Twitter Sucks for Coffee Conversations

Posted on May 4, 2010 by

I love Twitter. I love the brevity, accessibility to brilliant people, and following the people I follow. But I don’t love the way great (often technical) conversations are sometimes hosted there. Occasionally someone I follow posts an interesting question that stimulates responses, answers, and more great questions, and suddenly my timeline is flooded with fantastic content from a variety of great sources. This would be amazing if all that great new content didn’t disappear into the void an hour later, but it does. It would be better if all those great responses were collected and archived in a way that allowed people to easily see what everyone else is thinking. That’s not what Twitter does, nor what I think it should do. Instead, I’d prefer that all you brilliant people I follow raise your great questions or thoughts in a more appropriate forum, in a venue you actually own. There’s no reason why you can’t post 140 characters of thought on your blog, tweet the link, and engage with people there. Great content won’t disappear in the timeline, and others will benefit from reading multiple opinions on one single page.

Twitter may have contributed to the demise of great coffee blogs, but maybe it can also bring them back?

  • http://www.coffeeratings.com/ greg

    Twitter is great for Haiku and link references. But it never, ever was up to the task of replacing the conversational gravity and weight you can carry in blogs. It’s a mistake to ever presume that it could.

    The only blogs it could effectively replace were from people who couldn’t write more than 140 characters of useful prose to begin with.

  • http://iantthomas.com Ian

    If there’s a hashtag or unique word associated with the conversation, you can open a twapper keeper and call it a day. With that, you can also share the conversation with folks who weren’t there from the beginning.

  • Dave

    What I want is a ‘mute for 2 hours’ button. Esp when someone is at a conference which I am not attending and I don’t care about. I don’t want to un-follow them but I don’t want to read about it.

    So maybe if that button also included all replies that would solve your problem

  • Matt

    Google Buzz, much better for conversation.

  • http://shotzombies.com Mike

    My problem isn’t that I want to hide the responses, it’s that I want them all on one page.

    As for muting people, try http://muuter.com/ or http://mutetweets.com/.

  • http://andyscherer.com Andy Scherer

    Yes, it’s work to stop the river and pick individual responses and ideas out of a twitter conversation flow.

    What it does do better than the other channels is allow for *open* conversation. That is, I can be saying something to Mike, and maybe Em will notice and chime in. It’s faster and easier to join a discussion on Twitter, and the real-time interaction adds the dynamic of spontaneity that threads and replies don’t support as well.

  • http://shotzombies.com Mike

    Well said Andy, I totally agree with this.

  • http://andyscherer.com Andy Scherer

    BTW the desktop version of TweetDeck has a feature that will show all the replies (including DMs & from to you) connected to a tweet, that may get you some of what your were commenting on.

  • http://foodzie.com Nik Bauman

    Hey Mike – I might suggest using Disqus for comments. They use a service called BackType in order to bring tweets that reference your post back to your page.

    They also allow people to post their comments on the blog directly to their twitter account. This way, it drives people back to your blog to continue the conversation.

    Not to mention, it improves the conversation and dialog on your blog too.

    I have been scouring the coffee blogs the past few weeks and I have yet to see one blog using them. Be the first!

  • http://shotzombies.com Mike White

    Thanks Nik, I took your advice. I've had a Disqus account on shotzombies.tumblr.com for a while now but was worried about losing existing comments if I switched over here. I did it this morning and it seems to be working.

  • http://foodzie.com Nik Bauman

    I just noticed when going to the post on CCC's Direct Trade Report! You're very welcome. I'm thrilled that it worked and hope that you see a bump in comments because of it.

  • http://www.LoveOfCoffee.net Love of Coffee

    Mike, you need to use your lists. Use your twitter feed to tweets that are important and add them to categorized lists. This will allow you to follow the conversation more closely in your lists – you can then just browse the twitter feed periodically to see if there is anyones comments that you also value.

    Using somehting like Hootsuite or similar will also then allow you to monitor a range of lists easily which makes the conversations more granular.

    You can also manage columns in hoosuite that are based on keywords you wish to monitor,

    Them things should be as easy as periodically scanning you different hootsuite filtered columns.

    there are also no doubt many hootsuite equivalent apps.

    Its life changing.

  • http://shotzombies.com Mike White

    Thanks Paul. I have no problem following the conversations. But the need to “manage” them is one reason why I think they should be held elsewhere. Twitter is great (I love Twitter), but I think people should own their engaging ideas instead of throwing them into the wind.

  • http://shotzombies.com Mike White

    Thanks Paul. I have no problem following the conversations. But the need to “manage” them is one reason why I think they should be held elsewhere. Twitter is great (I love Twitter), but I think people should own their engaging ideas instead of throwing them into the wind.