Twitter: Do Businesses really “get” it?

An article in today’s Indianapolis Business Journal  features the faces behind 6 local successful Indianapolis business Twitter  accounts. and an explanation of their strategy.  Although the advice is good, I found it striking that only one of the 6 is an actual retail business ( West Coast Tacos), one is a retail service business ( AAA) and all the others are some sort of service that would already have a loyal following ( Pacers, ButlerU, Indianapolis Symphony, IU Health).   They did give the well known example of  the Brewhouse franchise, but the lack of other consumer brick and mortar businesses makes me wonder if the local businesses “get” Twitter yet.
It is a relatively easy leap for non-profits and educational facilities to move to the conversation of Twitter where they can engage existing supporters and followers.Having a history of being dependent on donations means that they are already used to a deeper level of engagement with supporters to succeed. With a follower count of just over 2700, I have to wonder what percentage of those followers are new growth for the Indianapolis Symphony and how many are previous supporters who merely extended their interest to Twitter as well.  Yes, if you do Twitter badly, you will lose followers, so maintaining them shows that @indy_symphony is doing good things- but what in their strategy shows consumer facing businesses used to a “flyer advertising” mentality how to switch and be successful on Twitter?
I think interesting things are starting to happen on Twitter here in the Midwest, but there is still a lot of room for growth, and a need for people to give support, education and information. Anyone know of other really successful Midwest Businesses on Twitter who might provide role models for other businesses just getting started?

Tweetie2- very sweetie

I recently mentioned in an article about my iPod Touch that I was falling in love with Tweetie2 for twitter use – even across multiple accounts. I love it so much that even though I still hate and despise the Touch keyboard, I find myself at home picking up the touch to twitter with this Apple Design award winner rather than any of the computers I have access to. I am not going to waste time listing all the features available, you can click the link and read the website yourself. Instead, here are the top 5 reasons I love Tweetie2 enough to abandon a real keyboard.

1) Offline Sync: Since I have a touch and not an iPhone, I do not have constant connections. But I can download all the latest tweets, hit the road, respond while traveling ( while someone else drives) and have it auto sync when I get a connection again.

2) Bounce to update: There is really no technical or life changing reason why this is important. it is just simple, elegant and seriously fun. Simply pull down the list from the top and release to have the app update.

3) “Email this tweet”: There are really a multitude of ways you can simply respond to a tweet, but the addition of being able to email it is a bonus. I still have important people in my life who are *gasp* not on twitter ( the Ogre is the main one). There are often times I want to share a link or message with him and this has always involved cutting and pasting and having multiple apps open. Being able to simply select “email this tweet”has made life much easier.

4) The Blue Light Special: Switching between your timeline, @replies and DMs is as simple as clicking icons at the bottom of your screen. Even better, when you have new activity in one of those streams, it glows blue. My timeline is active enough that I just ignore that one and update at will, but having DM notifications ( which I sometimes do not monitor closely enough) is very nice. If you are a low volume twitterer, all of these would be handy.

5) Threaded DMs: If you have had some back and forth exchange of messages with someone via DM, you get to see the whole exchange history when you open the most recent DM. I absolutely love this feature and wish I could get it for @replies as well.

There are other features… maybe some you love even more and I have not glommed onto. Do you use Tweetie? If so, which features do you love most?

Is Twitter the perfect Maven Trap?

With 12 hours of solo driving to do over the previous 48 hours, I decided to re-listen to Malcom Gladwell’s, The Tipping Point to pass time and see if anything new jumped out at me. If you are not familiar with it, The Tipping Point is one of those interesting thought starter books that you can listen to about once a year or so and it will blend with your additional experiences to create new synergies. It has been about 18 months since I listened to it last, so I was curious to see what would come popping out of my subconscious during the drive.

Sure enough, during the chapter on Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen, it seemed obvious that Twitter is an application that would attract all of these types of people, but especially Connectors and Mavens. Connectors are folks who like to meet new people, to “collect” contacts. Mavens are people with a passion for a topic and love to help other people. Mavens love to reach out and assist people, with no apparent benefit for themselves. If you have spent any time on Twitter, you have met people like this. @linnetwoods is one of my favorite connectors on Twitter, bringing together and introducing groups of people who would not have met each other without her intervention. Whoever started #followfriday is absolutely a connector and a salesman who encourages others to connect as well.

