I signed up for Twitter several months ago and, in trying to ‘get Twitter’, followed a handful of Twitterati such as Robert Scoble, Guy Kawasaki and Dave Winer. Trying to digest the deluge of tweets from this lot really didn’t get me any closer to getting Twitter – I could vaguely see how it might be useful, but I no more wanted to be overwhelmed by tweets than I would want to subscribe to an RSS feed of all of Google.

Imagine my surprise when both Robert Scoble and Guy Kawasaki decided to follow me – and without me having emitted a single tweet. I figured they were just going to try and sell my Twitter ID to some spammer king so I blocked both of them right there and then and, for good measure, I stopped following them too. Anyway, what’s with this numbers game? If there is going to be any value in Twitter for the user, it’s going to be in the quality and not the quantity of the information.

Since I installed TweetDeck a couple of weeks ago Twitter has started to make sense though. Having a number of finely tuned searches running together with a stream of those you follow and the ability to jump into any conversation at any time with minimum effort without being overloaded by detritus has lead me to some amazing and often unexpected links to the rest of the net and to the world at large. Now all I can hope for is that no-one ever finds a way of monetizing Twitter – I’d hate to have to click through an ad every time I follow a link. Ugh!

Dave Winer is right

1 August, 2006

Israel is wrong” is a very important post and I’m grateful Dave has put it back after what must have been some pretty ferocious flaming. For a non-politician Dave’s analysis is clear and incisive – perhaps because he is not a politician….

Despite its military strength and the help it gets from the world’s only superpower, Israel is going straight down the path of self destruction. Apartheid South Africa, then also a nuclear capable Goliath, was eventually brought to its knees as a result of the military defeat it suffered in 1988 at Cuito Cuanavale in Angola at the hands of the Cubans.

In 2000 Israel was defeated by Hezbullah in the south of Lebanon after it had occupied that terrain for around two decades. What Israel should have realised is that oppressed people will eventually always rise up to overthrow their oppressors because there comes a point when they have nothing worth losing anymore. This time Israel has made sure both the Lebanese and the Palestinians have nothing left to lose and everything to gain in a bloody war. (Bush has done the same to Afghanistan and Iraq and is planning to do the same to Syria and Iran. Poor world!)

I predict that very soon the name Hassan Nasrallah will be revered as much as the name Nelson Mandela is today.