Falling In Love With Twitter All Over Again

When you've been in a relationship for a long time, you start to take things for granted. And then something happens and you are in love all over again.

That's what is happening with me and Twitter right now. I was in a rut with Twitter for much of the past year. I'd tweet out my blog post every day and not a lot more. I'd check my @mentions and a search on fred wilson a few times a day. It was a routine. Work.

But in the past few weeks, I've found myself reading tweets a lot more. I'm replying to tweets a bit more (something I've never loved to do for some reason). I'm retweeting more.

I just spent 20 minutes reading my timeline from this morning back to yesterday morning. I have built an amazing set of people I follow, 564 of them, all curated one by one over the past four years. The timeline is so rich, so full of different things from different people. Tech, sports, politics, music, family stuff, humor, and way more.

Twitter's mission is to instantly connect you to the things that are most important to you. It does that so well. It's love all over again.


Comments (Archived):

  1. kirklove

    Ditto here.I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the site and mobile apps have become a joy to use. Quick expanded content in app or in the browser is big (for me at least). While Twitter maintains the strength and streamlined nature of 140 characters it’s done an end around of sorts and now isn’t limited to just that. Makes the experience much more enjoyable and engaging. Especially like the iPad app. It’s downright “fun” to use.

  2. kirklove

    PS: You have no idea how badly I wanted to write FIRST in my last post. #nerd

    1. fredwilson

      #nerdi’d have to tag everything i write with that one ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. DGentry

        Have it automatically added to the tweet metadata, so you don’t have to worry about it again…

  3. Mahendra

    Fred,Your post reminded me of an Egyptian friend, who was cut off from the Internet these past few days, and was participating in the protests. After coming back online, she said she missed Twitter so much during the blackout, that when not participating in the demonstrations, she kept reading the 800 page log she had from her Twitter backup.(See her tweet here: http://twitter.com/#!/embee…Twitter is many more things to many more people than we sometimes realize.

    1. fredwilson

      thats a great anecdotethanks for sharing it

  4. bfeld

    Word! I’ve been in love with it for exactly this reason for a long time. Thanks for betting on them early and helping them become a key part of the Internet infrastructure.

  5. David Gross

    Hey Fred – great to hear you are renewing your vows – I recently made the big commitment step to twitter for the first time http://wp.me/p1dpbZ-d8 (“Married to Twitter, Facebook’s just my bit on the side) :-)David(@thedavidgross)

  6. emoses

    Scandalously late adopter of Twitter, but am so glad I’m now on board. It’s the best possible curation engine for interesting things – at least the ones that live on the Internet.It helps that the iPad app is probably still the only thing I’d rather use on my iPad than on my computer if both are right in front of me. Well, that’s if you don’t count fruit ninja!

    1. fredwilson

      I’m counting on a huge wave of late adopters

      1. emoses

        you would wouldn’t you! Given their success so far, it almost seems greedy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Bruce Barber

    I couldn’t use Twitter without “Lists”!Using my “News” list to follow the events in Egypt has been astonishing…@BruceBarber

  8. William Mougayar

    Also, when you tweeted during Women Festival, you had a whole lot of re-tweets. I think it’s a good feedback mechanism when you see your tweets being re-tweeted.Twitter is the ultimate lightweight reading and discovery platform. I’d like to see them enhance the landing page experience even further (it’s a bit too geeky for the general public), as well as allow a user to receive private feeds that they only see.On a related note, if any of you Favorite tweets and have always wanted a way to archive that content, display it, search it, etc…head over to Eqentia where we’ve just launched a new Twitter Favorites Sync feature. Just connect to your Twitter account, and it will sync automatically when you Favorite content (with links), straight into your Eqentia Personal Stream. http://portal.eqentia.com

    1. Dave Pinsen

      “Also, when you tweeted during Women Festival, you had a whole lot of re-tweets. I think it’s a good feedback mechanism when you see your tweets being re-tweeted.”Sure, but I think this is an example of how Fred’s experience with Twitter is different from that of the typical Twitter user: his tweets are more likely to get re-tweeted because of who he is. That’s true of social media in general: Fred’s experience of blogging is going to be a lot different than the arc of a typical blog.Another difference is that I think some of us follow a list of users that isn’t as well curated as Fred’s, since a lot of us are following people just so they follow us (what I typically do is follow anyone who follows me, and then un-follow them if I don’t find their tweets of interest).One other point: the percentage of readers who click on a link in Twitter seems to be extremely low across the board. I asked Howard Lindzon about this on his blog once, and, if memory serves, he said that 1%-2% of his readers clicked on his links on average. When you have as many followers as Howard does, that’s still a lot of readers. But if you have a few hundred followers, then you can probably count your number of readers on one hand.