But Twitter is a congregating place for Mavens as well. This is the perfect space to find people asking for help and to be able to reach out to them. This fact is probably what led @yatpundit to complain about the hysteria that stormed when the Facebook TOS first changed a couple of weeks ago. With such a high concentration of Social Media Mavens on Twitter, you are bound to see a flurry of warnings and helpful hints when this sort of event occurs. But Tehnology Mavens are not the only ones hanging out on Twitter. I have seen helpful posts on topics ranging from coupon shopping to homebrewing. If I were a business looking to locate Mavens for my vertical, Twitter is one of the first places I would start to look.

Mr. Gladwell ends the book with the comment that he is not sure there is any sure fire way to locate Mavens, but I am beginning to be convinced that Twitter might very well get you 80% there. By starting with a twitter search to locate people talking about the topic you are interested in, then following this with some analysis on the posts of that subset to find the folks who are making helpful responses to the widest audience, you will end up with a list of the Mavens you are looking for. The perfect Maven trap.

Twitter Dream or TwitterMare?

The flow of information over on Twitter has become a raging torrent these days. This is not a bad thing. I love diving in and out of the information flow,playing tag with bits and pieces of conversations and news blurbs. As an information consumer, this pattern of Twitter usage feels comfortable and is not overwhelming in the least. I follow a little over a thousand people and for the most part just use the standard web interface.

From an information dissemination point of view, this becomes problematic. Although I have more than a thousand followers, no single tweet gets seen by all of my followers. With people dipping in and out of the river, only DMs or @s are persistent and will be seen by followers across time – other tweets flow past. To paraphrase Heraclitus , “you can not read the same Twitterstream twice”.

When I am asking a casual question such as “what is a famous brand of rootbeer“, or “ please recommend a web development company for non-profits“, then I am likely to get a small handful of answers and solve my dilemma. I do not need to reach all of my followers at once to get the information I need.

But if I am trying to use Twitter as a marketing tool for an event or a project, the number of my fllowers who will see ( and potentially re-tweet) my otice is small at any given point in time. Add to this the concept of twitter groups becoming more common, and how long before we see a mass Twitter tol that is a Marketer’s dream? More importantly, wil this tool be useful for the twitter masses as well, or will it become a twitterMare?
Here is the vision:
Log into a web page ( or use a desktop client) set up and config your groups.
Type in the 140 characters ( or less) of your message.
Select the group and click “updateGroup”
The twitter mass mailer will then auto @ your message to each of the members of the group. ( up to some groups size limit, due to API limitations…)

Do you see this as a potentially useful tool, or the next Magpie Tweetmare ? Tell me what you think.

Twitter Adventure Tails

Nearly two weeks ago, @dailyTwitter and I started some innocent repartee that has grown into a global adventure tail being spun across the Twitterverse. We thought it would be fun to pull it together in a single post so that you can get caught up on the story (..so far…) and give us some feedback.

It all started 13 days ago at the tail end of a discussion of the future of mobile. I was trying to say that I thought dinners should be less mobile, but he playfully took it as an offer of dinner:

