Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Twitter and the Danger of Listening Out of Context

You know that guy that overhears a line of your conversation and jumps in, with the completely wrong context?  With Twitter we are all That Guy - or least the barrier to being That Guy is dropped waaaay lower.

I was just reviewing @christinacaci's tweetstream to decide whether to follow her (I did), when I read this one:

@ I also saw a few parks trending on Foursquare this afternoon, which seems a solid indication of springtime.

I was about to give her shit a la "you know you're in a social media bubble when you use Foursquare to tell the weather"- b/c seriously, who uses Foursquare to tell the weather? b/c I was feeling snarky after finding a time to catch up with her had involved more reschedules than a NY airport in a Xmas blizzard, although in her defense I've been guilty for a couple of the reschedules and she's been incredibly gracious about it - until I saw the context of the conversation and noted that the person she was talking to was a) the head of product at Foursquare, and b) had just made a comment ending in "Screw you Winter!"  Suddenly her tweet made so much more sense, was so much more nuanced than originally perceived to be, and wiped away all snarkiness to the point I felt bad about even the mildly-ribbing tweet I'd made about 4Sq having a new use case - telling the weather.

11:26PM, March 2, 2010.  Note to self: you're already pretty good at being That Guy; be double careful on Twitter!

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