Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is Twitter’s way to deal with SPAM justified?

While, my last two blogs were talking about SPAM on twitter and how unwanted, interrupting and noisy messages can clutter your channels making them ineffective and undesirable to use (woops! too much negativity there!), this new update from Twitter, makes me thinking again!

Today’s notification from Twitter to stop @replies from non-friends, is seemingly twitter’s answer to SPAMMERS. I say, a pretty lame one! According to this, you will not be able to @reply to someone you does not follow you. So, here you go – another win for restriction, another kill for the freedom.

And this is a real LOL situation, because if I am a SPAMMER, I can still send “@reply ” So, what does this policy stop?

Why @reply is legitimate?

In fact, there is difference between promoting Best Practices than disciplining. I can site several instances, where I send / receive @replies to and from folks who I know exist but do not follow as I do not care as much. But, once in a while I enjoy the @replies. And I know for sure, I am not alone. From business point of view, if @replies were not allowed everyone who has comcast would be following @comcastcares and vice-versa. Today, @comcastcares guy sniffs around to see “trouble” and “comcast” spoken in one context. As soon as one is found, he sends an @reply “how can we help you” Once that transaction is over, they do not care about one another until again comcast fails for the user. So, now how does this transaction take place? In my own experience, I once refferred my previous company @strongmail to someone. I received an @reply from an email marketer suggesting another email marketing company. Which, I think was a very legitimate communication. Why stop that? It takes away the complete essence of communicating on the channel!!!

I have never liked applications to be restrictive – specially an application that is on the making of cult – just cannot afford to stop some usage / practices, just like that! To me, Twitter’s today’s step just sounds like a work-around for another problem – volume/usage. Another reason that makes me suspicious is Twitter’s scheduled maintenance downtime – On a weekday, at noon PST [We will have one hour of planned maintenance at noon Pacific on Wednesday. Read more.]? Another wrong indication.

At ObjectiveMarketer, we completely rely on the sanity of Twitter. Your health is our life line. Ask us, if we can help. Please do not give us shocks!


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