Flurry of tweets in FriendFeed

fflogo.jpgtwitter.pngA couple people have complained about the sheer volume of Twitter posts on FriendFeed. Stii has joined a growing call for people to remove Twitter from their FriendFeed profiles to ease the constant stream of content. I’d tell you who else has echoed that call except I would have to wade through about 157 000 tweets from the last few days alone.

Although I can understand the frustration many people share when all they want to do is catch up on the meat of their friends’ postings and interactions on the social web through aggregators like FriendFeed, I don’t share the call for Twitter to be removed from these aggregators. I don’t think that adding your Twitter stream to these lifestreams is the problem. Twitter posts are part of your social media experience and have as much a place in there as any other feed.

The problem is more how Twitter is being used. Twitter is not a chat client. It may have a way to respond to tweets and even have a loose conversation but that is not its purpose. We (and I include myself here to a degree) have been using it as a kind of IRC and I can’t help but wonder if everyone else who has the misfortune to be following prolific Twitter users is tempted to just cancel his/her account altogether when a mad flurry of inane comments and chirps (excuse the pun) start flooding the Twitter stream.

If you want to ease the flow in lifestream services like FriendFeed then the solution is pretty simple: stop using Twitter like a chat service. It doesn’t work well as a chat service at all. One big reason is that replies are not threaded so if you are not watching Twitter religiously you will miss part of the conversation. Instead what you have is a virtual field of soapboxes where people shout at each other from across the room, hoping that someone will respond and some noisy conversation might just take shape. If you want to have a conversation, Twitter is really not the best place for it. Try Jaiku, Pownce or even the comments sections in FriendFeed, Pulse or some other lifestream service. Or (and here is a crazy idea), have a group chat using Skype, Google Talk or something similar.

Like … hello?!

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