Here’s Your Sign…

If you’ve read this blog at all, you know that I’m presently entranced by Twitter.

Or at least, I have been. But I’m afraid that obsession may be coming to a premature end. Strangely tho, not due to anything the folks at Twitter themselves have done.

The thing about Social Media is that the users really determine the experience. You might have the best platform, design, and concept around – but if you haven’t got the people, you haven’t got anything but a URL.

Likewise, apparently, the users can take a site in a direction that can prove its demise. I doubt the founders of MySpace ever foresaw it as the blinky, noisy, child-predator-ridden eyesore that it has become.

Today, the flurry on Twitter is all about TwitterPacks, a wiki that purports to allow the creation of “packs” for the expressed purpose of telling new Twitters whom they should follow based on interest or location.

While I get the intent, and agree that it’s only well-intentioned – trying to create a way for new users to ‘hear’ the Twitter conversation rapidly – I can’t help but believe this is the worst idea to crop up yet.

Why? Well, predominantly because I survived high school – but spent 4 years working diligently to avoid getting labeled in a sea of labels. Are you a jock? a band geek? a cheerleader? a drama queen? a punker? a stoner? a nerd? Pick a label, any label – and try not to stray out of your section of the lunch room, will you? It’s much simpler if we just deny your complexity and put you in a box.

Hardest of all was trying to avoid the box of “rebel – just like all those other rebels – tries to pretend she’s not part of any clique, so we put her in the antisocial clique.” No, I don’t want to be ‘different, just like you.’

If I didn’t put up with it at sixteen, when it’s damned hard not to “go along to get along” – I’m certainly not going to play ball when I’m in my forties.

Am I a Social Media guru? No. But I’m interested in Social Media and I’m busy studying it.
Am I a Network Security guru? No. But I know more about it than your average bear – because it interests me.
Am I a Blogger? No, not really – despite this little corner of the internet, I don’t consider myself a blogger, because I don’t do it with any level of regularity or professionalism. At best, I have a blog. That doesn’t make me a “blogger” any more than writing an essay makes me a “writer.” It’s not what I do for a living.
Am I any of the other “fill-in-the-blank categories” rapidly popping up on the wiki? No, not really and Yes, all of them. Except possibly the geographic ones. I live where I live.

But that’s another point. One of the things I really enjoyed about Twitter was that it was Web 2.0 based, not geographically based. We’re on the internet here folks – my Timeline includes people from all time zones and many countries. If geography is important to me, it’s only to know who happens to be somewhere I may visit so I can meet them face-to-face… but to follow someone based on where they live? That sort of defeats the purpose.

And please don’t get me started on the term “packs” – okay, never mind that warning, I’m started. Packs. Packs are things that have leaders and followers. Alphas and Betas. Male dominated. They aren’t individuals – they act according to the will of the one over the many. The truth is, you can’t run in ‘many packs’ – you can run alongside them… but packs are not inclusive – they are exclusive.

I’m just don’t understand it. Most of the people I’m following are very smart, savvy, caring individuals. But that last word in the previous sentence is just as important as the three that precede it. They are individuals.

I think maybe there’s the initial fun of ‘signing up’ on the wiki… and it’s just the rush of “ooh, you know, I love chess – I’m going to join the chess club – and I love singing, so choir is in, and the computer club, and I think maybe I’ll look at sports…” without the realization that there’s the propensity for getting squished into a box and never let out.

Then again, perhaps I’m being alarmist. There’s the possibility that somehow this community will rise above the tendency to self-segregate.

I was terribly impressed with how the Frozen Pea movement managed to stay open to everyone and anyone… that they managed a sense of community without becoming one of exclusion. If this “TwitterPack” concept goes that direction, then it would prove to be a good thing. The concern I have with regard to that is that I’ve never seen a “list of names” when it comes to those who can and do support the PEAs…

At what point does having an open access mean someone deleting someone else’s name from the list? Or someone adding someone else’s name without their willingness? When does it become “we needed to remove access because some Joker went through and deleted a bunch of stuff…” and thereby become “if you want your name on here, you have to go through these people…”?

I suppose I’m sounding a tad like Cassandra. But all good intentions aside, I just don’t see this rolling out well. If it moves forward as I rather expect it will, I think there’s a good chance that this will be the point where Twitter stops being an open community and starts being terribly clique-ish. And that will be a sad, sad thing.

