“…I wish Twitter would introduce a way to send a “public direct” message - meaning that it would be sent direct to the person but also could be seen by anyone who is a friend of both you and them. That way, people who are just friends of one participant in a conversation don’t get bothered with the updates….”
Even though replies have been formalised, Tom’s request still hasn’t been realised, not sure why, it makes perfect sense.
Plus, conversations you aren’t in can be annoying when you are getting SMS updates, it’s like listening to some speaking on their phone on the train…is Twitter leaning to more web type use than mobile.
I follow ChrisSaad (I have added him as a friend)
I don’t follow philmorle (I have not added him as a friend)
Yet in my timeline (a stream of my posts and my friends posts, ie. people I follow) I will see a tweet such as this:
ChrisSaad: @philmorle - works for me
If I don’t follow philmorle do I still want to know when ChrisSaad replies to him?
(they are called replies, but they could be shoutouts)
This is no more eavesdropping if ChrisSaad replies to Bronwen, whom I also follow (have added as a friend)
Q1. Do I mind getting the tweets of someone I follow having a conversation with someone I don’t follow?
Q2. Do I mind getting the tweets of someone I follow having a conversation with someone else who I follow?
The latter is more bearable, as I have already seen the tweet that is bring replied to, ie. I can follow this conversation.
The former won’t make sense to me as I never saw the tweet of the person who is being replied to
- this isn’t too much of a problem if I’m on the web, as I can click the link on the footer of the tweet
eg. “in reply to philmorle”
- but on SMS this isn’t as fluid
Replies don’t always link to correct Tweet
Also note that the “in reply to philmorle” links to the last tweet philmorle made at the time ChrisSaad reply tweet’d him.
In the time it took ChrisSaad to reply, philmorle may have already tweet’d again, this means the “in reply to philmorle” should be linking to the second lastest post, not the latest.
Just say I come across a tweet from 2 days ago, if I reply to that person’s particular tweet, the footer on my tweet will link to their latest tweet (they could have made a hundred tweets since then, so my footer link is linking to the wrong tweet).
Also, since time has passed they may not be able to recall which tweet of their’s I am replying to, and they shouldn’t have to…I don’t see a solution to this problem.
As I also noted before an “@” tweet may not be a reply, it may be a shoutout or a question you have initiated at someone, but yet it will be a reply to that person’s last tweet, and as a thread it would make no sense at all.
So I guess “@” replies are used instead of direct messages, they are like a public direct message, plus you can reply to a batch of people in one go.
Back to Q1 and 2
Perhaps I don’t mind overhearing as I can tweet in and contribute to the open conversation.
The difference to real life is that I may be in a room with lots of conversations going on, but be able to select what I choose to block out, and choosing to focus on stuff I want to enage in.
This is impossible to do in a linear Twitter stream as you skim through the stream having to pay attention to stuff even for a glance, whereas in real life you somehow just tune out, and the noise becomes out of your focus.
NOTE: I don’t know why I’m comparing Twitter conversation to real life…
So in theory these Tweets are meant for my eyes, and I’m not supposed to mind…this is no different to real life, at least Q2. isn’t…
RE: Q2. I’m at a bar, I am listening to a converation between two of my friends, I then decide to join the conversation, and both friends can listen to what I have to say.
For Q1. it doesn’t quite work as in real life…
RE: Q1. I’m at a bar, I am listening to my friend talking to a stranger, but I can’t hear when the stranger talks
In fact it may be more like this:
I’m at a bar, I am listening to my friend talking to himself (or to an imaginary person)
Replies from strangers
If someone I don’t follow (I haven’t added them as a friend), such as philmorle, tweets philmorle: @johnt I heard you drink coffee now, then this tweet will appear in my “replies” stream…it won’t appear in my friends stream (the stream of people I follow).
This is cool, I can then tweet johnt: @philmorle have you tried chai latte? and this will appear in his reply stream.
After a bit of “reply only stream” conversation I may decide to add him as a friend, and he might do the same.
Just the same I may watch the public timeline, and be able to “@” someone, as a way of introducing myself.
Or I have added someone as a friend so I see their tweets in my timeline, but they don’t see my tweets as they haven’t added me as a friend, so I could “@” that person introducing myself, perhaps telling them we have the same interests, feel free to add me as a friend so we can converse (they would already know I have added them as a friend via the email notification).
Your recent timeline compared to real life
Go back to the start of this post (Q 1 and 2) and expand this bar setting and fill it with people from your Twitter friends recent timeline.
Whoever you see in the bar are your friends (people you follow), ie. you can only see your friends tweets.
If you see a group of people talking together, they are a bunch of your friends having a conversation, but yet you sometimes see them talking to someone who isn’t there.
You look over and see another friend who also is talking to an invisible person, in fact lots of your friends are doing this, you begin to worry that all your friends are nuts.
You ask one of your friends why she is talking to an imaginary person with an imaginary name, but they tell you they are talking to someone they can see loud and clear, yet you can’t see them…who’s crazy you or them…they ask you if you want one of your favourite boutique beers.
Then all of a sudden someone appears for a maximum of 140 milliseconds and disappears, you heard them say Lenny: @johnt my favourite boutique beer is Little Creatures, and for some reason you know their name.
You wish for them to be your friend [add them as a friend], and now you see them and can hear everything they say.
When you talk to your old friend, it seems your new friend can see your old friend talking to thin air, they know they are talking to me, but still can’t see me.
Your new friend wishes to be your friend [adds you as a friend], and now all 3 people are having a conversation (they can all see each other).
You new friend turns to speak to another person, but you and your old friend can’t see this person…and so on.
Then you decide to have that boutique beer, one sip, and now you can see everyone; friends and strangers [the public timeline], no more crazy house…only to find out that lots of these people you can see can’t see you (each person is on their timeline).
You decide to appear as a momentary ghost to one of the people in a gathering [you “@” replied them], but the others in the gathering didn’t hear you, yet they can hear that person talking to you…this makes for an awkward conversation scenario.
Thinking about this gets a little confusing and I don’t know the point of it, maybe I was meant for “media art school”…anyway this would be good as a short abstract art film or an art installation of some kind, I bet if you watched it you wouldn’t know they are tweeting in real life.
[ADDED: hope to see some sort of virtual app or where you can see Tweet conversations in this type of bar setting (or choose your own setting), avatars that use the “@” symbol will gravitate to stand next to who they are conversing with.]