How can a product so simple, with so few updates, stay so relevant?
Sure, they made it 280 characters now. And I’ll be honest, I think it’s improved. Was the original 140 characters a fluke? A guess? I’m not sure.
But the guard rails produce the best in all of us.
We had to constrain our thinking and become more picky about our verbiage. Some studies show Twitter is forcing people to become BETTER writers not worse.
Then there was the rise of the “Tweet Storm;” a series of Tweets rapid fire on a single topic. And Twitter still dominates the cultural conversations and breaking news.
Not to mention it’s the foremost platform where you go to learn. That’s right, many of the people on twitter are SMART. I learn something new every day there. Not just sharing about their family or the meal they ate which is all well and good, but discussing the issues, and freely sharing information with the community.
But we’re simple creatures. Much of what’s built on top of any social media platform is either more friction or a cherry on top.
What we’re really seeking is simple: expression and connection.
And Twitter helps you go their immediately.
We want to be heard, let our opinions be known, that we’re here, that we exist in the world!
And my case in point is the number of trolls on Twitter. I’m not talking about the Russian bots, but the reactionists.Those who feel it’s absolutely necessary that their opinions be known. They feel invisible otherwise!
What’s trolling if not A CRY FOR HELP!
It’s like college. You know, the big guy at the party who’s rude to everyone, and brags about how he can outdrink everyone… inside he feels invisible.
And like the world, Twitter is built on sub-cultures. No two feeds look the same.
Facebook gives you filter bubbles of the same general ideas (politics, or social situations).
Twitter gives you filter bubbles based on interest.
Like Photographer Twitter, where everyone saw open space outside of Instagram to get their work seen on a platform not inherently built for images.
Or Philosophy Twitter, where major thinkers like Naseem Taleb and Naval Ravikant talk out loud about their ideas.
And Crypto Twitter with the shills and evangelists.
And of course Political Twitter… and so on.
At the end of the day, Twitter is our Moleskin Notebook.
It’s our public notepad. And after the network got overcrowded with people over-sharing their own blog post links, we’ve returned to that simple concept.
We jot ideas down, send them out into the world and see what comes back. And we don’t overthink it. On many mediums of text, say email, we’re worried about getting something perfect, less someone calls you out on it later.
But that’s not the point! If this thing is our notepad, our discussion board, then we’re going to say ideas that we change our mind on, we’re going to throw things out just to see. Like in your diary. Maybe that’s how you feel today but tomorrow…
We’re all just exploring and sending thoughts out into the giant ocean of the internet, waiting to hear back from other souls picking up on our wavelength.
And Twitter remains a medium for that.
P.S. As you might have seen Kanye is back on Twitter and now he’s writing his “Philosophy book” out in public.
P.P.S. I Love Kanye, but to me, it’s a bit tone-deaf for the current state of the platform, in the sense that he’s ratcheted up the sharing to a 10 on “Philosophy” Twitter. Then again, people seem captivated by it, and it’s all to hype is a new album. I’m just hoping he doesn’t overhype and burn us out…
P.P.P.S. Remember, you don’t know any of these people personally or in real life. So not only can their thinking be downright wrong, but you can misconstrue it. So it’s not perfect, but the pure volume of new thinking is healthy, in doses.