The Twap of Twitter’s Tewwible Interface

I know, I know, that title is just agonizing. Just be glad I couldn’t think of an alliterative word for “Interface” to twuly complete the thought!
In an interesting bit of parallelism, I sent out a brief status message on the popular service Twitter commenting upon the observation I had that I feel guilty when I decide not to follow someone in Twitterland. Here’s what I saw on the Web page:

Twitter message #1

Subsequent to that, a few of my friends chimed in rather quickly with their comments:
Twitter message #2

Robin, Rob and Amy have good comments, but here’s what’s interesting: these are the only three responses I saw. Yet I had four people respond to me. To get to the fourth response, I had to click on the “Replies” tab, which then revealed the missing message:
Twitter message #3

Suddenly, Dennis shows up, but why doesn’t that response show up in my main Twitter stream? It’s a significant flaw in the design of the service and while I can mash up the streams a bit more with third-party apps, I don’t really want to run yet more software on my computer. I want a version of Twitter that makes sense in terms of what it presents to me.
I’m sure I am not alone in missing these replies from people who I don’t explicitly follow. Given that it’s all being tracked (I mean, it’s in the “Replies” tab), I just don’t understand why I can’t integrate them all together. Jack, you invented Twitter, perhaps you can explain?
Meanwhile, if you want to track my thrilling day to day activities and musings in the world of 140 characters or less, you can find me on Twitter as DaveTaylor.

2 comments on “The Twap of Twitter’s Tewwible Interface

  1. Actually it’s a quirk of the settings options in twitter. If you go under the “notices” tab of settings you can set how you want the @ replies to appear (or not appear) in your timeline.

  2. Actually, as far as I can ascertain, you’re wrong, Goldie. It’s confusing as heck, but the @replies settings are related to whether Twitter filters out messages from people who you already follow that are responses to other people you don’t follow. It doesn’t have anything to do with integrating the messages from people you don’t follow who are replying to your Twitters.
    In other words, let’s say that I follow Amy and Tom, but not Leo. Amy responds in two Tweets to Tom and Leo: by default, I’ll see Amy’s Tweet to Tom because I follow both of them, but won’t see her message to Leo because I don’t follow him. Meanwhile, Leo replies to a message I sent. Do I see it?
    No.

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