Pas capté Twitter? [fr]

[en] A round-up of the common arguments raised against Twitter: "the whole world doesn't find your breakfasting habits fascinating, you know," "what do you care that your friends are watching a football match" (totally missing what human relationships are about, and ambient intimacy), "it just inflates your ego" (hey! talking about oneself has nothing to do with the moralistic concept of "ego"), and even, "it's lame!"

Je crois que je vais commencer à recenser les “arguments” avancés par ceux qui ne “captent” pas Twitter (filez lire mon ancien billet si vous voulez [des explications sur Twitter](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/15/twitter-cest-quoi-explications/)):

#### 1- C’est pas intéressant! Ça vole pas haut! On s’en fout!

> Vous vous trouvez sur un yacht à Minorque? (c’est en Espagne, pas à Malte) Vous pensez que ca peut intéresser le monde entier?

*[Etienne Maujean](http://e-maujean.net/?p=30)*

> Parce que je ne vois pas l’intérêt pour l’ensemble du monde de savoir que :

> “Houla…chui fatigué !”

*[Thomas Bonnin](http://www.toile-filante.com/2007/03/18/la-vague-twitter-pour-ou-contre/)*

“les gens envoient des messages débiles pensant que ça intéresse le monde entier” — euh, non, je vous rassure, je ne crois pas que mon grapefruit au p’tit déj intéresse le monde entier; par contre, mettre cette info publiquement à disposition est le moyen le plus simple de m’assurer que les personnes que ça intéresse effectivement y ont accès (*pull* vs. *push*, vous vous souvenez?)

Au risque de me répéter (parce que c’est valable pour les blogs, et plutôt trois fois qu’une): **ce n’est pas parce qu’on publie quelque chose sur internet et que le monde entier *peut* le voir qu’on pense nécessairement que *ça va intéresser tout le monde*.**

#### 2- Savoir ce que font ses amis, ça avance à rien!

> Bon, les fans (un exemple ici) disent que ce service donne un aperçu de la journée type de vos proches. “Ah Jean-Marc regarde le match de foot? Moi aussi c’est rigolo!” Ca va loin.

*[Etienne Maujean](http://e-maujean.net/?p=30)*

Un seul exemple parce que j’ai la flemme de chercher plus loin, mais cet argument est régulièrement avancé par ceux qui visiblement n’ont pas pris le temps (vu ce qui précède, je ne vais pas jeter la pierre) de comprendre comment fonctionnent les relations humaines et l’intimité en particulier. Ce sont “les petites choses de la vie” qui font les gens proches. Et [l’intimité ambiante](http://www.disambiguity.com/ambient-intimacy/ “Article à lire impérativement.”) qu’apporte Twitter peut aider à garder vivants ou même renforcer les liens distendus par la distance (c’est moche ou poétique, à vous de choisir). Certains l’ont compris:

> Après d’immense réflexion (il n’a que les cons qui ne change pas d’avis) j’ai peut-être trouvé une utilité à Twitter : J’habite à quelques milliers de kilomètres de ma famille et amis et Twitter pourrait me permettre d’être un peu plus en contact avec eux.

*[Thomas Bonnin](http://www.toile-filante.com/2007/03/18/la-vague-twitter-pour-ou-contre/)*

Ou mieux (il a parfaitement pigé):

> Il est par contre indéniable que ce qui est présent est du contenu personnel. Je le vois surtout comme une sorte de construction permanente d’un background, une certaine manière de continuer à oxygéner l’atmosphère qui nous entoure entre deux absences.

*[Tam Kien Duong](http://cendres.net/websomathic/2007/03/23/33-twitter-la-diffeacuterence-entre-la-technique-et-lusage)*

#### 3- Parler de soi, c’est lustrer le poil de son ego.

Un splendide exemple de cette façon de penser chez Frédéric (que j’apprécie au passage, même s’il ne peut pas saquer Twitter):

> On aura beau dire, même si la principale fonction du web 2.0 semble être d’exacerber l’ego par ailleurs démesuré de ceux qui s’y affichent, certains services à première vue gadgets ont fini grâce aux mashups à trouver une certaine utilité. Jusqu’à l’arrivée de Twitter.

*[Frédéric de Villamil](http://fredericdevillamil.com/twitter-la-branlette-2-0)*

Attends… parler de soi, c’est de l’*ego*? Navrée, mais ça sent les grands relents de moralisme genre “les autres d’abord, et se mettre en avant c’est mal”. On a besoin de se raconter. C’est comme ça qu’on se construit, et qu’on construit *avec* autrui. Ce n’est pas de *l’ego*. Alors oui, Twitter c’est parler de soi — tout comme on parle de soi quand on va boire un pot avec un ami (enfin j’espère un peu quand même) ou quand on rédige une opinion personnelle sur son blog.

Donc merci, mon ego se porte très bien (et on sait d’ailleurs que toute cette histoire d’*ego* n’est qu’un faux problème, car ceux qui semblent en avoir le plus sont en fait ceux qui ont le plus de problèmes d’estime de soi — un peu de sympathie pour son prochain donc) et si raconter à ceux qui veulent l’entendre que [je cherche mon chat](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/52760052), que j’ai [trouvé un acheteur](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/60028912) pour ma voiture, ou que [je mange du grapefruit](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/25578041) pour le petit déjeuner, qu’est-ce que ça peut bien vous faire?

Version courte: c’est pas parce qu’on parle de soi qu’on a la tête qui passe plus les portes. Grumph.

D’ailleurs, on en revient, la preuve:

> La première fois que j’ai entendu parler de twitter j’ai trouvé ça simplement ridicule, comme une autre façon de se tripoter le nombril l’air de rien […] La morale de l’histoire : Ne jamais juger définitivement un outils avant de l’avoir utiliser et observer comment les autres s’en servent concrètement. Les objets ne sont seulement pas que ce qu’ils sont mais aussi ce qu’on en fait (et pas seulement non plus ce qu’on devrait en faire) !

*[Tam Kien Duong](http://cendres.net/websomathic/2007/03/23/33-twitter-la-diffeacuterence-entre-la-technique-et-lusage)*

#### 4- C’est nul! C’est naze!

Il y a aussi ceux qui n’essaient même pas vraiment d’argumenter, se contentant de clamer l’évidence que c’est vraiment trop nul, comme service:

> Tout le monde ne parle plus que de Twitter, “The service web 2.0″ à la mode… Mais c’est vraiment naze!

> J’ai testé l’application il y a quelques jours et j’ai vraiment mis du temps pour comprendre à quoi cela servait. De ce que j’en ai capté vous pouvez informer le monde et éventuellement vos amis (puisque c’est un réseau social) de ce que vous faite à l’instant T grâce à des phrases courtes (très courte même), sans image, sans liens. Le problème est que cela ne vole vraiment pas haut dans le genre “ah je suis fatigué” ou “je vais aller me coucher”, très intéressant donc.

*[Henri Labarre](http://www.2803.com/2007/03/16/twitter-un-service-tendance-vraiment-naze/)*

(Bon, on devine quand même un semblant de “ça intéresse pas le monde entier, vos conneries” et “savoir que ses amis vont se coucher ça n’apporte rien”. Je suis peut-être un peu dure en disant que c’est complètement dénué d’argumentation.)