roguepuppet: @dailytwitter I would contend that mobile is the future of information, but some things should move away from mobile. ( dinner?)
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet dinner? sure, you fancy thai or cantonese ๐Ÿ˜‰
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter mmm.. either? you bringing it over? I have the fire going..
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet yeah sure dm your address i’ll get the next available flight ๐Ÿ˜‰ dinner might get cold… but fire sounds fab. dt
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet real fire?
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter real fire. in the fireplace. absolutely…
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet real fire idyllic, just stuck in customs, bringing a thai from london has its difficulties ๐Ÿ˜‰ might be be stone cold!
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter It is ok, I have a microwave, also ๐Ÿ˜‰ f you get stuck long in customs, eat the thai, we will make due.
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet I wont eat the thai that would be rude, especially the king prawn i managed to get – they so yummy. open the wine ๐Ÿ˜‰ dt
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet i had to eat the thai ๐Ÿ™‚
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter ok, I will go ahead and cook the chicken for taquitos then. No fire built today yet, been too busy.should be fire by 2pm
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet thats cool, i bought some guacamole in customs and three cookies. dont worry about the fire have a scarf long enough for 2 ๐Ÿ™‚
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet i got waylaid, got into a taxi cab they took me around the block, am somewhere between 5th and 241st have no idea = lost ๐Ÿ™‚
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter gps in your phone? tweet your location. You can come out with us to hear the band tonight.
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet ok taxi driver took me across the state, ended up at pier 39 – looks like i have a long walk back, remnants of thai in a bag ๐Ÿ™‚
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter sigh. the growth of cheap gps has resulted in a plethora of taxi drivers who get lost. Can I send a limo for you, save walk?
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet a limo would be fine and dandy, make sure they have some water in the thing, as i am parched – the chillies from the thai… ๐Ÿ™‚
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter chilled fresh spring water of course, only the best in our limos. ๐Ÿ˜‰
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet limo arrived, thanks for water, life saver. currently partying with a few new found friends in the stretch, might be delayed…
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter wait wait.. those limo babes were for us to share …
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet ah ok, you didn’t say that. ok, then we are leaving now – wont be long, promise not to take any detours ๐Ÿ˜‰ dt
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet to share? there are three.. so who gets lucky with 2 then? hmmm i think we need to agree a deal. oh oh not far now. dt
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter why do we need to divide and conquer? all for one.. and one for all….
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet ๐Ÿ™‚ ah sounds a much better idea. ok am not far now, sugggest getting fire ready, any candles and chocolate ice cream too?
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet we are parked outside what i think is ur place, although not sure. do u have gnomes in ur front garden? like 100’s of them?
dailytwitter: is stuck in a @roguepuppet limo with a few friends partying in what i think is Indiana. waiting for a phone call.

Then we started to drag a few other people into the mix. Some played along… some got a little confused ๐Ÿ˜‰

