Yesterday, I tried Tweetstorming for the first time. It was a Tweetstorm about Tweetstorming. You can see the entire storm here.
You might think “that’s a strange way to communicate publicly when there are all these awesome blogging tools out there like WordPress, Tumblr, Medium, etc” and you would be partially right.
What you might miss, and I missed until recently, is that Tweetstorming has some unique characteristics, which I outlined in my storm, that make it different and possibly better in some respects.
But what is certainly true, and I demonstrated by missing Tweet 8/ in my storm, is that Twitter doesn’t make it easy to storm properly and Twitter doesn’t make it easy to consume storms properly. As a result many Twitter users feel that storming is spamming and they also feel like its very hard to consume and engage with storms. At the end of my storm, I encouraged Daniel Graf, Twitter’s new VP Product, to fix all of that.
There are already some good tools out there for Tweetstorming, like Dave Winer‘s Little Pork Chop.
After my storm and the engaging discussion on Twitter, Dave reached out to me and encouraged me to use Little Pork Chop.
I wrote back to him and said that I would try it, but that I would prefer to have Tweetstorming functionality built natively into Twitter and that I had been encouraging the folks at Twitter to do that.
Dave then asked why I would want Twitter to build this when the functionality already exists and that would have negative consequences for the developers who had already been building and iterating on tools to solve this problem.
I wrote back and said that I use Twitter’s Android app for almost all my tweeting and consumption and I really want everything to be right in that app and not have to mess around with third party tools to get what I want out of Twitter.
Which begs an age old question about platforms and the developers who hack around them. And, of course, this age old question has been front and center in the discussion about Twitter since it first emerged back in 2006.
So as I sit here in front of the computer using a traditional blogging platform to compose my thoughts, I see a few interesting questions and I’d love to get everyone’s thoughts on them.
1/ Do you agree that Tweetstorming has some unique characteristics that make it different and possibly better in some ways than traditional blogging?
2/ Do you agree that Twitter should productize Tweetstorming, like they have done with @replies, #hashtags, and RTs, which also emerged organically from the user base?
3/ Do you think that third party tools such as Little Pork Chop should be allowed to satisfy this use case in lieu of Twitter building it natively into their apps?
Please let me know what you think in the comments, and as always, if there are other interesting topics about Tweetstorming to discuss, please introduce them too.