      1. William Mougayar

        True that when a person is popular, the laws of numbers favor them entirely. Scoble had a recent post on this, citing celebrities with millions of followers & that have tweeted only a handful of times.But on your other point, I think it’s better to have a smaller number of people you follow. I think the magic range is 400-700. I fell through the trap of following too many when I first started so they could follow me, but that’s a bad strategy and I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m peeling a lot of users back now. My rule is: You should follow only if you’re truly interested in them. They should follow you in they are interested in you. Otherwise, it’s meaningless and you get information overload on both sides.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          That’s good advice, William. I’m following a little over 700 now but I’ve started to peel back as well.I should note, too, that Know About It brings some tweeted articles to my attention that I’d miss otherwise.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            I’m liking Know About It as well — although lately haven’t had time to maximize that experience.Yet another cool tool/app I learned about here in the comments at AVC.

          2. willcole

            Just a little nugget you probably didn’t know Donna; you have the second largest collection in Know About It right now. Would be very interested to hear how it helps you keep up with so many links.

          3. Donna Brewington White

            Hah! I did not know that. That’s scary! I think. But, what does “collection” actually mean?I’ll think about the answer to your question — I’ve been so slammed lately that I’m not using Know About It as much as I’d like, but I am definitely a fan!I can say that it does help me to maximize my time by culling out and bringing to my attention things that I want to well…know about…and don’t always have time to seek out. And I want to know about A LOT!I’m an information/thought/idea junkie…just naturally and extremely curious…but even more than that, I love sharing interesting information and ideas with others…one of the key ways I use Twitter. So, my use of Know About It is two-fold.

          4. willcole

            Your collection consists of all the links we pull in from the sources you’ve authorized. So you collection of over 400,000 links is one of our largest.Glad you are enjoying the product so far. Keep checking in as we’re pushing out new stuff daily.

  9. Michael Lewkowitz

    Another good sign… A service at keeps you engaged even when you’re ‘out of love’ with it.

  10. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Twitter never ceases to both amaze and delight me.How often does an entirely new communications medium – yet also one that is wonderfully simple to use – come along?Exactly.And as the demographic of participants gets richer and more diverse, so does Twitter’s relevance.It’s a joy to behold…

  11. Dave Pinsen

    Question re Twitter: is there a way to filter out Foursquare check-ins?

    1. ErikSchwartz


      1. Dave Pinsen

        Thanks, I’ll look into that.

      2. William Mougayar

        I use Proxlet. Yup. “mute @foursquare 1 week” But these are the types of features that Twitter should have inherently. Proxlet can’t monetize this. It’s just a tiny feature. Before the new Twitter design, Twitter3 did similar somewhat things, then pouf they disappeared.Fred- When is Twitter going to clearly define where they’ll play and where they won’t? It’s still blurry, and not good for their ecosystem.

        1. fredwilson

          How can they ever do that? When will I lay out all the investments I amgoing to make over the next ten years?But yes. Twitter should add proxlet functionality to their service

          1. William Mougayar

            I meant some improved clarity would help, not a 10-year plan. Like hearing you say that relevancy and filtering are top of their list is good to know, although they hinted at it, but it’s like reading the tea leaves from Dick or Ev.All we expect is “here’s what we’ll do over the next 6-12 months”. Then we know what’s coming.

          2. aaronwhite

            Happy to share our thoughts with Twitter. We grew big-time last month, and have some interesting data. Don’t reduce us to just muting though, Fred, looking forward to surprising some folks ๐Ÿ˜‰ #middleware

          3. Dave W Baldwin

            caught my attention with the #

        2. andyswan

          You know how some people have “F-you money”? Well, twitter has an “F-you ecosystem”.If I were them, I wouldn’t commit to a damn thing.

        3. aaronwhite

          Co-creator of Proxlet here:Who is quoted about great things starting out as tiny features/toys? ;-)You’re right though, we’ll never monetize muting: that will be free forever. Happy to share some deeper thoughts via email, if you’re interested.

          1. William Mougayar

            Sure. Sounds good. Sorry about saying “tiny”. Didn’t mean it in a derogatory sense.

      3. falicon

        +1 proxlet is an awesome chrome extension…the kind of thing that makes you say “man I wish I had this stuff for any app I wanted to access Twitter with”…I’ve talked with a handful of people who have now been retrained to primarily experience twitter via twitter.com because that’s the only place proxlet works…which I think is really saying something!

        1. ErikSchwartz

          I’m another who mostly gave up twitter apps because proxlet is so good. When I look at twitter on my iPad now I get annoyed because i see subjects/people i thought I had muted show up.