thedridge: @dailytwitter haha now I know who to ask for advice on my next garden gnome purchase ( @roguepuppet )
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter oooh wrong house. our gnomes all migrated south for the winter. I think you are at @mmwine ‘s place in the sun
mmWine: @roguepuppet No Gnomes here! I punt them
roguepuppet: @mmWine hey.. those are my gnomes you are punting… which direction did you send them? Do gnomes have a good sense of direction??
mmWine: @roguepuppet I’m Horde (WoW) .. .GNomes are for eating.
roguepuppet: @mmWine lol..You ATE my gnomes!! I should never have trusted that sunny smile ๐Ÿ˜‰ (I have to admit, we have snacked as well..Ogre and all)
roguepuppet: @bikerbar speaking of hospitality, that reminds me @dailytwitter is lost in a limo with 3 hot babes, looking for my house. Seen him? ๐Ÿ˜‰
bikerbar: @roguepuppet : no limo … no lost 3 hot babes… LOL
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet hey turns out the babes are from rio! we chartered a plane down to brazil, i maybe sometime, but will be back for fireside fun
dailytwitter: @thedridge ah i think if you need gnomes @roguepuppet delegated it to @mmwine appears hers migrated south ๐Ÿ™‚ dt
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet be back from rio in a few days, keep that fire in mind, oh i saw some gnomes down here, they are in bikini though, weird!
dailytwitter: @rasga mehico well i told @roguepuppet i was in brazil… might go north ๐Ÿ™‚
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet ok slight issue, the limo babes stole the limo, am stranded in Rio airport with $3, a toothbrush, copy of vanity fair. help! dt
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter check page 237 of Vanity Fair, small print ad has a phone number you can call for print. Be sure to brush. Plaque kills
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet page 247 is missing! called ad on 249 got rickshaw pickup in 2hours. spent my $3 on cheap disposable cam, will send pics soon
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter after I spent all that time and money to perfect time travel and get the info into the correct vanity fair edition for you?
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter hope the pics make the wait worthwhile… Rio should be interesting content..
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet i have suspicion that i travelled back in time and tore it out on purpose, for a reason – am trying to figure out why…
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet http://tinyurl.com/d5psxh (expand) airport Rio, boring picture – camera isnt bad though for $3 – more fun pics as i take them. dt
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter oh no.. like you, this pic is 404
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet found page 237! down the back of the ricksaw – spooky. dialed number i spoke to ‘Mr. Chan’ – he said you have the answers…
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet in mehico, lounging with border guards and jamieson! have a bicycle to hand, locals nice. lost camera. still have toothbrush.
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter requesting some fine tequila when you get done with your siesta. Careful, the border guards are shifty.
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet tequila bagged. guards alseep. tip toe across the border seems easy now. torch strapped to my head. heading north, get fire on.
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter it is stripper friday, better get here fast…
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet down in florida, need to catch small plane across the keys – who was your contact in the area? Mr Chan said you had feelers out
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet you need to pull a full ‘strings’ to get me to indiana in time – managed to acquire local thai takeaway, so still on track(ish)
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet ok found highway 27 north bound, am in the back of a truck – don’t ask!? http://tinyurl.com/afrwv5
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet been running for 4 hours, bicycle broke in Carmel just running down route 31 past kempton, cold thai in carry out. you hungry?
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter oh my… no joke. Daughter just cooked thai for dinner tonight… stuffed.. bu we can heat yours and have it for late night
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet got hoodwinked by some hoods. on a fast boat to china, thai and fire may have to wait. can bring back some prezzies for you. dt
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter interesting.. thought all boats to china were slow… watch out for the brd flu. will wire you ransom money, please bring silk
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet just awoke in chinese takeaway, they had speedboat! eating noodles with ‘Mr Chan’ – turns out its a she! Need cash wiretransfer
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet need $10 dolla. stop. send charlies limo babes. stop. Mr. Chan is kingpin silk smuggler. stop. have chinese………………..
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet did u wire the $10 dolla? currently hanging by legs over a crocodile pit in burma. locals hospitable ๐Ÿ™‚ all watching opra! WTF?
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter wired 20$ to Mr Chan ( accounted for wire operator skimming ) tell them you ingested poison that will kill crocs if they eat u
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet ok poison ploy worked. now am being married to tribal chiefs daughter. OMG this can’t be happening! Need a plan… quick :-O
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet got the $2000 dolla, obviously wire service got cross wires ๐Ÿ™‚ downside tribal chief bought engagement ring!! this is not good.
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter tell them poison also renders you infertile… End of line for tribe. You need to consult village elder and teach poison.
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet holy shmoke, guy in a fedora hat carrying a whip just pulled me outa there! Did u send him? in tiger moth flying east, phew!
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter I did not send fedora hat guy. Make sure he is not going to charge you. I hear he hates snakes, you can use that if needed.
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet tiger moth crash landed vietnam. fedora guy gone. currently in paddy field hiding from locals. found copy of GQ, page 6 missing
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet sat in rice field, smoking strange cigarette, feeling very chilled. reading the GQ i found – 1967 edition. need to find a bike
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet page 76 GQ had a number to call. i dialed with loose change i had. limo turned up!! driving back to bangkok. you want a thai?
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter I never turn down good thai. So glad that time machine is paying off. The ad charges are getting expensive, arrive soon
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet traversing a rope bridge across valley rift, tad wobbly, am not sure i will make it acroooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…………
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter grab for that rope above your head… helicopter rescue. hang in there.
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet gadzukes! sat in bay of special forces blackhawk chopper, these friends of yours?! being taken to a secret locale, will advise
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter yes, those are the guys. shh… special favor as a result of blow out weekend party I helped them with. Buzz me when you land
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet yeah the guys are telling me about your antics. landed in Bikini Atoll, or rather dumped. have small wooden boat. hmm paddle?!
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet Bikini Atoll AWESOME! dropped thai, whoops. got old Scuba gear, have 2 swim cross shark infested lagoon. found a key n cigar?!
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet discovered key fits a Harley Davidson found hidden in bushes – understand cigar now. cruising on open road, heading west.
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet harley stolen outside diner in india. cigar intact. have 100 rupee. locals helpful. taking an elephant 2 airport. help, need $
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter watch for yogi in a purple robe. He has a package for you. The rubies need to come here. Dont lose whatever you do.
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet found yogi. handed me a brown package. familiar shape. has the words amazon stamped on the side. maybe this is a clue? opening
roguepuppet: @dailytwitter was the ruby in the package? should be some extra spending money and a plane ticket as well
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet package is book of ancient hindu temples. inside map to Shiva temple. map shows location of ruby. no ticket only $301. on way
dailytwitter: @Hedgewytch ah playing an adventure game with @roguepuppet, started few weeks back. its quite random and fun ๐Ÿ™‚ you want to start one???
dailytwitter: @roguepuppet inside Shiva temple. awesome! ruby is sitting at top of statue. page 49 of book has riddle in Hindi, seeking translator. hungry

How will we get @dailytwitter out of the temple? Will @roguepuppet ever get her takeout Thai delivered? To find out, you will have to follow us both to track the story as it develops. We both think that it would be fun if other people joined in the story. What interesting twists can you throw in? Will you meet @dailytwitter in person along his route, or will you send him aid? Perhaps you will be an obstacle to his progression? I will post an update here once a week with the condensed versions, for those of you not on Twitter, or who do not like the volume of our combined Twitterstreams. If you are going to play along, please be sure to tag your post with a #tt hashtag, so I can find it and include it in the ongoing saga.