Edit to Add: the “pack” issue has been addressed fully in the comments… and I have acknowledged that the intent was not that of a “pack” as it relates to animal behavior but a “pack” as shorthand for “package.”  So before you decide that you will ignore the main thrust of this post to jump on one miscommunication, rethink.  It will only make YOU look silly for not reading what wiser minds have said before you.

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~ by Lucretia on January 28, 2008.

32 Responses to “Here’s Your Sign…”

  1. This too shall pass. . I’ve been on Twitter for nearly a year now, this sort of thing crops up now and then. lasts a few days and then falls off the radar.

    You are correct, we all shape our Twitter experience and personalize with a list that works for each of us individually. (That’s why you won’t find a lot of the so called A listers on my list…I mean it when I say if you aren’t adding to my life I’m subtracting you.)

    My best advice, go with the flow..like the weather in the cornfields, wait a few days and things will change.

    AnnOhio

  2. Well, I must be COMPLETELY out of the loop, because I didn’t know anything about the TwitterPack thing.

    I just follow who I think is funny, or interesting. That’s it. (Plus people who are honest to goodness friends from blogging way back when.)

  3. I agree with you. I looked at the lists and thought that if someone just chose those specific people to follow, they’d be woefully lacking in the dynamic,multi-faceted world that is Twitter. I am interested in too many of the topics (along with many more *not* listed) that I’d rather shape it in a way that works for me — not in a way that conforms to a set standard of what is or isn’t indicative of a certain genre.

  4. Hey… if it means anything, the word ‘pack’ refers to a one-stop bundle, not a Clique.

    That said, I am totally with you. Water needs to find its own level. Go out and find your own Twitter friends. Don’t wait for others to “add value” for you. That defeats the purpose.

    Then, there’s the whole issue of this being done on a Wiki. God forbid anyone should go in and start assigning people randomly to the gay/lesbian/queer pack.

    Such is the nature of self-organizing systems. This will too pass. Or it won’t. The great part about it is that neither you nor I have to play with the Packs. They have no bearing on whether I get value out of the service or the participation.

    Glad I’m not alone in thinking this is a well-intentioned idea with a LOT of potential downside.

  5. I hear what you are saying, and I dont necessarily disagree completely.

    I’ve edited the wiki today, not because I wanted some cult following, but I just wanted to be discovered by like-minded people on Twitter.

    Of course there are lot of ways to do that, and I just see the Pack idea as another tool one can use to find and be found.

    I didn’t immediately see “wolfpack” or “clique” when I saw “Packs.” I saw “package” or “starter pack.”

    Still, I can see your point, and look forward to more great conversation on Twitter. (I follow you.)

    http://twitter.com/chriswebb

  6. Yeah!

    Or it could turn out like so many Simpson’s story lines, here this week and nowhere to be found next week, unless someone visits the basement… but I digress…

    I agree with most of what you’ve said, but I really don’t see the “Packs” as anything but the flavor of the moment, even the PEA’s have lost momentum… I wouldn’t participate in “Packs” simply because I’m not much of a “joiner” and have always subscribed to the old axiom “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member…”

    I’ll leave you with this final though – If everyone else joins a pack and you and I are the only ones not in one, does that make us a pack by default?

  7. See? I do follow interesting, intelligent people on Twitter. Thanks for the insights AND for the perspective – pack as package (as in bundle) is a heckuva lot different than pack as in wolfpack!

    I think I’ll take the sage advice offered here and wait to see what happens. I’d so much rather be wrong than right in this particular instance… So I’m more than willing to sit back and let time and wiser heads prove me so! :)

    Thanks guys.

  8. I’m in agreement with you–I see the intent behind the thing and it’s all good IN THEORY, but let’s be honest: almost everyone thinks that what they have to say is the most important, and now they can get “discovered” in a pack. Instant popularity contest, once again.
    Not to sound rude to any particular person or group of people, but I already get ignored by the “popular” people, even the ones who’re following me. It’s not fun.
    And PLEASE! LET US AVOID THE LABELS!

    I gotcher back, although if we’re proven wrong I’ll happily have my plate of crow & eat it with gusto.

  9. I don’t like the term “Pack” either, and there’s no way for this to be a “recommended to follow” list – not when you open it up to a wiki that everyone can edit. That’s exactly what happened with the Z List. We survived that and, as Ann said, we’ll survive this.