#### Liens

Pour les râleurs, voyez:

– [Touiteur!](http://e-maujean.net/?p=30)
– [Twitter, la branlette 2.0](http://fredericdevillamil.com/twitter-la-branlette-2-0)
– [La vague Twitter, pour ou contre?](http://www.toile-filante.com/2007/03/18/la-vague-twitter-pour-ou-contre/)
– [Twitter un service “tendance” vraiment naze](http://www.2803.com/2007/03/16/twitter-un-service-tendance-vraiment-naze/) (certains [commentaires](http://www.2803.com/2007/03/16/twitter-un-service-tendance-vraiment-naze/#comments) valent aussi le détour)

Pour une critique constructive:

– [Is Twitter TOO good?](http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/is_twitter_too_.html)

Similar Posts:

Groups, Groupings, and Taming My Buddy List. And Twitter. [en]

[fr] Long, long billet sur la notion de "groupe" en social software et les différentes formes que peut prendre cette notion. Trop raide pour traduire ou résumer, navrée.

*Warning: very long post. Not proof-read. Hope it makes sense. Mostly dictated, so if you see funky stuff that isn’t a typo and really looks weird, try reading out loud.*

“Group” is a word which is thrown around a lot in the social software/social tools/social networking/social thingy arena. Flickr has [groups](http://www.flickr.com/help/groups/). Google has [groups](http://groups.google.com/). So does [Yahoo!](http://groups.yahoo.com/), of course. CoComment is [working on groups](http://raphaelbriner.electronlibre.com/?p=89#comment-42) (and have been for ages). Twitter is [being advised against them](http://twitter.com/missrogue/statuses/49364082) (I [second that](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/49408962)). [YouTube](http://www.youtube.com/groups_main), [Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=17), [Orkut](http://www.orkut.com/), [Last.fm](http://www.last.fm/help/faq/?category=Groups#1012) — “groups” seem to be a compulsory feature for any 2.0 service today. It’s very natural, too: we need to break down large communities in order to be able to function within them (see [The Dunbar Number as a Limit to Group Sizes](http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2004/03/the_dunbar_numb.html) for some thinking around this issue). Unfortunately, it’s also a result of all the 2.0 “community” buzz stuff floating around: “implement groups, and your tool/app will have communities!”

Like many overused words, “group” is actually used in different contexts to mean different things, and this brings about quite a lot of confusion. “How to implement groups” is a theme that I’ve had a few exchanges about with both the coComment and the Twitter people, and I think it’s an impossible question to answer unless we have cleared up the vocabulary a little to start with.

I would like to distinguish between three types of “groups”, which are often all called “groups”, but which have different characteristics and different uses:

– “groups” or “shared-interest groups” (“Flickr-groups”)
– “groupings” (“ad hoc assemblages of people with similar interests” — Stowe Boyd)
– “contact groups” (organising my contacts)

#### Shared-Interest Groups

This is usually what people think of when they say “group”. It is a set of people who come together to (hopefully) form a community around a shared interest. Usually, one chooses to join such groups. Belonging to the group gives you some kind of special connection to other members (which you might not know, but you now have one thing in common with), and allows you to “do things” you would not be able to do if you were outside the group. (For exemple: send a message to all the people in the group, or post a photo to a shared album.)

Typical examples of this kind of group are Yahoo! Groups or Flickr Groups. People join these groups to be able to build something, share something, or simply hang out with the other members of the group. However, if you look at the way people use this kind of group in communities which are more “social networking”-oriented, like Facebook or Orkut, you will see that they tend to not be that active *inside* the groups, but that they use them a bit like “tags” to advertise their interests. These groups are therefore not only a way of connecting with other people, but also a way of saying something about yourself. And in some communities, the latter is clearly more important.

#### Groupings

Shared-interest groups are a bit limited when it comes to making your application truly “social”, as I heard Stowe Boyd point out during his [Building Social Applications Workshop](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/02/07/stowe-boyd-building-social-applications/) at the LIFT conference earlier this year. Now, I’ve been through Stowe’s blog to try to serve you with a nice citation that explains exactly what he means by “groupings”, and haven’t really found anything that satisfied me. (As far as I can see, Stowe first talks about groupings in [In The Time Of “Me First”: IBM Slowr?](http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2007/01/in_the_time_of_.html), and explains a bit more in [In The Time Of “Me-First”: Stikkit](http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2007/01/in_the_time_of__1.html).)

Here’s the definition Stowe gives in [his workshop slideshow, slide 24](http://www.slideshare.net/stoweboyd/building-social-applications):

> Groupings: ad hoc assemblages of people with similar interests.

Stowe Boyd

As I understand it, groupings are things that “happen” rather than things that people elect to join or build. Groupings emerge within a social network because of the way people are using it. Groupings are things that occur naturally and all the time inside networks, but the tricky part will be to decide which groupings to make visible to the users and how.

The first time I really encountered this type of automatic grouping of users based on their behaviour was in Last.fm. Last.fm tells you who your “[neighbours](http://www.last.fm/help/faq/?category=User+Profiles#10113)” are, by picking out people who have similar music-listening habits as yours. So, in last FM, not only can you see [my contacts or “friends”](http://www.last.fm/user/Steph-Tara/friends/), people **I have elected to be connected to** in some way in the online world of last FM even though our musical tastes may have little in common, but you can also see [my neighbours](http://www.last.fm/user/Steph-Tara/neighbours/), people I probably do not know and definitely **have not chosen to be connected to**, but which I am inevitably connected to because we share similar musical tastes.

Isn’t this a more interesting way of interconnecting people than having them explicitly join groups saying “I like this or that artist”? CoComment also has a [neighbours feature](http://www.cocomment.com/you/community) (I like to think that I’m for something in its existence, as it was one of the first suggestions I made and pushed for about a year ago), but unfortunately you can’t see other people’s neighbours or do much with your neighbourhood. The value groupings will add to your tool or service will depend greatly on which groupings you decide to make visible to your users, what doors being part of a given grouping opens up for the user, basically, what you choose to **do** with these groupings (display them? Nice, but not enough in most cases).

With all this in mind, if you are trying to figure out “the best way to implement groups” for your application/tool /2.0 service, here is what I would recommend. Start by taking a long hard look at how your application already organises users into possible groupings. What can you make visible? What is interesting? What doors could you open to people who are inside the same grouping? What are your users going to want to do with these groupings?

Some examples of groupings could be:

– people who have listened to a particular song regularly over the last six months
– people who favourite my photographs on Flickr
– people who subscribe to a given blog
– people who have commented on a given post or blog
– people who have marked me as a contact
– people who use a given tag
– people who comment on posts or photographs tagged “cat”
– people who ordered this or that book on Amazon
– people who have been marked as a contact by somebody
– people who have joined a certain group…

As you can see, the definition of “grouping” is much wider than the definition of “group”. “Groups” are a small subset of “groupings”, which have a performative flavour, as you become part of them by the simple act of stating that you desire to be part of them.

The example before last is a little bit problematic in my sense. Most of the time, a user ends up belonging to a grouping because of the way he or she uses the system. It is your actions which make you part of a grouping. Here, you are not part of a grouping because of something you have done, but because of what somebody else has done to you (added you to her contacts). I have been hesitant for this reason to consider “being somebody’s contact” as a grouping, but if you look at it from the point of view of the social network, it is still a way in which “usage” organisers to people who are part of the network.

The existence of these “passive groupings” (from the point of view of the user who is part of the grouping) invites us to go through the looking-glass and examine what goes on from the perspective of the user creating the groupings by making his connection to other users explicit.

