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October 06, 2008

Microblog Megaphoning: Informative or Irresponsible?

By Mona Nomura of Pixel Bits (FriendFeed/Twitter)

Microblogging is becoming more common. Especially Twitter, which has been featured in major publications, including TIME, Newsweek, and InformationWeek. Aggregating sites are spawning and major social networking sites are encouraging data sharing, which is efficient, since we are active on various sites and...

Oh, screw this. I'm going to say what I have to say.

I am active on FriendFeed and it is an aggregator. Meaning, I see everything my "friends" choose to feed in. Most shares are informative, helpful, and newsworthy. Others are quite appalling. Specifically, Tweets.

Just today, I saw a bunch of Tweets from a FOAF (friend of a friend) detailing work, client, and vendor relations. Last week, said individual was Tweeting about how busy and tired they were, and gave the impression (s)he was unhappy with their job. As an employer, I would not be happy to see the flow of complaints megaphoned.

And that person's Tweets exemplify only a few of the thousands of baffling Tweets I've seen.

The problem with microblogging and the ease of publishing information is this: most people don't think before spewing 140 characters. Don't get me wrong, not everyone is emotive, but I've seen one too many foot-in-mouth Tweets.

The simplest solution may be requesting Twitter to implement "Mail Goggles" like Google did for Gmail. Perhaps then, we will see some tact. Until that day, remember to think before hitting "post". After all, not only do those spontaneous Tweets represent who we are, those brain vomits will forever be indexed and cached by Google.

Read more by Mona Nomura at Pixel Bits.