    It was a nice but naive idea with zero chance of being executed properly if the intent was to recommend the highest quality in each of the areas. There is nothing objective about the Twitter Pack, and it quickly became a “me too” list. And of course, I added my name but I also called attention to other twitter friends in different geographic or content categories that I felt were worthy of being followed.

    You wrote:”If geography is important to me, it’s only to know who happens to be somewhere I may visit so I can meet them face-to-face… but to follow someone based on where they live? That sort of defeats the purpose.”

    I agree that the only purpose of geographical segmentation is to be able to connect with fellow tweeters when traveling. So this list addresses that problem. I disagree about following some people based on where they live — at least as far as my own location is concerned. I’ve been trying to locate and follow more people in Austin so I get a better idea of what is going on in my own community.

    Please don’t let this single incident determine your Twitter experience. I imagine its lifespan will be short. Its only value is as a list not a recommendation because without a lot of digging you won’t know who added a name, and you certainly won’t know why. The best way to find people to follow is to ask those whose opinion you trust.

  10. Good points all around – ant there was a mass flurry to edit. What I told someone during the process was that it was clearly all Boston at the start.

    For example people that I knew clearly had expertise that new tweeters would want to know about didnt make the list I saw. And I am talking about anything from Second Life (Mike Gunderloy is who I added to the list) to Social Media (lets just say if you didnt live in Boston forget it).

    So I added names to the list that I thought represented people who functioned in the communities described – as part of the twitter villages I kind of see many of us as not sitting in one spot but walking from firepit to firepit and interacting. I’d like to have access to some suggestions about who I might want to look at if I want to talk to musicians. . . but I didnt see any of those.

    Oh geesh this is turning into its own blog post. I should go take up my own space with it :)

    Anyhow – I think Brogan was doing his Brogan thing, stirring the pot, experimenting, and it doesn’t mean much. but watching what the conversation about it in the bloggosphere might on the other hand be important to watch to see characteristics of people that are sometimes hidden.

  11. How ironic it should be a “Pack” thing that would allow me to find you. I am inclined to agree with you. I resisted the tempation to comment (via Tweet) on the matter today just because I have neither energy nor time for large egos or ignorance.

    I must agree with the previous comments concerning this incident passing and people revealing otherwise hidden characteristics. It shall be interesting to observe.

    But, it has been my belief and shall continue to be so, that the spirit of Twitter is to allow members to find each other in their own way. So, I say good luck to those on the list…as with any list. You must seperate the wheat from the chaff.

  12. Interesting point about cliques… I never considered this… But then again, that stuff I’ve never really worried about anyhow. (BTW I still haven’t been able to get in to the geographic location page to add some Ottawa folks to the list! Once again pushed to the sidelines LOL…)

    Seriously, I see the Twitter Packs thing as a way to quickly find some folks with shared interests. Took me weeks to get a list of tweeters together – anything that speeds up that process will help push Twitter along. Since I’m a fan, I find that to be a good thing.

  13. I just joined Twitter at Christmas and I have really enjoyed meeting some very bright, interesting and generous people. Like you I don’t fit neatly into any one category in the Twitter packs and like you I enjoy having TwitterBuds from all over. However, I have been trying to put out a message that I would like to attend a Tweet-up in Los Angeles (preferably social media/geeky/smart/lots of females included). So this might help me find an LA group.
    I lost the Tweet that I found your blog on. Can please let me know your Twitter address. I’m not a Mom and normally I’d fly by such an address but I am very glad to have met your blog.
    @lindasherman

  14. Okay, so maybe it will and maybe it wont, but if I know one thing, you have more than your fair share of Cassandra, and with good reason…
    My fingers are crossed that it all comes to naught!
    LOL

  15. To conclude or infer, simply from the use of the work “pack”, that this list would lead to or be intended to form exclusionary, male-dominated and hierarchal sub-divisions within Twitter is, you’ll forgive me for saying, a wholly ludicrous extrapolation.

  16. @Joe Cascio

    I disagree… but then, I’ve been female and in the tech industry for a very, very long time. Something I don’t think you can quite relate to.

    But it also saddens me that, that is all you got out of what I wrote.

  17. The only thing I dislike about the current incarnation of Twitter is the same tendency toward ‘cliqueyness’ that I see with disturbing regularity in all social media.. I suspect, however, that clique formation has more to do with innate human nature than the nature of any internet platform we might consider. since it’s seemingly omnipresent, both Online and in society as a whole. I suppose it boils down to the fact that people will naturally aggregate with those people they regard as sympaticos, and aggravate those who would like to be part of a group, but remain, for whatever reason, persona non grata..