#### Contact Groups

I hope that we have now come to accept that networks are asymmetrical. It is not because I have marked you as a contact, that you have to mark me back as a contact too. I think that a great source of confusion is the [general use of the word “friend” in social networks](http://www.thomaspurves.com/2007/02/27/are-we-really-friends-the-trouble-with-buddy-lists-in-social-applications/). There is an emotional component in there that makes it rather difficult to say “well, you might think I’m your friend, but I don’t.” Friendship is supposed to go both ways. “Contact” is a much more neutral word, which is easily understood as meaning “you are, in some way, part of my world here.”

“In what way?” is the big question here. In what way is John part of my world? In what way am I part of his, if at all? I will leave the second of these two questions completely aside in this discussion, for I consider it to be a psychological, emotional, and relational minefield. In our offline relationships, we don’t usually get to know exactly how important we are for our friends or acquaintances, or even love interests. We are treading on eggs, here. And to make things even more delicate, different people use different words to describe the people who are part of their world. These are, in my opinion, human relational issues which are way too delicate to be formalised in a social network without a lot of serious thinking, if they are to be respectful of people’s feelings and meaningful in any way.

The first question, however, is a crucial one. I personally think that it is also the key to managing many privacy issues intelligently. How do I organise the people in my world? Well, of course, it’s fuzzy, shifting, changing. But if I look at my IM buddy list, I might notice that I have classified the people on it to some point: I might have “close friends”, “co-workers”, “blog friends”, “offline friends”, “IRC friends”, “girlfriends”, “ex-clients”, “boring stalkers”, “other people”, “tech support”… I might not want to make public which groups my buddies belong to, or worse, let them know (especially if I’ve put them in “boring stalkers” or “tech support” and suspect that they might have placed me in “best friends” or “love interests”… yes, human relationships can be complicated…)

[Flickr](http://www.flickr.com/help/contacts/) offers a half-baked version of this. I say “half-baked” because it does allow me to introduce *some* organisation in my contacts, but it is not quite satisfying. And regarding what has been said above, this classification is made public — so inevitably, there is no way that it can be satisfying to the person making the classification. It has to remain politically correct. Basically, what Flickr does is allow you to single out certain contacts as “friends” or “family”. This is tame enough, particularly given that the word “friend” has been emptied of much of its meaning by social networks which use it as a synonym for “contact”. What is interesting here is how Flickr uses this classification to help users manage privacy. I can make certain photographs visible only to my friends or my family. I can decide to allow only my contacts to comment. But this kind of control remains quite coarse, because the groups are predefined and may not map well to the way I view my social world and want to manage my privacy.

A more useful way to let a user organise his contacts is simply to let him tag them. [Xing](https://www.xing.com/) does that. Unfortunately, it does not allow one to do much with the contact groups thus defined, besides displaying contacts by tag, which is of course nice, but about as useful as making groupings visible without actually *doing* anything with them.

#### Use more precise vocabulary than “group”

Have you noticed how I’ve been using the word “groups” to speak of this way of classifying one’s contacts? Well, instant messaging software uses the word “group” (“buddy groups”, “contact groups”), and that’s what people are used to. Now, imagine the confusion if somebody says “[Twitter](http://twitter.com) needs groups”, meaning “contact groups”, and the person listening understands it as “shared-interest groups”? **These are two very different kinds of groups. They are organised differently and serve a different purpose.** See why I think we need to stop speaking about “groups” in general and be much more precise with our vocabulary?

– **Shared-interest groups** are groupings that we actively choose to be part of, they are generally public, or at the least, we know who the other members are, and the point of **being part of such a shared-interest group** is to be able to do certain things with the other members, or get to know them.
– **Contact groups** (normally) passive groupings that somebody puts us into, they are generally private, to the extent that one does not know exactly what grouping one is in, and the interest of such contact groups is mainly **for the person creating them**, who can choose to treat the people inside them differently (mainly regarding privacy).
– **Groupings**, defined by Stowe Boyd as ad hoc assemblages of people with similar interests, can actually be understood as a very generic expression, including the two previous ones, to refer to “ad hoc assemblages of people emerging through social network/software/tool usage.” When it is one’s actions which bring him/her into a grouping, we can speak of “active groupings”, and when it is another’s actions, “passive groupings”.

One could probably say that the way in which a social application implements groupings (which are made visible and how, and which actions, features, permissions or characteristics are associated to them) — shared interest groups and contact groups being two particular species of groupings — is going to play an important role in how successful it is, because groupings in general are the key through which users will interact with each other.

Maybe somebody could start working on a taxonomy of sorts for groupings? We already have active and passive, the weird performative ones that are the similar-interest groups, all the contact group stuff, but we could imagine classifying and analysing groupings by looking at what brings one into a grouping: is it interaction of some type with other users? Quantity of something? Centred around one object, or a collection of objects? Is there a time component? Does it involve reciprocity? What kind of pattern of usage is it linked to? We could go on, and on…

#### Case-study: Twitter

Even though this post has been ripening in my head (ew!) since February, the reason I am writing it today is the following twitter from [Tara Hunt](http://horsepigcow.com):

> Advising Twitter (Britt) AGAINST groups (gameable/spammable) and FOR personal lists (solves group messaging)

twitter from Tara

I have [blogged about Twitter](http://technorati.com/tag/twitter?from=climbtothestars.org) quite a few times already, spoken with the Twitter people [when I was in San Francisco](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/01/12/im-really-liking-san-francisco/) and sent them a bunch of feedback and ideas that I haven’t got around to blogging yet (I wonder when I will). This should make pretty obvious that I really really like this service. (So that’s the disclaimer: fangirl.)

If you’re still reading this, your head is probably full of groupings/similar-interest groups/contact groups ideas and concepts. Let’s see how they apply to Twitter. The nice thing about Twitter is that it’s a rather simple application, feature-wise (and that’s one of the things that makes it so nice). So, where are the groupings? Here are some:

– users who are friends with John
– users John is friends with (not the same grouping!)
– users John is following (still another grouping, because of the distinction twitter makes between friends/contacts and the act of “following”)
– users who are following John but he is not following (fans/stalkers, depending on how you look at it)
– users who answer John’s twitters (with @John)
– users who use the word “LIFT07” in their twitters
– …

What makes Twitter great? Well, besides the great online/offline integration through the use of mobile phones, the clean, usable interface, the great people using it and the cats in the servers, one of the things that makes Twitter Twitter (if I may say) is what it does with the grouping “users John is friends with”. Well, it’s pretty simple, in fact, and you’ll probably think I’m pointing out the obvious (but that, in my mind, simply indicates how good a job Twitter have done with it): they display all the twitters of those users in that grouping on one page. Well, yeah, I guess that was the [Obvious](http://obvious.com/) thing to do with that grouping.

Amongst the other types of groupings, one can wonder if Twitter needs to introduce similar-interest groups, or contact groups. I don’t see much of a case for the former, as Twitter is centred around people and relationships rather than the content of their interactions. Twitter is not really about what I’m saying to people. It’s about who I’m talking to. Twitter is precious because it gives me a space in which I can share a little things about my life with anybody who has decided that these little things had some value to them (and that can include non-Twitter users). Twitter it is equally precious because it provides me with a space (and this is where the “what they actually *did* with that grouping” thing comes in) through which I can stay informed of the little things in lives of others that I have decided were meaningful for me.

Which brings me to contact groups. Contact groups could have two purposes for twitter:
– privacy management
– twitter overflow management, particularly on mobile devices.

