1. Disrespect via Twitter

    brian on 2008.02.01
    at 01:43 am

    I’ve written here before about the misuse of Twitter. I write a lot about Twitter here, both because it’s an interesting new avenue for communications, and because it’s earned a place in my life. Sadly, I’m bringing it up again.

    Tonight the Democrats running for the the office of President of the United States held another debate, this time in Los Angeles, California. I was watching, as were many people on my Twitter stream. However, one person took it upon himself to completely force everyone else off of my stream. I follow only 46 people as of this writing. Some people follow thousands, I realize. Heck 108 people follow me (I’m sure a handful are bots, but still). But I couldn’t read most of their thoughts tonight because one person wanted to dominate the conversation. Actually, conversation is a poor term here. One person turned hijacked my Twitter stream for his personal commentary on every twitch of each candidate.

    After two hours of the debate, this person twittered 38 times.

    Not one to shy away, I explained my feelings to the verbose one:

    @davewiner if you have a chat room, then why the constant tweets? To someone not watching TV or in US, this is a heck of a lot of noise. (link)

    38 Tweets in 2 hours from one person

    I put my Mac aside and went back to the debate. An hour or so later, I returned to find this:

    “davewiner:” @briandigital, complain again and i’ll block you. (link)

    Well, that’s entertaining. I also found that after being “smacked down” for expressing my opinion in an Orwellian fashion that would make the Bush Administration proud, that I had gained followers on Twitter. I guess I wasn’t alone in my sentiments.

    For someone who thinks the Web is a Read/Write conversation, his sentiments are a little ironic, aren’t they? For someone who often complains that he’s attacked disrespectfully for holding contrarian opinions, doesn’t this make him no better?

    I for one have not blocked Dave Winer because he holds a contrarian view or two from me (although we both support the same presidential candidate). I am open to opposing view points. After my retort, I’m sure he has already blocked me.

    @davewiner Complain=block? What’s next, calling me unAmerican? I cannot voice my opinion? Block me from what? You’re utterly disrespectful. (link)

    Not that non-A-listers matter to Dave Winer. I’ve contacted him many times over the years to offer free support for his Macintosh woes (if you’re new to the blog, I am a former Apple support technician [e.g. Mac Genius]) out of the kindness of my heart. I doubt he remembers shaking my hand in the Apple Store one day, nor do I think he’s ever subscribed to my blog, never added my back on Twitter, so he’ll likely never see this post.

    If he did, he’d probably explode in a rage.

    I don’t care that he doesn’t follow me. I still question daily why I have him on my Tweet list, in my blog subscriptions. But I use RSS, OPML, make podcasts, I even installed FlickrFan on my HDTV-connected Mac mini. We have a lot in common, but to him I’m just the little folk who can be shouted down from on high. He’s yet to prove to me, in actions, that he really believes the web is a conversation. It’s only in the last weeks he’s added comments back to his own blog, after years without them.

    Moral of the story: let us all walk the walk of “the web is a conversation” and respect others who participate, be they following your Twitter stream or reading your blog. Be a polite and inviting host.

    Posted in: Web


    Comments (4)

    1. Jeff Byrnes said on 2008.02.01 at 04:16 am

      Hear hear!

      Amen to that Brian. Sorry to see you being trod upon in such a fashion.

    2. Diego said on 2008.02.01 at 09:08 am

      To Dave the web is not a conversation but an echo-chamber where only his views matter. Should your views not be in alignment with his, you’ll be at the receiving end of some childish outburst or blocked from (what he calls) the conversation.

    3. McD said on 2008.02.01 at 01:37 pm

      Twitter Ettiquette


      With twitter you elect to follow people. Dave Winer has over 4,000 followers.

      He wanted you to just stop following him. That would have ben the best course when his rate of twits got on your nerves.

      You might also check out NPD and it will help you understand how some people are different from you. They lack empathy and when criticized they take it personally and get abuse.

      Still… 4,000 followes. Weird huh?

    4. brian said on 2008.02.03 at 08:48 pm


      McD- What is NPD? And why post anonymously? I can’t reply to you. I was about to un-follow DW when he brought out his child’s side and attacked me. I noticed I hadn’t seen any updates from him recently, so it looks like he “blocked me” good for him.

      McD-how many followers do you have on Twitter? Is that how you judge your value?

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