        2. aaronwhite

          We work with an increasing number of native clients, too! TweetDeck, Twitter for iPhone, Twidroyd, Spaz, Seesmic for Android, soon Metrotwit & others.Definitely hope to be everywhere.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. aaronwhite

            Proxlet.com, click *tiny* little login button in the upper right, log in, and click “Configure clients”

          3. FAKE GRIMLOCK




    2. fredwilson

      What I’d want to filter out is the ones without Tweets/shouts in them. Iused foursquare yesterday to tweet that I was spending the afternoon atTechstars NYCI suspect you would call that a tweet even though it was a checkin

      1. Aaron Klein

        To some extent, I think it’s the apps like foursquare that need better tools to integrate properly with your stream.Rampant tweeting of location not only hurts the tweeter, but it hurts foursquare too. They’re building an impression among non-users “oh geez, it’s another one of those annoying apps that auto-tweets constantly.”I don’t know the answer to the question yet – and I wouldn’t want to block users who really do want to tweet when they drive into the gas station – but I have to think the apps themselves have a vested interest in mitigating this problem.(Edit: rampant tweeting of “location” not status.)

    3. zackmansfield

      there is a chrome extension allows you to do this: http://slipstre.amrecent Launchbox graduate

    4. EtotheZ

      If you’re using an iPhone, try our TweetAgora app. Lets you filter out foursquare, formspring, gowalla, and a bunch of other annoying services. You can also mute people, keywords, and/or conversations.On the ‘need more relevance’ side, you can create Agoras, which are like super-lists that can contain any number of Lists, people, and keywords. We’ve also got integration with Cadmus, which lets you sort by relevance, see personal trends, and view all replies to any tweet.It’s free to try, so check it out! http://tweetagora.com

      1. William Mougayar

        I use Agora too. It’s useful for surfacing stuff.

  12. Philip J. Cortes

    I literally just had this exact same discussion with my co-founder yesterday. I recently started following most of twitter’s suggestions, which has turned my list from a list of friends and family, to one heavy in thought leadership. s. That has completely transformed my stream to useful curated content VS “I had apple pie! yay!” type content.Loving twitter right now as well!

  13. David Dostal

    I Like.

  14. LIAD

    With it’s instant malleability twitter is the gift which keeps on giving.The honesty of this post is invigorating.Curious how this post would have been taken if it was written by @biz or @ev

  15. RichardF

    I still feel like I need more filtering tools before I can get the best out of twitter. Way too many retweets, check in’s and blah blahWe have just purchased an iPad for the office and I have to say that Flipboard really enhances the Twitter consumption experience. Twitter should either develop their own version or buy Flipboard.

    1. fredwilson

      Two thoughts for you1) mike mccue founder and ceo of flipboard is on twitters board2) relevancy and filtering are at the very top of twitters roadmap

      1. RichardF

        Two great thoughts. Kleiner Perkins have doubled down there then.

        1. markslater

          richard -i am in love with flipboard. its a great app. beuatufully designed. let me see – murdochs paywall or flipboard? hmmmmm let me think…..

          1. RichardF

            Mr Murdoch can stick his paywall where the sun don’t shine….

      2. trendspottr

        Fred,You should check out TrendSpottr (http://trendspottr.com). We’re a new real-time search and curation service for Facebook and Twitter. TrendSpottr filters, aggregates and publishes the top trending content (links, videos, images, phrases, hashtags and places) for any keyword or topic of interest.TrendSpottr improves the signal-to-noise ratio by focusing on the most trending information, removing duplicate links and media and providing a rich visual way to consume content from the real-time Web. More info here: http://trendspottr.tumblr.comWe're also adding the ability to further filter and make relevant the content you want to consume by supporting Twitter lists. Imagine being able to view the top trending links & media from a Twitter list of the top 500 music bloggers, or tech influencers, etc.We’re in private alpha right now. You can sign up and get your invite code at: http://trendspottr.com.

      3. Louis Gray

        Relevancy and filtering for Twitter are critical. Looking forward to seeing what they deliver. No doubt other tools that do a great job will emerge soon as well.

        1. Vasudev Ram

          I agree with the above comments about filtering being a big need for Twitter. I use it less than I want to, due to this lack. (I should mention that I’ve not explored many third-party Twitter filtering tools yet, which I will over some time.)As far as the server load point goes, a couple of ideas are a) for Twitter to have tie-ups with some third-party client side filtering tool providers (mentioned in some of the above comments), and/or b) develop some JavaScript front-end for Twitter.com that would allow the filtering work to be offloaded to each user’s computer.I’m sure the people at Twitter are exploring such ideas, hope it works out soon.And, great post, Fred. I too have been recently using Twitter more and getting a lot out of it.

      4. EtotheZ

        The trouble with filtering is that Twitter’s already having a hard enough time keeping the servers up. If you think Twitter’s servers are at their knees now, imagine how they would be if they started applying rulesets to every tweet for every user. Twitter’s servers would explode.Being in the filters space with our TweetAgora app, we discussed this with some of Twitter’s Ops guys at the Chirp conference last April. While they couldn’t confirm or deny that filters were on Twitter’s roadmap, they did at least acknowledge how incredibly server-intensive filtering would be. That’s why we opted to handle filtering on the client side.