Without getting into the technicalities involved (and I’m aware they are not straightforward), let’s imagine that I can tag my Twitter contacts. This allows me to give some structure to my online world in Twitter. I can use that structure in two ways: make certain messages visible only to certain people I have chosen (privacy), receive messages on a given device only from certain people (overflow).

Tagging is the best way to create these contact groups. It leaves each user completely free to organise their world how they wish. It allows multiple classification of contacts. Keep the tags private, and personal dramas are avoided. Multiple classification requires establishing rules for when conflicting orders are given. Interfaces (web and mobile) need to be devised to tag contacts, to set message privacy (default, message by message, on/off style), and following behaviour. Not straightforward, of course, but can certainly be done.

Remains the basic question: does this kind of feature address a real need? (For me, it does.) How is it going to change Twitter if it is implemented? (If this can be predicted…) What might happen if it is not implemented? Well, you know, the usual stuff when making a decision.

Similar Posts:

My Twitter Usage Answers [en]

[fr] Voici les réponses que j'ai données à danah boyd (chercheuse dans le domaine des espaces numériques) suite au questionnaire sur Twitter qu'elle a envoyé à ses "Twitter-friends". Le questionnaire est ouvert à tous si vous désirez lui envoyer vos réponses (mais en anglais, elle ne parle pas français!)

Yesterday, [danah](http://www.zephoria.org/) sent me and a bunch of other Twitter users [a few questions to answer about our Twitter usage](http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2007/05/01/twitter_questio.html). Here are my answers to her questions.

**1 Why do you use Twitter? What do you like/dislike about it?**

Twitter helps me stay connected to my “tribe”. I get little snippets
from them about what’s going on in their lives or minds, and they get
the same from me. It gives me the same kind of “in touch” feeling as
hanging out in an IRC channel, but with the added bonus that it’s “an
IRC channel populated by my IM buddylist” (well, not exactly of
course, not everybody is on Twitter, but close enough). And it’s IRC
with permalinks.

I can dump thoughts of the moment into it which are two short for a
blog post, and find them again later (micro-blogging). It’s an easy
way to let people know what I’m upto, as I publish my feed on my blog.

I like the people who hang out on Twitter. Most of “my important
online people” (people I like, those who count, in my world) are
there. I like being able to send messages to Twitter whether I’m
online or offline. I like the 140 character limit.

I don’t like the current “all or nothing” way of dealing with people
you follow. It makes getting twitters on my phone impossible, there
are too many of them. I’d like to be able to define groups, and
follow/unfollow certain groups easily on my phone. I don’t really like
the “all or nothing” privacy system: sometimes there is one message
I’d like to show only my friends, and not publish on my website like
the rest of my twitter stream. Or show a group of friends.

Oh, and I don’t like that direct twitters almost systematically come
up as two text messages on my phone.

But these things are are missing are “nice to haves” for me. What I
like most is that twitter sets out to do one thing (let you send short
status messages), and does it (in my opinion) pretty well.

**2 Who do you think is reading your Tweets? Is this the audience you want? Why/why not? Tell me anything you think of relating to the audience for your Tweets.**

At the beginning I kept my twitters/Tweets private. It felt too
IRC-like for me to make public. But then I realised that I wanted to
include the feed on my site, and that for that I had to go public. I
had a good think about this, also because I realised that if I started
out private, I was going to put private stuff in Twitter, and that
would prevent me from going public in future, as it would reveal my
past private twitters. So I decided the “safer” option was to go
public straight away (make sense?)

So, my main, most active audience is the people who are following me
on Twitter. I know many of them (my “friends”) but there are also many
I don’t know (“fans”?!). As my Twitter feed is published on my blog, I
know anybody who reads my blog or lands there can read them.

My attitude towards twittering (what do I twitter? what don’t I?) is
the same as with blogging: I assume everyone and anyone can read my
twitters, or is likely to at some point, whether friend, stranger, or
as-of-today-offline-person. So I make sure I’m reasonably comfortable
with anybody reading what I twitter, and balance risks when I’m saying
things about people. I’m aware that things I send to twitter have less
visibility for the “non 2.0” crowd, so I know I can get away with
certain things, even though the risk of being read is there.

I’m more “personal” in my Facebook status, for example — because I
know that (normally) future clients are not my friends on Facebook.
But I assume future clients read my blog 😉

As I mentioned in reply to your first question, I think selective
privacy would be a great thing for Twitter. Maybe I’d like my twitters
to be public by default, but every once in a while I’d like to send a
twitter which is visible only to my friends, or (if there is some kind
of [grouping feature](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/05/04/groups-groupings-and-taming-my-buddy-list-and-twitter/)) to the group of [people I’ve tagged “my
girlfriends”](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/16/we-need-structured-portable-social-networks-spsn/).

**3 How do you read others’ Tweets? Do you read all of them? Who do you read/not read and why? Do you know them all?**

I skim twitters of the people I’m following, at regular intervals
during the day. Sometimes, I’ll click on a single person’s Twitter
page and read the last 10-20 they sent. There are a few people I’m
very close to for which I’ll do that a few times a day.

I usually follow people I know (and not strangers), though by the
magic of one-sided conversations on Twitter, I have come to add people
who were friends with a friend of mine (one could say we were
twitter-introduced), and who have since then become “my friends”.
There are a few people I follow “as a fan” — I wouldn’t expect them
to follow me back — but those are not the most important people in my
twitter-world.

**4 What content do you think is appropriate for a Tweet? What is inappropriate? Have you ever found yourself wanting to Tweet and then deciding against it? Why?**

I guess my answer to the second question is also relevant here. My
twitters are public, so I’m not going to twitter stuff I would not
generally consider “blog-safe” (ie, I don’t speak about my love life,
I don’t comment on arguments I might be having with people who are
close to me, I’m quite careful when speaking of others in general, and
I don’t usually give details of my last visit at the doctor’s).

So, yes, of course I’ve found myself wanting to send something to
twitter and deciding against it — just like it happens every now and
again with blogging, on IRC, or in a conversation with a friend.
Sometimes I decide it is best not to say what I am tempted to say,
because it is not appropriate for this situation/relationship/medium.
But it’s not an attitude I relate to Twitter as such.

**5 Are your Tweets public? Why/why not? How do you feel about people you don’t know coming across them? What about people you do know?**

They’re public, for the reasons I explained in answer to question 2. I
adapt my twittering so that I’ll be comfortable with the audience it
technically makes available (ie, “everyone”, strangers and friends —
online or off — alike). Just as with my blogging.

**6 What do i need to know about why Twitter is/is not working for you or your friends?**

I’ve heard quite a few complaints about people who twitter a lot
(which can be me, on some days). I think the ability to be more
selective about whose twitters one receives on phone/im could help
with that (it’s already possible to unfollow a person from the phone,
but it’s a rather drastic “general” action, instead of saying “I’m
following him, but don’t give me his twitters on my phone, thanks”.

I think it works because it’s simple.

I think it “doesn’t work” for many people before they ever start using
it because it’s hard to “get”. Many people out there don’t “get it”,
because they reduce it to some kind of totally egocentric
micro-blogging spewing messages which have no value to the world. So
it can be rather hard to bring in people who are not familiar with
online presence.

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Disturbed About Reactions to Kathy Sierra's Post [en]

[fr] Comme cela avait été le cas lors de l'affaire SarkoWeb3, la blosophère s'est maintenant emparée de la triste histoire des menaces reçues par Kathy Sierra, telle une meute affamée et sans cervelle. Hypothèses présentées pour faits, coupable car non prouvé innocents, noms, déformation d'information, téléphone arabe, réactions émotionnelles trop vite bloguées et sans penser... tout y est.

