Why crowdsourcing Twitter will never, ever work

by Jon Thompson on May 3, 2009

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric May 3, 2009 at 12:19 pm

While hilarious, I’m not sure that this tweet is worthy of discrediting the wins from monitoring twitter. I’m thinking about earth quakes like Sichuan where crowdsourcing news/emergencies on twitter has been helpful (news of the quake first broke on twitter). Monitoring twitter not only lets you be the first to know, but for you to all get a survey of how people are reacting to news and rumers.

I totally sympathize with you that it is impossible to find good tools to interact and sift through this fire hose of information (I read that there are about 1,600 tweets a minute, and that is not when something is breaking). Once there are better tools that let the signal or trends emerge, we will turn the noise signal issue around to turn noise into a comparative advantage and not let liars, – however funny – reduce the signal we’re looking for and to take someone like mhogue1981, who is now talking about “dry humping a can of SPAM” http://twitter.com/mhogue1981/status/1680166308, which is not nearly as funny as @StephenTColbert “One of the earliest symptoms of swine flu is tasting like bacon. So if you suspect someone is infected, give them a good lick.” _13 minutes ago_ http://twitter.com/StephenTColbert/status/1689220952 and chalk both up to showing that there is good awareness about the swine flu, but that bacon jokes are trailing off according to this graph http://www.flickr.com/photos/developmentseed/3497638189/

btw, love the blog, keep up the great work.

Jon Thompson May 4, 2009 at 11:23 am

Sorry for the delay and the excellent comment. I am just getting settled in Rome where I Twittered the earthquakes a while back and ended up doing a live interview with BBC as a result of my Tweets. That is why 1) why I have been neglecting my blog and 2) I totally agree and I am well aware of the fact that crowdsourcing Twitter has it’s advantages. That post was actually me trying to be funny (I thought comedy would be a decent fill in for substance) and taking the piss out of Paul Currion at Humanitarian.info who is an ardent crowdsourcing hater. (Again, a joke.) We’ve been going back and forth about the merits of crowdsourcing for some time and when I saw that I struggled but ultimately caved into my desire to post it. I actually sat on it for a couple days which I should not have done.
One thing that I did run across today (to totally change the subject) and something that I should write about is the phenomenon of URL shorteners. I think I just found my new vice. I love these things. They are cute, cuddly and have names like Awe.sm and Bit.ly. I just awesome over at TechCrunch and have been monkeying with Bit.ly on and off all day. Talk about fast! Minute by minute feedback that is going to create a whole new breed of Twitter addicts. Bit.ly puts Twitter on steroids and everybody is getting into the game. Digg was the default on my Twhirl client until I set up Bit.ly and now Awe.sm gives everyone a piece of the pie. The potential here is massive and I am pretty sure there are going to be battles fought over micro turf in the not too distant future.
Thanks for the comment and bear with me while I get situated.

Eric May 10, 2009 at 7:18 am

Welcome to Rome, still thought you were in CA. Good to know you are not writing off monitoring twitter :p and, again, this tweet was a funny find. I am also really excited about the possibilities of short URLs showing trends. Saw your post from May 5th and the link you posted to TechCrunch’s write up on bitly: http://is.gd/xyyz Also, great link drop to Mashable on the future of ‘real time’.

All of this stuff is obviously really connected. I will try to drop you a line when I am in Rome in September.

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