        1. aaronwhite

          Hi Bretton, (Aaron of Proxlet, filtering proxy, here). Your app name comes up a lot when talking with folks (you’ve got some very passionate users, well done!)My experience w/ Proxlet is this: it’s not hard to do server-side filtering. in a scalable way. We sit between clients & Twitter to do filtering, and tonight I’m doing a presentation on exactly how cheap & fast that process is, as well as how it horizontally scales out.The harder it is for Twitter to perceive that, well frankly, the better it is for the both of us in terms of product differentiation, but would relish a talk with their ops guys all the same ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. EtotheZ

            Hi Aaron! Glad to hear that our name is ‘out there’; we had a nice little bit of coverage last April during the Chirp conference (on the front page of Mashable one day, then demoing to the conference the next), but unfortunately that was about a month before we hit the App Store. We’ve definitely got some passionate users…we just wish we had more of them ;)Server-side filtering is obviously quite possible, but for Twitter to adopt it officially would be quite a burden. Handling 95 million tweets a day in real-time is tough enough without adding an extra layer of logic on top…Are you going to share the slides from that presentation?

          2. aaronwhite

            I will most likely share the slides in the next couple of days. We’re already proxying a million requests a day on *tiny* hardware (granted the vast majority aren’t filtered). look forward to sharing.

  16. Dan Epstein

    Post reminds me (especially the last line) of the Sharon Jones tune All Over Again.http://rd.io/x/QVx9jDdP-0Y

  17. andyswan

    Twitter is like that ex-girlfriend from college: Fun, good for your image, and flexible. I wouldn’t go falling in love, though.

    1. kidmercury

      hahahahaha…… +1

    2. fredwilson

      Who do you love?Ps – one of the great blues rock songs ever

      1. awaldstein

        memory lane…saw Al Kooper and the Blues Project cover this as a very early teen. snuck out of the house and into the club. still sticks with me.great song!

      2. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Agreed.One of my best gig experiences, ever – seeing George Thorogood and The Destroyers at BB Kings place in NYC.

      3. Rick Mason

        Yes it is one of the great songs. I am from Lansing and a local group the Woolies had a big hit with it.http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…The Baldori brothers are still fronting blues bands in the local bars.

    3. Tereza

      “Easy” Andy. You forgot to mention they’re both easy.But I think your ambiguity would change if one of them breaks up with you first.In that case, my spidey sense tells me you’d go apesh*t, no?Win!;-)

  18. Nate Quigley

    I’m a twitter laggard. Post inspiring me to work a little harder at curating my follow list to improve signal/noise. Wish there was a super low friction way to do that. There probably is and I just haven’t looked. New Mac app with auto-scroll is also an impetus. I’m starting to catch on. Maybe a ridiculous comparison, but it’s been reminding me of Pointcast the last couple weeks. Twitter is the ultimate push app?

    1. fredwilson

      Three suggestions1 – cut your follows in half to start2 – start following some but not all of those that twitter recommends to you3 – get a native twitter app on your mobile if its iPhone or android. GetSocialScope if its bberry

      1. Nate Quigley

        I’ll do it. I do have iphone/android/ipad apps and they’re great. Feels like key is going to be dialing in follow list.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Thanks, Fred, for the SocialScope recommendation. I’ve needed something like this.

  19. Mark Essel

    Twitter’s a regular part of my news pipeline. News for me includes not just big trends but how a friends project is doing, a short post conveying what an individual is thinking a lot about.I diversify how I get my news, because not everyone participates on twitter and to net’s a big place. I look to feed subscriptions, manually check my favored blogs a few times a week, and poke around Flipboard, Paper.li (both fed by twitter & feeds), Feedly and KnowAbout.itI still get some of the best recommendations from friends by email. Personal suggestions targeting just myself and a handful of close friends trumps most other filters.

    1. falicon

      Hey thanks for including knowabout.it in your list! Just wondering, do you use our ‘peek and compare’ feature at all? I think it’s one of the more interesting views into the world of the people you follow (I find it a great way to discover stuff the people I’m interested in are being recommended to read — sort of skipping the middle man if you will).

      1. Mark Essel

        Not yet, but now that I know about it I will. Busy week, should have a few minutes tomorrow to catch up on my backlog of fun reading stuff.

  20. karen_e

    Someone once said that Facebook is where the people hang out whom you know in real life but don’t necessarily like all that much. Twitter is where you chat with people whom you don’t necessarily know but really like.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Can relate to that.I try to bring a little of my Twitter experience into Facebook, but I can sense the blank stares.