Twitter is not a Party

In a previous post, I was using the analogy of a party to describe different social media sites. But Twitter(and FriendFeed)is no party.
That does not meant that they are work. The difference is that where most social media sites are defined by the content shared by the people who gather there and the way(s) in which they interact, Twitter (and FriendFeed ( last time in parenthesis.. just imply it from now on, ok??)) is a framework for interaction.
Twitter has thousands of little (and big) parties all happening at once, with just a enough of a dimensional shift to keep them from colliding, but not adverse to the occasional inter dimensional tesseract. On Twitter, at any one point in time, you will find business meetings, creative collaborations, Q&A, games, help sessions, therapy, networking,old friends, new friends and flirtations. You can participate in as many ( or as few) of those interaction types as you like. There is NO “right way” to behave on Twitter.
Yes, there are business deals on Facebook and yes, there are even some old friends hooking up on LinkedIn. But those are the outliers, the people bucking the unspoken social consensus of why those sites exist.
On Twitter? There is no consensus for the raison d’etre for the twitterverse. Stop worrying about if you are using it right or wrong, find your way, create something new and make it fit your needs. The only caution I will give you is to know your audience and expect some push back and resistance to some of the things you try. That is fine. We all have personal tastes and preferences. That is part of what makes Twitter an interesting place. Personally? I am not in favor of inline advertising tweets like Magpie. My choice. I am not going to tell you are you not allowed, or you are “doing Twitter wrong” if you choose to participate. Maybe you have a group of people who really like it. I can un-follow those whose tweets I do not enjoy. I can not keep them off of Twitter.
People will try to tell you there is a “right ratio” of following to followers, or that if you follow too many people, you are “not true to the spirit of Twitter”. Balderdash, I say. Use the ratios that work for you, choose compatriots who agree. Feel free to express an opinion about how you like it and why, but don’t try to tell everyone else they are wrong if they are different or try to insist that they be like you.
My current pet peeve is tweeple who insist that you can not be friends with more than 25 ( or 50, or 100, or 501…) people. Thus, if you are following “too many” people, you are breaking “the rules”. I say they are right, everyone has a limit to how many real friends they can maintain. But they are wrong about following on Twitter and they just don’t get it. Not everyone I am following is my friend. Some of the “people” I am following are news feeds. I don’t interact (much, I do occasionally correct a news feed)with those tweeps. Some of the tweeps I am following just amuse me. They are not friends, I hardly ever respond.. but they make me smile. Some of the folks I follow are those with interests or hobbies that overlap mine. I do not interact with all of their posts and I have no idea how many kids they have, or what they had for dinner. I read through for the references to the interest we share and exchange information with them on that one topic. Sometimes the relationships grown from there, but not always. Some of the amazing people I follow have become friends. We chat, we DM, we interact off and on all day long. None of those are the right or the wrong way to use Twitter. You probably have three others that I did not list. Those are all OK, as well.
Tweet as much as you like about “correct following ratios”, it is a free twitterverse. It will gain you like minded followers, and others who disagree will drift away and congregate elsewhere. This is the freedom that the Twitter infrastructure provides.
As recently as this past summer, there were no games on Twitter. Now I see several per day. Maybe you like them, maybe you hate them. Choose the folks you follow accordingly. Maybe you have the next great idea for the evolution of the Twitter game show.
How will you innovate Twitter to help it evolve to the next undreamed application?

scoble needs some backtalk

Yesterday morning, Robert Scoble was chastising someone for sending him a DM on Twitter. The strength of his dislike caught me off guard, especially since just hours earlier I had found out that I had won one of the HP Magic contests, and I was crediting a large portion of it to the power of a DM. I had to ask why he hated them so and he pointed me to an article he had written on why DMs suck. Although he has some reasonable points, I think for the most part, he is missing the point of DMs. If Twitter is the back channel discussion of real life, DMs are the back channel discussion on Twitter. If Twitter is a meeting room, DMs are the equivalent of sitting in a meeting, leaning over to the guy sitting next to you and quietly talking under your hand to him. If Twitter is a cocktail party, DMs are the equivalent of walking up to your lover in the middle of the crowded room and whispering something suggestive in their ear. I think that private one on one communication remains a powerful force, even on the internet, so I am presenting some counter arguments to Scoble’s 10 reasons, reproduced below. I am interested in your thoughts… how and why do you use DMs?