Encore une fois, je suis déçue des gens.

Since I [read](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/13216861) and [posted](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/26/death-threats-in-the-blogosphere/) about [Kathy Sierra’s latest post](http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/as_i_type_this_.html), and stayed up until 3am looking at blog post after blog post pop up on [Technorati](http://technorati.com/search/%22kathy%20sierra%22) and [Google Blogsearch](http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=%22kathy+sierra%22&btnG=Search+Blogs), I’ve been growing [increasingly uneasy](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/13328601) about what I was reading in the blogosphere.

Like many other people I suppose, I was hit with this “tell me it ain’t so” feeling (denial!) that makes one sick in the stomach upon reading that Kathy had cancelled her ETech appearance out of fear for her safety. My heart went out to her. Of course, I felt angry at the people who had cause her such fear, and I also felt quite a bit of concern at seeing known blogger names appear in the context of this ugly affair.

And then, of course, there was the matter of getting the word out there. I [blogged it](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/26/death-threats-in-the-blogosphere/) (and blogged it soon — I’ll be candid about this: I realised it was breaking news, heck, I even [twittered it](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/13216861) before [Arrington did](http://twitter.com/TechCrunch/statuses/13218961)!), and although I did use words like “horrible” and “unacceptable” (which are pretty strong in my dictionary, if you are familiar with my blogging habits), I refrained from repeating the names mentioned in Kathy’s post or demanding that the culprits be lynched.

One of the reasons for this is that I had to re-read some parts of Kathy’s post a couple of times to be quite certain to what extent she was reporting these people to be involved. Upon first reading, I was just shocked, and stunned, and I knew I’d read some bits a bit fast. I also knew that I had Kathy’s side of the story here, and though I have no reasons to doubt her honesty, I know that reality, *what really happened*, usually lies **somewhere in between the different accounts of a story one can gather from the various parties involved**. So I took care not to point fingers, and not to name names in a situation I had no first-hand information about, to the point of not knowing any of the actors in it personally.

In doing this, and taking these precautions, I consider that I am **trying to do my job as a responsible blogger**.

Unfortunately, one quick look at most of the posts coming out of Technorati or Google Blogsearch shows (still now, over 15 hours after Kathy posted) a [collection](http://digg.com/tech_news/Death_threats_against_bloggers_are_NOT_protected_speech_Kathy_Sierra) of knee-jerk reactions, side-taking, verbal lynching, and rising up to the defense of noble causes. There are inaccurate facts in blog posts, conjectures presented as fact, calls to arms of various types, and catchy, often misleading, headlines. I tend to despise the mainstream press increasingly for their use of manipulative headlines, but honestly, what I see some bloggers doing here is no better.

Welcome to the blogmob.

The blogmob is nothing new, of course. My first real encounter with the mob was in [May 2001](http://climbtothestars.org/writing/kaycee/), when Kaycee Nicole Swenson [died (or so it seemed)](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2001/05/16/kaycee/) and somebody [dared suggest she might not have existed](http://www.metafilter.com/comments.mefi/7819). The mob was mainly on MetaFilter at that time, but there were very violent reactions towards the early proponents of the “hoax” hypothesis. Finally, it was demonstrated that Kaycee was *indeed* a hoax. This was also my first encounter with somebody who was sick and twisted enough to make up a fictional character, Kaycee, a cancer victim, and keep her alive online for over two years, mixing lies and reality to a point barely imaginable. I — and many others — fell for it.

Much more recently, I’ve seen the larger, proper blogmob at work in two episodes I had “first-hand knowledge” about. The first, after the [LeWeb3-Sarkozy debacle](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/12/12/le-web-3-et-sarko/), when bad judgement, unclear agendas, politics and clumsy communication came together and pissed off a non-trivial number of bloggers who were attending [LeWeb3](http://www.leweb3.com/). There were angry posts, there were constructive ones and those which were less, and then the blogmob came in, with hundreds of bloggers who asked for Loïc’s head on a plate based on personal, second-hand accounts of what had happened, without digging a bit to try to get to the bottom of the story. Loïc had messed up, oh yes he had, but that didn’t justify painting him flat-out evil as the blogmob did. In Francophonia it got so bad that this episode and its aftermath was (in my analysis) the death stroke for comments on Loïc’s blog, and he decided to shut them down.

The second (and last episode I’ll recount here) is when the whole blogosphere went a-buzz about how Wikipedia was going to shut down three months from now. [Words spoken at LIFT’07](http://www.liftconference.com/blog/?p=312) went through many chinese whisper (UK) / Telephone (US) filters to turn into a [rather dramatic announcement](http://www.901am.com/2007/wikipeda-could-shut-within-3-4-months-wikimedia.html), which was then relayed by just about anybody who had a blog. Read about [how the misinformation spread and what the facts were](http://www.lunchoverip.com/2007/02/the_wikimedia_c.html).

So, what’s happening right now? The first comments I read on Kathy’s post were reactions of shock, and expressions of support. Lots of them. Over the blogosphere, people were busy getting the news out there by relaying the information on their blogs. Some (like me) shared stories. As the hours went by, I began to see trends:

– this is awful, shocking, unacceptable
– the guilty must be punished
– women are oppressed, unsafe
– the blogosphere is becoming unsafe!

Where it gets disturbing, and where really, really, I’m disappointed and think bloggers should know better, is when I read headlines or statements like this (and I’m not going to link to all these but you’ll find them easily enough):

* “Kathy Sierra v. Chris Locke”
* “Kathy Sierra to Stop Blogging!”
* “Kathy Sierra hate campaign”
* throwing around names like “psychopath” and “terrorist” to describe the people involved
* [“Personally I am disgusted with myself for buying and recommending Chris Locke’s book…”](http://blogher.org/node/17319#comment-16756) and the like
* the assumption that there is a unique person behind the various incidents Kathy describes
* taking for fact that Chris Locke, Jeneane Sessum, Alan Herrell or Frank Paynter are involved, directly, and in an evil way (which is taking Kathy’s post a step further than what it actually says, for the least)
* …

In [my previous post](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/26/death-threats-in-the-blogosphere/), I’ve tried to link to blog posts which actually bring some added value. Most of the others are just helping the echo chamber echo louder, at this point. Kathy’s post is (understandably) a little emotional (whether it is by design as

I’d like to end this post with a recap of what I’ve understood so far. (“What I’ve understood” means that there might be mistakes here, but I’m giving an honest account of what I managed to piece together.) I’m working under the assumption that the people involved are giving honest accounts of their side of the story, and hoping that this will not unravel like the Kaycee story did to reveal the presence of a sick, twisted liar somewhere.