      1. RichardF

        I used to do the same thing with Facebook and Tumblr Donna, it was like tumbleweed blowing down the street.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          That’s funny. I get the visual.

        2. MikeSchinkel

          Or is that a tumblrweed?

          1. RichardF

            lol…..that could be a great new word

    2. Tereza

      love that!

  21. pruett

    Wow, SAME HERE. Only recently have I jumped back on the Twitter bandwagon. I was so close to calling it quits and writing it off as a waste of time that I soon began finding A TON of value in Twitter (once again!). I’m connected once again!

    1. fredwilson

      do you know why?

      1. pruett

        for me fred, it was a matter of getting re-connected with the NYC startup scene. so i curated my list of followers accordingly and started to engage the community as best i could. very simply i think twitter is the best and easiest facilitator of engagement (however superficial or fleeting that engagement may be)

  22. Donna Brewington White

    It just never seems to grow old. My use varies/evolves and I’m past the frenzied infatuation stage — feels like I’ve settled into a comfortable, yet still enjoyable relationship — even taking it for granted at times. I’d definitely feel the void if it went away.I no longer lay awake at night wondering how they’re going to monetize. ;-)Wonder if you’re going to get a rash of new tweets, now.

  23. markslater

    shameless portfolio plug! ;)i was and still am somewhat of a skeptic in terms of what it does for me. thats a good part of why we started getabl. But there is no question as to its significance and its impact in so many ways on some many people.

  24. theschnaz

    Why do you think this is? Are you using a different client? Do you think the website redesign is part of it?I’m a tweetdeck fan because the columns help me stay organized and I can filter out tweets.The endless scrolling on the website makes me read more, but I find the website to be very noisy compared to tweetdeck.

    1. fredwilson

      great question. i think it is because i started to use it as a social tool more and less of a distribution platform

      1. theschnaz

        Interesting. For me, Twitter is most useful as a content discovery tool,then as a social tool (what my friends are saying) and finallya broadcasting tool (me pushing out my messages.)Twitter is such a great content discovery tool that I need a way to organizethis content. Instapaper is nice for articles, I think there is abig opportunity here for video.

      2. falicon

        Technically there’s not a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to use Twitter…but if I had to pick one, I think using it as a ‘social tool’ is SO much more powerful and correct than simply as a ‘distribution platform’.You can go to Times Square, stand on a soap box, and reach lots of ears…but very few are really listening…and when you treat Twitter purely as a distribution service I feel like it’s the same (unless your already a ‘celebrity’ in which case, tourists will stop and pay attention).Or you can go to lunch with a handful of brilliant people at a time…do some listening, learning and some sharing…and the experience/value you’ll get from that small lunch will often pay dividends for many many moons…and this is what I feel you get when you treat Twitter as a ‘social tool’…

  25. paramendra

    I use Twitterfeed.com to automatically feed my blog posts to my Twitter stream. And, yes, Twitter is the best way to reach out to amazing people you don’t know. Although in your case you probably know all those 500. It is amazing how much you can pack into 140 characters.

  26. Danny Strelitz

    I had a similar experience, but than I found out parrotfish (display content like photos and videos in the twitter page) and it changed my entire twitter experience from a communication platform to a more of a news feed platform. I go in now just to get entertained, or to follow topics (never done before). Yesturday I wanted to find out about Yasi, and nothing in the news, used twitter and bam!!! images, youtube videos and more.

  27. Jan Schultink

    I rediscovered international calling with Skype again recently. Don’t know why I haven’t used it more over the past years after an initial burst of trying it out when it just started.

    1. fredwilson

      i am also in a renewed love affair with skype right now. i wonder why

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Ditto.Consistently better bandwidth availability – regardless of where one is in the world, generally – has certainly helped diminish the hitherto all too common ‘line quality’ issues of the relatively recent past ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. RichardF

          I never fell out of love with Skype, I think it’s one of the most disruptive technologies on the internet and they are going to take it further with video.

  28. Adrian Meli

    Agreed, I think twitter is a better way of getting news than RSS feeds and given that you can follow such a wide array of interests, I found it much more useful than I originally could have understood. In fact, I was a doubter for the longest time until I bit the bullet and started following people. The one key variable is that it relies on people not becoming sick of tweeting as you can have a classic tragedy of the commons where people like to consume interesting information but are less incented to post it. The only problem I find at all with it as that some people or news sources I sign up for over-tweet so I have to remove them so they do not dominate the news flow… – Adrian Meli

  29. ShanaC

    I keep falling in and out of love. Twitter’s greatest strength and weakness is its flexibility. I’m still not sure how I should be using it. I guess I would be a later adopter of Twitter.I think use cases need to be made clearer.,,;,,,,,,

    1. falicon

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…however you feel you get personal value out of Twitter…that’s the way *you* should be using it.I’m pretty sure Confucius would have Tweeted something along these same lines… =D

  30. ShanaC

    I keep falling in and out of love. Twitter’s greatest strength and weakness is its flexibility. I’m still not sure how I should be using it. I guess I would be a later adopter of Twitter.I think use cases need to be made clearer.,,;,,,,,,

  31. Joe Lazarus

    Things are starting to get hot & heavy again between me and Twitter too. Lists play a big part in that. I check a few lists once or twice a day like this awesome one about creative tech / art projects…http://twitter.com/joelaz/f…A few of the people on that list post far too frequently for my timeline, but I love browsing it as a list or on Flipboard.

