those of you who have decided to become early adopters of ThoughtStreams, is that you get to help us discover its full potential and help us shape what it can truly become.