– Kathy has been receiving threats. Some in the comments of her blog, some by e-mail, and some in the posts and/or comments of meankids and unclebobism, sites which have since then been taken down.
– Meankids was set up by a bunch of people (including Chris and Frank at the minimum). It was closed after going overboard, and the same people opened Unclebobism as a replacement. (Details about exactly what went in internally are not clear. See posts by [Kevin Marks](http://epeus.blogspot.com/2007/03/death-and-rape-threats-are-criminal.html), [Frank Paynter](http://listics.com/20070326984) and [Chris Locke](http://www.rageboy.com/2007/03/re-kathy-sierras-allegations.html) for source information.)
– Stowe says this [doesn’t fit with the personal knowledge he has of Jeneane Sessum and Alan Herrell](http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2007/03/kathy_sierra_de.html). Other people like Lisa Stone also report phone contacts with Jeneane, and [it seems she is not directly involved in the acts Kathy describes](http://blogher.org/node/17319) (though it definitely seems she had something to do with the two sites meankids and unclebobism, if only in [linking](http://allied.blogspot.com/2007/03/bigger-than-twitter-its-twatter.html) for the second). **Update:** Chris gives details on her (indeed) [very minimal involvement](http://www.rageboy.com/2007/03/brief-addendum.html).
– Frank Paynter [apologized early on](http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/as_i_type_this_.html#c64434246) on Kathy’s blog, then explains that this whole thing is [an experiment in anarchy gone overboard](http://listics.com/20070326984).
– [Chris Locke](http://www.rageboy.com/2007/03/re-kathy-sierras-allegations.html) denies being directly responsible for any of the threats Kathy mentions, and owns up to two direct comments about Kathy on unclebobism.
– Alan Herrell seems to have shut down [Raving Lunacy](http://theheadlemur.typepad.com/ravinglunacy/)
– Kathy ends her post with “I have no idea if I’ll ever post again. I suspect I will. But for now, I have a lot to rethink.” — this seems to point to her taking a break, not abandoning blogging.
– “Joey”, the author (?) of one of the threats Kathy received, comments on her blog: [one](http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/as_i_type_this_.html#c64459820), [two](http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/as_i_type_this_.html#c64463926), [three](http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/as_i_type_this_.html#c64466218), [four](http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/as_i_type_this_.html#c64468260), [five](http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/as_i_type_this_.html#c64468722); he says the threat was not towards her but some other person he called Kathy (?!). See also [Brent’s response to the first comment](http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2007/03/as_i_type_this_.html#c64460850). I have to admit some skepticism here. He could be a simple troll. But again, not to be dismissed without taking a good look.
– **Update 28 May 2007** Alan Herrell reports being victim of identity theft. E-mail made public by [Doc Searls](http://doc.weblogs.com/2007/03/28#whatItIsnt).
– **Update 29 May 2007** Jim Turner gives a way better account than I have here of [what we can make out of the story for the moment](http://www.onebyonemedia.com/the-sierra-saga-part-1-dissecting-the-creation-of-the-kathy-sierra-blog-storm-4/) — part 2 is due to follow and here is part two: The Sierra Saga Part 2: Big Bad Bob and the Lull Before the Kathy Sierra Blog Storm.
– **Update 1 April 2007** Jeneane Sessum publishes a few words [about the whole mess and her name being dragged in the dirt](http://allied.blogspot.com/2007/03/just-few-words.html).

Please, Blogosphere. Keep your wits. This is a messy ugly story, and oversimplications will help nobody. Holding people guilty until proven innocent doesn’t either. (Trust me, I’ve been on the receiving end of [unfounded accusations](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2005/02/23/reponse-a-luc-olivier-erard-la-cote/) because somebody didn’t hear my side of the story, and it sucks.)

The problem with bullying is that perceived meanness isn’t the same on both sides. Often, to the bully, the act is “just harsh” or “not to be taken seriously” (to what extent that is really believed, or is some kind of twisted rationalisation is not clear to me). To the bullied, however, the threats are very real, even if they were not really intended so. Bullying is also a combination of small things which add up to being intolerable. People in groups also tend to behave quite differently than what they would taken isolately, the identity of the individual tending to dissolve into the group identity. Anonymity (I’ve blogged about this many times, try a search) encourages people to not take responsibility for what they say, and therefore gives them more freedom to be mean. Has something like this happened here?

If you have something thoughtful to say, then say it. But if all you have to say has already been said out there ten times, or if you won’t take the trouble to check your sources, read carefully, calm down before blogging, avoid over-generalisations, and thus avoid feeding the already bloated echo-chamber — just go out for a walk in the sun and let the people involved sort themselves out.

The word is out there, way enough, and I trust that we’ll get to the bottom of the story in time.

**Update: I’m adding new links which actually add something to this story to [my first post](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/03/26/death-threats-in-the-blogosphere/) as I find them, so check over there for updates.**

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Introducing Fresh Lime Soda with Episode 3 of the Suw+Steph Podcast [en]

[fr] Notre podcast anglophone (à Suw Charman et moi-même) a maintenant son propre nom de domaine (histoire de fêter son baptême et l'épisode 3): Fresh Lime Soda.

As [twittered yesterday](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/10631221), [Suw](http://chocnvodka.blogware.com/) and I are very proud to announce the christening of our previously unnamed podcast: [Fresh Lime Soda](http://freshlimesoda.net). As you can see, it has a domain and blog of its own (hosted by [WordPress.com](http://wordpress.com)), on which you can read the shownotes and of course listen to (or download) the podcast itself:

– [episode 1: Cities, geeks, security and risk](http://freshlimesoda.net/2007/01/19/fresh-lime-soda-episode-1-cities-geeks-security-and-risk/)
– [episode 2: Conferences, note taking, Wedding 2.0 and new tools](http://freshlimesoda.net/2007/02/15/fresh-lime-soda-episode-2-conferences-note-taking-wedding-20-and-new-tools/)
– and — yay! — the new [episode 3: Fresh lime soda, Twitter, bad marketing, you can’t beat being there](http://freshlimesoda.net/2007/03/21/fresh-lime-soda-episode-3-fresh-lime-soda-twitter-bad-marketing-you-cant-beat-being-there/).

You’ll certainly want to [subscribe using the RSS/atom (FeedBurner) feed](http://feeds.feedburner.com/FLS), possibly [subscribe in iTunes directly](itpc://feeds.feedburner.com/FLS) so that you never miss an episode!

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Twitter, c'est quoi? Explications… [fr]

Cet après-midi, je ramasse 20minutes dans le bus, et je vois qu'[on y parle de Twitter](http://www.20min.ch/ro/multimedia/stories/story/10730138). Bon sang, il est grand temps que j’écrive le fichu billet en français que je mijote depuis des semaines au sujet de ce service [que j’adore](http://twitter.com/stephtara “Ma page Twitter.”) (après l’avoir [mentionné en anglais](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/12/12/you-should-twitter/) il y a plusieurs mois). Allons-y, donc: une explication de [Twitter](http://twitter.com), pour vous qui n’avez pas la moindre idée de ce que c’est — et à quoi ça sert.

“Twitter” signifie “gazouillis” en anglais. Ce nom reflète bien le contenu relativement anodin qu’il se propose de véhiculer: **des réponses à la question “que faites-vous?”**.

Ça n’a pas l’air fascinant, a première vue, un service dont l’objet est d’étaler sur internet les réponses somme toute souvent très banales à cette question. “Est-ce que ça intéresse le monde entier, le fait que je sois [confortablement installée dans mon canapé](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/8276161)?” Certes non. Par contre, **cela intéresse peut-être mes amis**.

Oh, très clairement pas dans le sens “tiens, je me demandais justement ce que Stephanie était en train de faire maintenant, ça tombe à pic!” Mais plutôt **dans un état d’esprit “radar”**: avoir une vague idée du genre de journée que mène son entourage. En fait, ce mode “radar” est tellement omniprésent dans nos vies qu’on ne le remarque même plus, et qu’on n’a pas conscience de son importance.