    It seems to me, however, that providing newcomers with a ready made package of friends rather defeats the object of natural social interaction..part of the fun, for me, is stumbling along and encountering interesting people and things as I go..surely, the experience is as satisfying as one is prepared to make it. If I were to give advice to any newcomer to Twitter, it would be this..get stuck in, say your piece, say anything you wish, but don’t be aggressive, rude or offensive..if you want to poke fun at someone,, do so, but make it clear to the recipient of your remarks that that is your intention. Those people who like the cut of your gib will befriend you, in a little while; if you like the look of someone in the stream, follow them. Let the relationships you thus form take their natural course, and just like any other form of social interactivity, connections will develop in their own quite natural way..If you just sit there and watch the stream go by, prepare to have many lonely cups of coffee..

    No, Twitterpacks, who needs them? I suggest that if you do, if you really do, social media, and, arguably, any form of society, is not really for you..

  18. First Aid PACK
    Rescue PACK
    back PACK

    Theres three things with PACK in them that have nothing to do with Sex, I loved your post but your high horse is wooden and rocks because your throwing your toys from the pram if you are reaching for an attempt to make PACK synonomous with MALE abusiveness. You use the word Male dominated.

    The Wiki is another good production from the group that brought you social network startup pack ( was I being male when I used that term ? ) and grasshoppers.

    Thanks for reading.

  19. Ah. And I got all excited and added a whole Italy category to the wiki.

    I have a wild bias *towards* anything with the word pack in it… though kind of odd that this conversation in the comments is moving towards a nit-nat on the word pack.

    If nothing else, I found a new strong minded girl geek to follow on twitter. See you there. :)

  20. Nicholas:

    It is usually the better part of wisdom to read through the comments that precede yours prior to spouting off on something that has already been addressed.

    “geekmommy Says:
    January 28, 2008 at 2:37 pm e

    See? I do follow interesting, intelligent people on Twitter. Thanks for the insights AND for the perspective – pack as package (as in bundle) is a heckuva lot different than pack as in wolfpack!”

    Now let’s see, you are being witty about something I’ve already acknowledged and yet not addressing the actual thrust of the post.
    Does that make ME look foolish, or you?

    I think I’m fairly certain of the outcome on that one.

    When it comes down to it, yes, I “ASS”umed the intent of Pack… Incorrectly, apparently, from the creator’s intent – but that’s also something to note. I did, so who else will or has?

    Marketing 101, don’t use terms that can be easily misconstrued and require clarification to brand a product.
    If you must, at least make a point of attempting to clarify it in context.
    Which was not done anywhere on that wiki.

  21. @geekmommy and this I concede to you it does “feel” a little clique and a little “elite” even I feel it and most consider me “inside” but I concede they need to be clear as to the value of a pack. when I concede the point it is not out of belligerence or patronising but yes from a common view that it at first appeared to be a closed wiki ( they have corrected that ) . Further they dont make it clear that yes you can add yourself. and most of us would be too polite to do so.

    I have met Chris Brogan only once and can only form an opinion from that and his discussions with me on Pulver TV. I dont believe Chris and the project originators would have intended a clique.

    I do believe others can “Hijack” it for their own emotive purposes but I would suggest that the only way to make a Clique irrelevant is to be a greater part of that whole than a lesser part of the sum of things. ( if that makes sense )

    For the record Ive not yet been added to twitter pack and I created the Social Network Startup Kit ( it was also called Pack I dont know what changed ) .

    As for reading comments, sure I could do that but its your post Im interested in

  22. @Nicholas

    You know, the thing is, I don’t think you were concerned with my post. Because I’m more than aware that you followed @joec0914’s twitter here first denegrating only ONE aspect of what I posted, then beating his chest to impress you with his comment… Which I saw your response to.

    I’m opinionated, but I’m not stupid.

    Yes, I apparently misconstrued the intent behind the word “pack” – but I certainly didn’t misconstrue OR misrepresent Mr. Brogan’s intent.
    Hence why it says “While I get the intent, and agree that it’s only well-intentioned – trying to create a way for new users to ‘hear’ the Twitter conversation rapidly – I can’t help but believe this is the worst idea to crop up yet.”
    and
    “But all good intentions aside, I just don’t see this rolling out well.”

    I fully addressed the fact that Brogan’s intent was good. I also addressed the fact that I suspected most people initially adding to the wiki were doing so with the best of intentions and out of excitement and enthusiasm.

