I love giving and receiving comments so much. It makes me miss people having blogs. I love checking my RSS reader to see if anyone has new blog posts. But these days, my RSS reader is much more quiet.
Instead, these days conversations online happen on Facebook and Twitter. I find Facebook to be the better conversation medium than Twitter. But for the sake of this blog post, we’ll look at Twitter. And the downfalls of Twitter as a conversation medium.
Why Tweets are harder to comment on than blog posts
- Quick tweets enables publishing quick unprocessed thoughts.
I love quick publishing, the ability to get your thoughts out there without friction. In theory, more sharing would yield to more interaction. But in reality, you end up with a land where many tweets just aren’t interesting.
- Quick tweets enables brainless regurgitating of existing ideas.
When repeated slogans and thoughts are everywhere, you just don’t feel like responding to them.
- Short tweets don’t explain the full story.
Even if you have an interesting well-thought idea, you don’t necessarily have the room to expand out on the idea. Yeah, you could link to a longer blog post or article to expand on the idea. And then we are back into the land of blogs! That would be nice.
Enhancing conversation on Twitter
Ok, despite these challenges of Twitter being a weaker platform for comments, what can we do to enhance conversation on Twitter?
Sometimes I think I could set out on a project where in one sitting I comment on EVERYBODY’S tweets. As in, every. single. tweet. That’s just too much, right? There are an infinite number of tweets. Maybe if I could reply to everyone’s tweets in one 24-hour period. That’s a neat idea. But whoa, that would be too much.
How about something more manageable at first? Take the first 100 tweets in your stream, and reply to every one of those 100.
I’ve thought about doing this before, but then I get stuck on the very first tweet. I don’t know what to say. Some tweets, I just got nothing. Either tweet doesn’t have anything to hook onto, or I just can’t relate to what’s being said.
Increasing empathy and curiosity
Every tweet has some kernel of thought. Certainly, I can express enough curiosity for me to garner a response. Maybe a question of inquiry for every tweet.
This sort of exercise might push my empathy a bit more. To help me to really think through, and come up with responses for every situation. At the very least it would give Google some exercise, as I would copy the text in the tweet, and then google for something that I can share back with the person.
I have a feeling this might be a project where I do this with the first ten tweets in my stream. LOL. Hey, it’s a start.