  32. rmanalan

    Fred, check out http://onlythelinks.com. It’s a project born from my love/hate relationship with Twitter. I love the knowledge I gain from the people I follow, but dislike the noise that most social communities produce. Only the Links just shows you your timeline (or lists, etc) consisting of tweets with links… and where possible, it “inlines” the content/media contained in those links. With my6sense and onlythelinks.com, I get exactly what I want out of Twitter.

  33. Craig Thinder

    There is something in the air….I’m a relatively early adopter but recent obsessive. One thought about a possible surge would be the proliferation of intuitive mobile apps. Scrolling through my timeline, as opposed to google news for things I want to read, isn’t even a fair fight. The easy access to a combination of macro-headlines and curated micro-news in one feed is glorious.Question: where is the best place to learn how & why to use Lists?Current favorite song: el perro del mar’s “How Did We Forget” – http://www.youtube.com/watc

  34. kevinmurphy

    To those who have asked about whether or not they should try twitter my answer has always been- “YES! but take the time to create your relevant world.” Also, I was told by many that twitter is not an RSS reader, thee are RSS readers for that (DUH!). I don’t use RSS readers because while they are content specific they lack personality. I too am in love with my twitter stream. It’s cool that I can get a sense of the essence of a complete stranger which provides comfort in sharing around common cares.

  35. TCG

    Hi fredI am a foreigner visiting silicon valley for the second time this week. In addtion to your product observations and use case analysis you make, i would like to add that the company and the people i met during my visit was people you really wanted to sit down and share a beer with.My reflections after a previous apple visit was: “love the products but hate the company”. Walking out of twitter sf office this week it was all love. Wish the company, their customers, their partners, and their employees the best of luck in their continuing efforts to improve how we communicate!

  36. leeschneider

    My current problem is seeing duplicate content. I’m seeing the same stuff from the same people on Twitter, Tumblr, and now Facebook (I’m new to the FB scene). It would be interesting for Twitter to provide you with analytics on where people you’re following are posting from.Example:@joesmith posts 99.7% of his tweets via his Tumblr. I’d just assume follow @joesmith on Tumblr rather than Twitter.

    1. DGentry

      Agreed, de-duplication would be nice. Atom was designed to make dedup possible (by including a GUID which is supposed to be preserved), but we all ended up using Atom behind the scenes to shuttle data around and not exposing the attributes in a way the UI could use.

  37. JackS

    I was skeptical at first but Twitter has become essential as a curated newsfeed. I love the Flipboard experience and also the Android app is good.What I think needs work is the conversation side.Firstly, there should be a way to filter out certain @mesages – increasingly some of the (admittedly interesting) people I follow are having inane public conversations with each other (namedropping, daily activities) that I really could care less about and are better off in DMs or IM.Having said that, when there is an interesting conversation sparked, it’s impossible to follow as the responses arent threaded, theyre all over the place.Hope twitter is working on both.



    1. DGentry

      Twitter also makes it possible for fond memories from my childhood to come back to life and leave insightful comments on various blogs.That last “insightful” part is a bit odd, but we’re running with it anyway.



  39. Dave W Baldwin

    Good job on Twitter. To me it has the longer lifespan due to it is truly real time. Being real time means you can miss it for a couple and jump back in while you can be harrassed if you don’t get to someone’s Fbook post.Fbook is for beginners.

  40. Borisfowler

    I consider Twitter to be one of the more accurate sources of news for me. I can typically learn everything I need to know simply by looking at and reading tweets. I find it really fun to learn how to use new platforms. With Twitter, engaging people is really easy and the following you can create is quite impressive.http://www.caycon.com/blog/

  41. reece

    My relationship with Twitter has evolved several times… first as a consumer, then as a producer and consumer…I’ve held tight to a small list of people I follow, but have recently started following back more people and Twitter turned into a firehose…Enter Twitter lists… I knew lists were around, but I finally put the time in and now I love them, and Twitter even more.

  42. Tereza

    Awww…Tweet tweet!

  43. Shan

    Fred.. your post on Twitter App environment inspired me to think something different which resulted in Virtual betting app for Twitter – betnext.in

  44. CheetahDeals Blog

    Why do you think you’re responding more to Twitter now, exactly?