    But it hasn’t taken long to start devolving to exactly what I predicted – we’ve already moved from “people adding themselves” to “people adding others” (I note that someone added me to my Geographic “pack” although it was not me) to adding categories that are bound to get out of hand… sexual orientation, race, religion…

    I give it the end of the day at best before it’s locked to public update.

    I stand behind everything I have said to date – with the possible exception of my obvious misinterpretation of the term pack… Just because you listed a number of non-offensive uses for the word pack doesn’t mean that there isn’t a potentially offensive use for it. And to be honest? if it weren’t for the absolute Geek Cred that Brogan has, I would suspect the double-entendre was intentional.
    But I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. It clearly never occurred to you or to Joe that the word might be misconstrued – so I’m going to give the same benefit of the doubt to Brogan.

    However, as a rule, I suspect the better response to “that term is offensive and here’s why” isn’t “you’re an imbecile for taking it that way, it clearly wasn’t meant that way” but rather “Oh wow, I’m sorry, it never occurred to me that it could be misinterpreted that way, that certainly wasn’t the intent.”

  23. Took me a while to find this.

    As I named the site, let me explain the name:

    Pack, like trading cards. Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starter_pack

    I’m from the geeky world of Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. Magic had “starter packs” to get someone going in the game.

    No wolves were considered in the making of these lists.

    So, on the other topic, lists are bad? The intent, before it went anywhere (and boy, can you believe it’s only been less than 16 hours?) was to allow users to self-select or recommend (either was fine by my thinking) into groups that described why someone would follow them.

    Now, as it’s a wiki, I’ve gone in to see who’s done most of the work on the “Identity” page, for instance. j.brotherlove, should that be accurate. Why? Not sure. That’s the page that worries me, for the record.

    But let’s get back to lists. Lists are bad because…

  24. […] word “pack” was questioned by GeekMommy here. She thought wolves and alpha […]

  25. Maybe it’s from being somewhat familiar with Chris, but I knew as soon as he was behind this, that the intent was for it to be a resource for others. it was intended as a community-building tool. A way for new Twitter users to quickly find people that share their same interests.

    Will everyone be included on the list? Of course not. But I think that’s why it was intended as a community-project. If so-and-so isn’t in the ‘social media’ pack and you think they should be, then add them.

    Have no idea how some see this as being a ‘popularity’ contest. Chris surely didn’t intend it as such.

  26. @chrisbrogan

    Didn’t know you were looking for it… rather surprises me at that!

    It is good to know that I did give you credit correctly for the best of intentions – and that the confusion on the term ‘pack’ was 100% my error. Good to know there are no wolves, nor any other subtle ill intent!
    Apparently, your geek cred is still utterly intact – although perhaps not your marketing cred ;)

    That said – on lists…

    I’m going to hazard a guess that you are approaching this from a true geek perspective – and value lists simply as a way of sorting data. From that perspective, lists aren’t only good, they’re rather inherently critical in understanding a thing.

    But from a social perspective? Yep – lists are bad.
    (and yes, this is strictly my opinion, not some pronouncement from on high – nor some divinely inspired statement.)

    Why? Because there are only 2 statuses for someone when it comes to lists of people – “on” or “off”.

    When it comes to lists that are recommendations, it gets worse, because there’s a value implied in being either on or off.
    If you don’t mind, I’ll draw a parallel. Last week, the Academy Awards nominations were announced – and then commenced the analysis of who had “made the list” and who, notably, had not.
    One of the issues with lists is that the person or people making them often have agendas.

    Recently, I read an outdated, but still interesting, post by Rafe Needleman called the Newbie’s Guide to Twitter. http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9697867-2.html
    At the end, there was a short list of “try these folks…”
    Now that list didn’t bother me – because it was Rafe’s opinion. And I could weigh it against my opinions and how well those match.
    If you had done a list, I would look at it and say “hm, Chris Brogan – how similar are our tastes? How likely am I to enjoy reading the folks on his list?”

    But with a “group project” like an open wiki, what happens is that it becomes a list fraught with potential for abuse.

    I suppose the best indicator or red flag for me is my own evil mind. My first thought upon seeing the wiki itself was “what’s to stop me from deleting everything? Or worse, from deleting specific things randomly? Or adding someone to a list they’d rather not be added to?” The answer, of course is my own conscience. But fortunately, I have a rather overdeveloped conscience, so the world is often spared my wickedness. Not so for many folk out there.

