Blue Screen Of Duds

Where the alter ego of codelust plays

Kill the “unread” count

with 4 comments

Actually, the title for the post should have been “Why Twitter Works for Me,” but it does have some valid things to say about why it trumps email and RSS readers for me.

1) It has no unread count: Almost every application that has hit us since the advent of email has made a point to remind us constantly how far behind are we lagging on information accumulation, processing and categorization. Everything these days tends to tell you that you suck if you are 1) not overwhelmed by information overload and 2) not trying out the zany fancy ways to kill the overload.

2) Simple is the new complicated: There have been numerous attempts made till date to find a complicated explanation for why Twitter works, while the fact is that it works because it is quite simple. All information is presented in flat structure, in a hassle-free manner that saves you from having to tag/organise, categorize information. In Twitter there are no labels, folders or color coding. You can dive in and swim out of conversations at will and also pick your ideal rate/degree of involvement.

In a weird way, Twitter is exactly what you want it to be. It can be a social network, a meme tracker, time-lapse instant messaging or even email lite, which is why everyone has a hard time trying to define it. It means different things to different people.

3) 140 or bust!: Since there is a soft limit of 140 characters per message, Twitter, by virtue of its form, forces users to condense the matter into concise little capsules. This automatically means that value per message per follower or message is considerably higher than what you get from subscribing to an RSS feed. The form itself ensures filtering of the content, rather than having to rely on social categorization or machine categorization.

4) Single window system: The best thing about Twitter is that it does not enforce the use of any particular software or website to participate in the conversations, or just listen in. You can do all the activities specified in (2) using any of the numerous ways that are available to interact with the framework.


Written by shyam

March 10, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Posted in social media

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. […] Shyam prefers Twitter these days to keep in touch with the online world and tells us why it trumps RSS reader and even email for him. I agree; that unread count in your Google Reader makes you feel so horribly behind times (mark it all read, I’m told but what if I missing something important?) […]

  2. Ok, then listen to these few more productivity tips

    * NetNewsWire — increase the RSS Refresh interval, try something like 2 hours.
    * Twitterific — Do not let it alert you about new tweets. No sound.

    “Ignore, ignore, ignore” is the “mana”. It is perfectly fine to ignore twitter updates, un-wanted emails and RSS Feeds.


    March 31, 2008 at 6:34 pm

  3. Brajeshwar,

    Last desktop RSS reader that I used was on Windows, a long time ago, and it was GreatNews. Now a complete Google Reader convert and don’t intend to go back to any desktop solutions.

    Same is the case for twitterific, I refuse to install apps that serve singular purposes.


    March 31, 2008 at 10:05 pm

  4. Love the theme : clean, minimalist. Hadn’t seen it earlier.

    Just wondering though : is it worth adding a widget to your pages (i.e. about, disclaimer, etc.) in the sidebar or would you prefer not to have links to them there?

    This is, incidentally, obviously a manifestation of OCD. :oops:


    April 2, 2008 at 12:17 am

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