  45. Neil Braithwaite

    Of all the days to have Pure Prairie Leagueโ€™s โ€œAmieโ€ come up on my rotation, it had to be today โ€“ after I read Fredโ€™s post this morning.If you donโ€™t want this song becoming your Twitter theme song โ€“ look away now!Amie (Twitter) what you wanna do?I think I could stay with youFor a while, maybe longer if I doFallin’ in and out of love with youFallin’ in and out of love with youDon’t know what I’m gonna do, I’d keepFallin’ in and out of loveWith you

  46. Donna Brewington White

    One of the things I most valued about Twitter in the early days is that as a user I felt some sense of ownership and investment — and that is because @Jack @Ev and @Buzz seemed to be paying attention to how Twitter was being used and were highly responsive. Users had direct contribution to Twitter’s evolution — the RT feature is a case in point — users created that! The Twitter experience felt like being part of real-time product development.Even now, the simplicity of Twitter is one of it’s strongest features and as a user I truly feel that it is what I make it — nothing more, nothing less. And as a user, in a small way, I get to function as a developer. Or at least it feels that way and we know the power of perception.There has also been a true entrepreneurial feel to Twitter — even now. There’s been this sense that the people running Twitter were brilliant but not experts and that they were learning as they went along — figuring it out like the rest of us who were involved in this experiment. I think a lot of us believed in the social media experiment and that Twitter had a vital role in this — it felt like we were creating history.I realize that I am speaking in the past tense — probably because I am not following the Twitter stream as closely on a day-to-day basis — especially the stream coming from the “social media” contingent that contains more info/insight on Twitter developments. I used to “hang out” more on Twitter — maybe my time hanging out at AVC has cut into this. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or that I have tons more work.I think the Twitter guys have bought themselves a lot of grace for whatever changes further monetization will bring. At least I hope so.

  47. Quizotic

    Sigh. Everyone here gets twitter but me. See, I love this blog. Fred tosses interesting pitches out there, and you guys turn them into art. Maybe a couple of things could be tweets – JLM’s pay window comments are that pithy. But most of it takes paragraphs. It’s the back and forth that’s so riveting and illuminating.A 140 character newsflash about what’s happening in Egypt by someone there would be worthwhile. But for non-emergency normal stuff? For the first time, I feel old!

    1. MikeSchinkel

      The thing I find about “getting” Twitter is you first have to use Twitter more than superficially to get it; certainly a catch-22 for many. Early adopters get it because they jump in without needing a reason. But early majority like me require a reason to get into it. Mine was because there was a news story in the local startup community several years ago that everyone related was discussing and I realized they were discussing it on Twitter. I was interested in hearing the discussion so I “tuned in.”After about a week of using Twitter to follow that discussion I started to realize all the other benefits of using Twitter, and frankly I continue to discover more.Probably the hardest thing about explaining Twitter to someone that doesn’t get it is that it’s not just one reason it’s useful; there are many tens of reasons it is useful. And those differ depending on who the person is and what’s important in their life. So it’s hard to explain it, you just have to experience it for yourself.

      1. Quizotic

        Thanks Mike! You’ve motivated me to try it again!

        1. MikeSchinkel

          What I’d recommend is to find 10-25 people that are in your industry who you really respect and would be interested in learning what they have to say and follow them.Spend 5 minutes a day reading your tweet stream (more if you have a mobile device and can read it to kill time when you are waiting in line somewhere) and if you see them ask a question you can answer then @reply them and answer it. If they say something you’d like to comment on, @reply them and comment (you don’t need permission to comment.)When you read something you find interesting, tweet a link to it.Also, ruthlessly prune the list of people you follow; if they are someone who talks about fluff you care nothing about, unfollow them; this isn’t Facebook where “unfriending” is a social faux pax, after all.After about a two weeks of this hopefully you’ll get it but if not maybe it’s not for you. Good luck!

  48. kenberger

    Humbled to be 1 of your 564 casted characters.We won’t let you down.(btw: follow as I rove around south america next couple weeks!)

  49. Eric Leebow

    I’ve been on a few sites similar to Twitter, and for some reason I gravitated towards it more than the others. I think it has a lot to do with the passion of the people who use it, and they’ve improved the service over the years. I also find it interesting how the other services are integrating Twitter, and you can basically be on another service and be tweeting.Someone told me today at a meeting that they never understood Twitter, yet they have an account and haven’t been back in a while, and I told them to go back. Twitter has come a long ways, and has made a lot of improvements, which they should be proud of. It’s great to hear you’re back at it, and enjoying Twitter. I think more people should see the value in such services as Twitter. At first I was hesitant to joining Twitter, was on another service that was similar to it, and really didn’t find it interesting, yet when I tried Twitter it was great.One feature Twitter definitely needs is a muting button, as somedays I would like to follow, and other days I just would like to press the mute button. It would also be nice to know who is following you and muting you, if they ever introduce this feature. The other thing they could do to improve is allow users to reorder the people they follow and how they are displayed. Then there would be one button that places them back in order, or you can order them by who tweets the most, who you’ve muted, etc. Maybe this would complicate things, yet overall it’s a great tool. I recommend Twitter, yet don’t believe it’s still in its beginning.