    Even if a list is open to anyone including him/herself on it, there are issues. Let’s say I was to go and put my name on one of the lists that implied I had expertise where I do not. Would someone else feel compelled to remove me? Would they look at my name and laugh and say “what’s she doing on there?” Would they mock me publicly or only in private? Is there hubris inherent in putting my name on any list? How seriously would you take a list if you knew that a high percentage of those on it really had no experience whatsoever within that realm?

    I could ramble on forever, I guess (by now, you’ve noticed that propensity for long-windedness in me… amazing that I can twitter at all!) But in the end, I wasn’t trying to imply “Oh that horrid Chris Brogan and others! How dare they try to put us all into boxes!” So much as I was being the prophetess of doom – and certainly not expecting that my little voice over here was being heard very far. I feel somewhat the mouse who roared.

    I love your idea of starter packs – but there’s a bit of a difference between a randomly selected pack of cards, and a list of this nature. Firstly, no cards ever get offended that they weren’t included in a given pack, and secondly, that we people are so seldom as simple to categorize as Magic cards.

    I don’t fault you at all for trying to do something nice for those who are trying to “hear” the conversation that is Twitter.
    I just don’t think the implementation was workable.

  27. @mack – you know, it wasn’t actually until *after* I wrote this that I found out that the project’s originator was Chris Brogan.

    As I’ve said repeatedly, I don’t question his motives, but rather the method.

    I erred in my kneejerk reaction to the word “pack” – which I suspect I will be reliving for quite some time to come – but I think not in my assessment otherwise.

    Innovators often wonder how it is that their projects stray so far from their original intent – I tend to believe it’s because they don’t really have the capacity to perceive the potential abuses nor believe that others are likely to abuse them. It’s an odd thing I’d attribute to the nobility (if you will) of the designer, and the common nature of mankind.

  28. @geekmommy- some great replies. By the way, I tend to learn from people who question what I do. If all I ever hear is “great job. You’re amazing,” I have no idea when I’m hitting or missing. Some liked the project. Some didn’t. I’ll call it a mix, and will call the learning I got from it invaluable.

    As I say in my post for tomorrow morning, I believe in Humans: http://chrisbrogan.com/what-dataportabilityorg-wont-fix/

    You’re great for hosting the conversation. Sorry I didn’t see it sooner, once again.

  29. @geekmommy while i hear what you’re saying, i have to disagree with you on some points. mainly, that you fear Twitter will become cliquish. As far as I’m concerned, Twitter has always been somewhat cliquish– a favorite of the early adopter set mainly residing on the left bank of the nation. I joined Twitter shortly after its March 2006 launch in April 2006. Without a community around to follow, it was just plain lonely. Most of my non-techy friends didn’t take to it, and didn’t fine much use for it as they were entrenched in MS, FB, etc. They barely got blogging, let alone micro-blogging. The adoption curve for Twitter has still been a very slow one, even with its bursts of growth. At the end of the day, Twitter is still the domain of, and works best for, small concentrated and highly active communities. For me, thats the marketing 2.0/tech 2.0 community. Others I have seen are the PR or ad communities. The value of Twitter, for me, who maintains 20 different online presences (come on DP– work faster!) is the rich insight and conversation with others in “my community.” Otherwise, Twitter would become a masturbatory, useless app with tweets best suited for http://www.MetaCanary.com.

  30. @alisa

    Some interesting points – but I think you and I would disagree on what “clique” means… I see clique as “exclusive” and groups as “inclusive” – certainly there are groups on Twitter.
    But while I joined only 4 months ago, I didn’t find it to be lonely at all… I followed a few voices, then dropped into the public timestream, found a few more – started listening to their one-sided conversations, got interested in hearing the other side and added more…
    I don’t think there really are “communities” defined by interest so much as people who have similar interests.
    If you read my timeline, you’d find it as ecclectic as I am – and yes, while there are marketing, web 2.0, tech, design, and ad people, there are also moms, dads, doctors, teachers, journalists, students, and a healthy variety of other folk there.

    I maintain as many online presences as you – and yet, I disagree that Twitter is “masturbatory’ because I don’t need a specific community to listen and talk to. Then again, I’m an information junkie – and I don’t think that anything one learns is only applicable to one field or endeavor.

  31. […] the Twitter Packs idea. 55 comments and counting. And I saw that GeekMommy closed the comments to her “wolf packs” post after 30 […]

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