Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘like

This tweet reminded me about how Facebook tries to redefine friends. You might end up with thousands of “friends”, most of whom you have not met in person or online. You might not even know these people and some might even be your enemies. These are not friends; they are barely acquaintances. 

Twitter is guilty of misnomers too. Take “likes” as an example. If you want to keep track of a tweet but not propagate it, you have to like it. You actually want to bookmark or archive it for later reference, but you have to send a wrong message to the tweeter and a wrong data point to Twitter.

These platforms are not reinventing the wheel. They are reshaping it so that it is twisted out of shape and feeds their data-hungry appetites.

Words matter. We need to say what we mean, and mean what we say.

I am not being pedantic about semantics. But I am particular about saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

If we do not have shared meanings, we do not have common reference points. Then when we try to solve problems, we might go off on different tangents and risk being irrelevant. 

banksy - peaceful hearts doctor - 3 by Eva Blue, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Eva Blue 

Anyone who is anyone seems to have written about Twitter’s recent changing of the Favourite “star” to the Like “heart”.

Journalists have created a storm in the teacup by sharing their thoughts as well as the tweets of others. Here is a sample starting with the relatively mundane descriptions and reactions.

A helpful person collected the different ways you can change the heart back to a star (or even something else), but these seem to work only in the browser version of Twitter.

Now here is another sample of articles that are more analytical.

Even though the change seems cosmetic, the analytical articles explore issues related to interpretation, negotiated meaning, varied use, redefined use, and even gender. Thoughts and feelings run deeper than the change might suggest on the surface.

The cosmetic change is something tweeters might get used to eventually. I know I am going to refrain from “hearting” more tweets because the pink organs stand out like a sore thumb in one of my TweetDeck columns.

I dislike the hearts for a deeper reason. Twitter the Company is listening more to Wall Street than to the people who make up Twitter the Network. Wall Street demands more users, so Twitter the Company wants to make Twitter easier to use. However, it does this at the risk of alienating and offending its core and power users.

Twitter the Network is wondering out loud if Twitter the Company cares. But before it can care, it has to listen. Lots of people who form the network and made Twitter what it is today are tweeting and publishing their thoughts. Is Twitter the Company listening?

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