  50. daryn

    One change that has made a big impact on my twitter use is the way that @-replies are handled. Like a lot of people, I was pretty resistant to the change at first – but now I love that only people who ‘might’ care about my replies will see them, without polluting my tweetstream to all my followers.I definitely feel a lot more loose with replies than I used to.

    1. fredwilson

      I think I still have the muscle memory from the early days with @replies. Igot a big following early and stopped replying so as not to spam.I never really adapted to the @reply change and that is why I don’t do muchof them

  51. tywhite

    I go through phases, as you have, of relative disconnect with Twitter, and in a lot of ways it’s similar to my relationship with other online “social” services. But the one difference is that I keep coming back to Twitter, and the other services come and go.I’m honored to count myself among the folks you follow. Seriously. I have no idea why you put up with my bullshit (ok this post tells me that you generally don’t ๐Ÿ™‚ ), but there’s something compelling to the idea that people you love and respect are listening to what you have to say, regardless of what topic you’re talking about. Building that audience once is what makes it impossible to leave, from a publisher perspective. Being the audience to those you love and respect makes it impossible to leave from a reader perspective (but if you follow people who show up in enough other places, it’s easier to occasionally forget about checking Twitter).

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t think your tweets are bullshit. If I did I would unfollow

  52. J. Pablo Fernรกndez

    Same thing is happening to me. I think it’s might be because Twitter is used by more people so there’s more variety in there and thus it’s more human. It doesn’t feel like a tech echo chamber anymore, I have real friends tweeting things about their life and responding to my tweets, starting conversations.

  53. Dave W Baldwin

    My wife is a fan of Grey’s Anatomy. Last night’s episode had a storyline focused on Twitter in surgery. Congratulations…. gut feeling tells me that was not by accident.

  54. MikeSchinkel

    “When you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, you start to take things for granted. And then something happens and you are in love all over again.”How true. But, you might not want to make that comment when Gotham Girl is within earshot. Just sayin… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      I’m more in love with her than ever. And its been 30 years this year

  55. Mark Harai

    There’s always magic moments to be had when engaging with friends, co-workers and smart people in meaningful ways on Twitter.

  56. Mark

    Like twitter a lot. But I am holding off on the proposal until we can simply hyperlink text rather than using short url. I think the 140 would be so much better without http://bit.ly/something

    1. fredwilson

      Twitter resolves the URL and presents it correctly. Been doing that for awhile now

  57. do you...

    You’re right. And I’ve found that by doing a search on the subject you want to talk about it is just fascinating. It’s like going into a large crowd and finding just those people who are on the same wavelength at a given moment in time.

    1. fredwilson


  58. Terry J. Leach

    Maybe it’s the new features that have caused me to look at Twitter differently also over the last few weeks.

  59. Christinap

    It’s cool you love / fall in love with Twitter – it’s pure love. The purest because the medium is the message is the brand more so than any other…

  60. Duncan Greatwood

    “Watching” Twitter is very like slobbing-out in front of a TV channel, one you put together yourself.But all that “curation” is a problem for many users. Need to automate most of it to expand Twitter’s reach.Enabling a better and more flexible mix between communicating and slobbing-out might help too. [Ref: http://bit.ly/i2pqhR%5D

  61. Ed

    I should really write a ‘How to’,so people get the satisfaction that you’re getting right now, Fred.So many of the low hanging ‘list posts’ are superficial, afraid to alienate any one audience for that blog. Originally, there was no twitter theory out there.Now there’s too much, and it’s largely noise.While Ev, Jack and Biz have always suggested that “Twitter is what you make it, what you want it to be…”, there are still insights and perspective on how to see it, that make all the difference in the world.Lesson #1: Don’t open it with the thought in the back of your mind “I’m giving this one minute”#2: Be willing to deeply converse with someone over a tweet that hits you just right. (That includes the “nobody’s”, not just the big shot who replies).#3 This should probably have been #1: Help someone. See someone in your stream who [is ‘younger’] professionally or personally, who needs a hand, and edify them.You will not believe what it will do for you – every time. I help because I get satisfaction from it, and I’m asked a lot. But you will win Twitter if you give.I could go on for an hour, so I won’t.

  62. Danny Strelitz

    Well, I get the same kick I used to get from twitter by following the comments here: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/201… lol

  63. fredwilson

    Followed some new people cut some old ones. Started replying more