Pensez aux gens que vous fréquentez régulièrement, ou à vos proches. Une partie de vos intéractions consiste en échanges de cet ordre: “je t’appelle après la danse”, “je dois rentrer, là, parce qu’on a des invités”, “je suis crevé, j’ai mal dormi” ou encore “tu vas regarder le match, ce soir?”

Sans y faire vraiment attention, on se retrouve ainsi au courant de **certaines “petites choses” de la vie de l’autre** — et cela vient nourrir la relation. Plus on est proche, en général, plus on est en contact avec le quotidien de l’autre. Et corrolairement, **être en contact avec le quotidien d’autrui nous en rapproche**. (Vivre ensemble, que cela soit pour quelques jours ou à long terme, ce n’est pour cette raison pas anodin.)

On a tous fait l’expérience qu’il est plus difficile de garder vivante une relation lorque nos occupations respectives ne nous amènent pas à nous fréquenter régulièrement. Combien d’ex-collègues dont on était finalement devenus assez proches, mais que l’on a pas revus depuis qu’on a changé de travail? Combien de cousins, de neveux ou même de parents et d’enfants qu’on adore mais qu’on ne voit qu’une fois par an aux réunions familiales? Combien d’amis perdus de vue suite à un déménagement, ou simplement parce qu’il a fallu annuler la dernière rencontre et que personne n’a rappelé l’autre? Et à l’heure d’internet et des vols low-cost, combien de ces rencontres fortes mais qui se dissipent dès que la distance y remet ses pieds?

C’est ici qu’intervient Twitter.

**Twitter me permet de diffuser auprès de mon entourage ces petites parcelles de vie si anodines mais au final si importantes pour les liens que l’on crée** — et de recevoir de la part des gens qui comptent pour moi les mêmes petites bribes de quotidien. Cela permet de rester en contact, et même de renforcer des liens.

Ceux d’entre vous qui chattez le savez: échanger quelques banalités de temps en temps, ça garde la relation en vie, et on a ainsi plus de chances de prévoir de s’appeler ou de se voir que si on avait zéro contact. Les chatteurs savent aussi que les fameux “statuts” (“parti manger”, “disponible”, “ne pas déranger”) jouent un rôle non négligeable dans la communication avec autrui. C’est d’ailleurs en partie inspiré par ces statuts que [Jack](http://twitter.com/jack) a eu l’idée [qui est un jour devenue Twitter](http://evhead.com/2006/07/twttr-is-alive.asp). (Un autre ingrédient important était la page des “amis” sur [Livejournal](http://livejournal.com).)

Une des qualités majeures de Twitter et que **ce service n’est pas limité à internet**. En fait, à la base, il est prévu pour fonctionner par SMS. On peut donc envoyer (et recevoir!) les messages via le web, via un service de messagerie instantanée ([Google Talk](http://www.google.com/talk/)), ou par SMS — selon ses préférences du moment.

Concrètement, cela se passe ainsi: on [s’inscrit](http://twitter.com/account/create) et on donne à Twitter son [numéro de portable et/ou son identifiant GTalk](http://twitter.com/devices), ce qui nous permet déjà d’envoyer des messages. Ensuite, on [invite](http://twitter.com/invitations/invite) ses amis (ou bien on les ajoute depuis leur page s’ils sont déjà sur Twitter — voici [la mienne](http://twitter.com/stephtara)) afin de se construire un petit réseau social de personne que l’on “suivra”. Tous les messages de ces contacts sont rassemblés sur une page web (voici [la mienne](http://twitter.com/stephtara/with_friends)), et on peut choisir de les recevoir en plus par SMS ou par chat.

On peut envoyer des messages privés, bien entendu, et il y a toute une série de commandes qui permettent facilement d’ajouter ou d’enlever des contacts et de contrôler les alertes que l’on reçois — même si on est loin de son ordinateur. Un billet consacré à ces considérations plus techniques suivra.

Il faut aussi préciser que **recevoir les SMS de Twitter ne coûte rien** (enfin cela dépend de l’opérateur, mais en Suisse c’est gratuit), et qu’envoyer un message par SMS coûte simplement le prix d’un SMS envoyé à l’étranger (à ma connaissance, de nouveau, en Suisse cela revient au même prix qu’un SMS envoyé à un numéro suisse).

A venir, donc, un billet avec des informations techniques et pratiques sur l’utilisation de Twitter, et un autre qui poussera plus loin la réflexion sur le rôle d’un tel service, la façon dont les gens l’utilisent actuellement, et certaines critiques qui lui sont faites.

**Mise à jour 09.2007:** une [explication audio](http://capsule.rsr.ch/site/?p=345) avec la complicité de M. Pain.

**Mise à jour 03.2010:** depuis mi-2008, nous ne recevons plus de SMS Twitter en Europe. C’est nettement moins important aujourd’hui qu’à l’époque, vu l’explosion des iPhones et autres téléphones similaires.

**Mise à jour 04.2010:** à lire aussi, Comment démarrer avec Twitter, moins technique et plus stratégique.

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Geeky Frustrations [en]

[fr] Quelques râlages (comme quoi je ne fais pas ça qu'en français) au sujet de certains outils que j'utilise quotidiennement.

Right, so, just so I can get it off my chest, here is a list of little things that bug me with the tools I use daily. If I save them for a “proper write-up” they probably will never be posted, so… here goes.

– Twitter: let me see a differential list of those I follow and those who follow me, both ways. I need to know who is following me that I’m not following (maybe I missed somebody out) and who I’m following but they’re not (to keep in mind they won’t see stuff I twitter).
– Twitter: let me tag my friends, or sort them into buddy groups. Then let me activate phone alerts for only certain groups. One-by-one management is just impossible with 100 or so friends.
– Adium: let me [turn off Gmail notifications](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/5560398). I have Google Notifier for that. I hate having to click “OK” on that window all the time.
– Google Reader: let me [drag’n drop](http://steph.wordpress.com/2007/02/17/dragn-drop-in-google-reader/) feeds from one folder to another.
– Facebook: let me import more than one RSS feed in my notes.
– Nokia 6280 and Macbook: please sync with each other *each time* I ask you to, not once out of three.
– Nokia 6280: gimme a “mark all as read” option for my text messages, please!
– Nokia 6280: I’d say something about the really crappy camera, but there isn’t much you can do about it now, can you.
– iPod: let me loop through all episodes of a podcast instead of having to go to the next episode manually.
– iTunes: let me mix playlists as a source for Party Shuffle (30% My Favorites, 30% Not Listened in Last week, 40% Artist I’m Obsessing Over These Days… for example)
– Google Reader and del.icio.us: find a way to allow me to automatically post Shared Items to del.icio.us too.
– Flickr: let me link to “My Favorite photos tagged …” so I can show my readers what I’ve found.
– **Added 18.02.07 0:10** [Google Ajax-y Homepage](http://padawan.info/web/google_goes_mashup.html): let me Share Google Reader items, not just star them.
– …

Certainly more, but these were those which were bugging me badly just now. Well, they’re off my chest, now I can go back to fretting about all the [stuff I need to get rid of](http://twitter.com/stephtara/statuses/5560379) in my flat and which is still lying around because I haven’t quite figured out the optimal way to dispose of it.

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Please Make Holes in My Buckets! [en]

[fr] Tour d'horizon de mes différents "profils" à droite et a gauche dans le paysage des outils sociaux (social tools). Il manque de la communication entre ces différents services, et mon identité en ligne s'en trouve fragmentée et lourde à gérer. Ajouter des contacts en se basant sur mon carnet d'adresses Gmail est un bon début, mais on peut aller plus loin. Importer ses livres préférés ou des éléments de CV d'un profil à l'autre, par exemple.

[Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503315010) is [Stowe](http://stoweboyd.com/message)’s fault. [Twitter](http://twitter.com/stephtara) was because of [Euan](http://theobvious.typepad.com/). [Anne Dominique](http://annedominique.wordpress.com/) is guilty of getting me on [Xing/OpenBC](https://www.xing.com/profile/Stephanie_Booth). I can’t remember precisely for [Flickr](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny) or [LinkedIn](http://www.linkedin.com/in/sbooth) or — OMG! — [orkut](http://www.orkut.com/Profile.aspx?uid=7955153206158244373), but it was certainly somebody from [#joiito](http://joiwiki.ito.com/joiwiki/index.cgi?IrcChannel). The culprits for [Last.fm](http://www.last.fm/user/steph-tara), [DailyMotion](http://dailymotion.com/Steph) and [YouTube](http://youtube.com/profile?user=Steph “Even got there early enough to grab ‘steph’ — now I get password reminders almost everyday, great…”) have disappeared into the limbo of lost memories. [Kevin](http://epeus.blogspot.com) encouraged me to [sign up for a good dozen of blogging platforms](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2004/12/11/hosted-blog-platform-test-write-up/), open a [MySpace account](http://myspace.com/stephtara), and he’s probably to blame for me being on [Upcoming](http://upcoming.org/user/94465/). As for [wordpress.com](http://steph.wordpress.com), I’ll blame [Matt](http://photomatt.net) because he’s behind all that.

Granted, I’m probably the only one responsible for having [gotten into blogging](http://climbtothestars.org/about/ “Story here, abbreviated version.”) in the first place.

Let’s get back on track. My aim here is not primarily to point an accusing finger to all my devious friends who introduced me to these fun, [addictive](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/02/12/addicted-to-technology/), time-consuming tools (though it’s interesting to note how one forgets those things, in passing). It’s more a sort of round-up of a bunch of my “online selves”. I feel a little scattered, my friends. Here are all these buckets in which I place stuff, but there aren’t enough holes in them.

Feeds are good. Feeds allow me to have Twitter, [del.icio.us](http://del.icio.us/steph), Flickr, and even Last.fm stuff in my blog sidebar. It also allows me to connect my blogs to one another, and into Facebook. Here, though, we’re talking “content” much more than “self”.

One example I’ve already certainly talked about (but no courage to dig it out, my blog is starting to be a huge thing in which I can’t find stuff I know it contains) is contacts or buddies — the “Mine” in [Stowe’s analysis of social applications](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/02/07/stowe-boyd-building-social-applications/). I have buddy lists on IM and Skype, contacts on Flickr and just about every service I mentioned in this post. Of *course*, I don’t want to necessarily have the same contacts everywhere. I might love your photos on Flickr and add you as a contact, but not see any interest in adding you to my business network on LinkedIn. Some people, though — my **friends** — I’ll want to have more or less everywhere.

So, here’s a hole in the buckets that I really like: I’ve seen this in many services, but the first time I saw it was on Myspace. “Let us peek in your GMail contacts, and we’ll tell you who already has an account — and let you invite the others.” When I saw that, it scared me (“OMG! Myspace sticking its nose in my e-mail!”) but I also found it really exciting. Now, it would be even better if I could say “import friends and family from Flickr” or “let me choose amongst my IM buddies”, but it’s a good start. Yes, there’s a danger: no, I don’t want to spam invitations to your service to the 450 unknown adresses you found in my contacts, thankyouverymuch. [Plaxo](http://www.plaxo.com/) is a way to do this (I’ve seen it criticised but I can’t precisely remember why). Facebook does it, which means that within 2 minutes you can already have friends in the network. Twitter doesn’t, which means you have to painstakingly go through your friends of friends lists to get started. I think [coComment](http://cocomment.com) and any “friend-powered” service should allow us to import contacts like that by now. And yes, sure, privacy issues.

But what about all my **profile information**? I don’t want to have to dig out my favourite movies each time I sign up to a new service. Or my favourite books. Or the schools I went to. I mean, some things are reasonably stable. Why couldn’t I have all that in a central repository, once and for all, and just have all these neat social tools import the information from there? Earlier today, [David](http://galipeau.blogspot.com/) was telling me over IM that he’d like to have a central service to bring all our Facebook, LinkedIn, OpenBC/Xing, and MySpace stuff together. Or a way to publish his CV/résumé online and allow Facebook to access it to grab data from it. Good ideas, in my opinion.

I’ll mention [OpenID](http://openid.net/) here, but just in passing, because although in my dreams in used to hold the promise of this centralised repository of “all things me”, I don’t think that it’s what it has been designed for (if I get it correctly, it is identity **verification** and doesn’t have much to do with the **contents** of this identity). [Microformats](http://microformats.org) could on the other hand certainly come in handy here.

So, please, make more holes in my buckets. Importing Gmail contacts in sticking feeds here and there is nice, but not sufficient. For the moment, Facebook seems promising. But let me use Twitter for my statuses, for example, or at least include the feed somewhere (I can only include one feed, so I’ve included my [suprglu one](http://steph.suprglu.com/), but it has a huge lag and is not very satisfying). Let me put photographs in my albums directly from Flickr. Talk with the profiles I made with other similar services. Grab my school and work info from LinkedIn and OpenBC. Then make all this information you have about me available to republish how I want it (feeds, feeds, feeds! widgets! buttons! badges!) where I want it.

Also, [more granularity](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/12/12/you-should-twitter/). Facebook has a good helping of it: I can choose which type of information I want to see from my contacts. I can restrict certain contacts from seeing certain parts of my profile. I’d like fine control on who can see what, also by sorting my people into “buddy groups”. “Friends” and “Family” as on Flickr is just not enough. And maybe Facebook could come and present me with [Stowe-groupings](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/02/07/stowe-boyd-building-social-applications/) of my contacts, based on the interactions I have with them.

Share your wild ideas here if you have any.

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You Should Twitter [en]

[fr] A découvrir absolument, Twitter, un service au croisement du moblogging et de la messagerie instantanée. Inscrivez-vous et essayez! Je vois du potentiel ici pour les adolescents, dans le sens où ça permet de s'envoyer des SMS sans devoir donner à l'autre son numéro de mobile.

[Twitter](http://twitter.com) is a cross between moblogging and instant messaging. You can send messages by SMS or by IM and they are displayed on [your page](http://twitter.com/stephtara “Here’s mine.”).

In addition to that, [people who have chosen to “follow” you](http://twitter.com/followers “My followers (!)”) get updates by IM or SMS. It’s easy to add/remove a person from those you are following using the [mobile lingo](http://twitter.com/help/lingo).

I see great things for this product once they implement groups and allow some granularity regarding privacy (ie, stuff only for my friends, stuff only for my family, stuff only for my co-workers, public stuff, stuff for my girlsfriends). I already see the potential of Twitter as an SMS anonymizer (think teenagers and dating sites).

Go and [grab an account](http://twitter.com/account/create), register your cell number (if it works with a Swiss phone number, it should work with anything!) and start [twittering](http://twitter.com/public_timeline “All the public twitters.”)! You can even try to [ping Technorati with your new TwitterBlog](http://twitter.com/kevinmarks/statuses/978133). But can you claim it, [Mr. Marks](http://epeus.blogspot.com)?

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