Robert Says:
1. I canโ€™t delete them all. So I ignore them all.

I say:
1. This seems like an incredibly binary reaction to the world. And honestly, it misses what was at first the most disconcerting “feature” of DMs for me- if the sender deletes their DM to you, your version of it disappears as well. This feature should give us a huge clue that DMs are meant to be transient. They are whispers, quiets jokes or a poke in the ribs from a friend.

Robert Says:
2. I canโ€™t put them into folders. So, no way to prioritize them. Or, if you are a Gmail addict, no way to tag messages.

I say:
2. Why would you want to tag, file and sort transient information? And how is that useful if something you spent lots of time classifying could randomly disappear when the sender cleans out their DM drawer?

Robert Says:
3. No way to resort them. No way to see old messages. Or messages from someone specific. Email has those features.

I say:
3. DMs are not email. This is like saying that apples are not a good because banana skins are easier to peel. It would be more useful to discuss the features we would like them to have to make them even more useful, rather than just griping about how they are different from something they are not.

Robert Says:
4. No way to forward messages. That means they are useless for business. If you ask me a business question I MUST forward the question and get approvals. No way to do that on Twitter.

I say:
4. Thank God. The whole reason you whisper something is that you do not want everyone else to know about it. The real complaint here is that people are misusing DMs. Why would you mutter a business proposal to someone in real life without also handing them a business card that they can take with them and has more permanence? The opportunity here would be to educate people. Don’t ridicule them for sending you DMs. If you like the proposal, respond by asking for a follow up email. If you don’t like it, politely ignore it.

Robert Says:
5. No way to BCC messages. In email I can copy my boss blindly so you canโ€™t see that Iโ€™m doing that. Thatโ€™s a way that I can keep him involved in my life and up to date on all the wild promises Iโ€™m making to people. Thatโ€™s why I donโ€™t make promises on Twitter or Facebook.

I say:
5. You are right, don’t make business deals in the wrong venue. But does the fact that you cannot BCC a cocktail conversation mean that you should not talk to anyone at a party? Not everything in life is a business deal, not everything on Twitter is meant to be productive.

Robert Says:
6. You ask me a question that requires a 500 word response but you ask it in a place that limits me to 140 characters. Thanks for frustrating me.

I say:
6. This would piss me off too. But get mad at the sender, not the medium.

Robert Says:
7. I canโ€™t respond to your own DMโ€™s unless you follow me. Seriously. The design of Twitterโ€™s DMโ€™s +is+ that lame.

I Say:
7. On this point I completely agree. It would be more useful to have a method that lets the receiver block an annoying incoming DM, rather than requiring a bidirectional relationship to start a DM.

Robert Says:
8. I canโ€™t put an auto answer onto DMโ€™s so that I can tell you to get a clue and to send me email instead.

I say:
8. I know I should say something astute here, but I am struggling with a mental image of Robert walking around a cocktail party with a sandwich board sign strapped to him reading ” Just email me”.

Robert says:
9. I canโ€™t CC, or copy other people, or send a message to a group. Things that email has been able to do for years.

I say:

9. See Number 3 above.

Robert Says:
10. I canโ€™t move my DMโ€™s out of Twitter and into other systems. Thatโ€™s something that Iโ€™ve been able to do with email for years and itโ€™s served me well. Even Hotmail lets me forward emails to Gmail.

I say:
10. Again, with the mental images.. this time Robert is at a cocktail party with an MP3 recorder so he can record, resort and archive his conversations. Wait. he does this, only it is a cell phone.

Robert Says:
11. UPDATE, this just came in via Twitter from @TraciKnoppe: โ€œ@Scobleizer Use your great influence for good & get Twitter to chng the DM req. & API limits. Make it so number one. :Pโ€

I say:
11. I hope that if I am ever as famous as Robert, I remember to occasionally use my power for good, and to listen to the requests of the “little folks”, rather than just being annoyed by them. Ya’ll make me famous and I promise to try.