Imagine Twitter without links

Anecdotal observation: Twitter users rely heavily on links. That’s why this Almight Link blog has had so many posts about social media.

Imagine Twitter without hyperlinks.

  • “A plane just landed in the Hudson.” I snapped a shot of passengers on the wing. Unfortunately, I can’t share it with the world. I’m sure newspapers will be happy with the pictures the wires will shoot in a few minutes.
  • “I agree with what Pogue said about Google Voice. What do you think?” I hope it doesn’t take you too long to find that August column. That would really kill this conversation.
  • “I know a good auto shop that can help. No site, but I’ll email a link to the map.” I appreciate one-line emails. Don’t you?
  • “Orange County #followfriday: @jonlan @MelAclaro and @RochelleVeturis” To follow: select one username and hit ctrl-C. Then go to your browser’s address bar, type “http://twitter.com/” and hit ctrl-P. Rinse. Repeat. Remember, this fictional Twitter can’t just add links to @mentions.
  • “You have to check out that one Lego Star Wars video. You can watch it on YouTube.” Okay, now you go to YouTube and search. Wait a minute. That must be a mistake. There can’t really be that many Vader videos starring toy bricks.
  • “@ksablan that is just plain wrong.” I’m confused. My last few tweets were just thank yous. It would be great if there was a link to the tweet to which you are responding.
  • “Does Scoble, Brogan and Vaynerchuk just tweet all day?” No, but how would you know that? Even profiles lack links in this hypothetical Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, those three agent of trust would crush it with their naked conversations, even without Twitter links.
  • “Use TinyURL to shorten that long link.” Sorry, you won’t be able to track it to see if anyone clicked. Gosh, I wish there were other shorteners out there. Oh well.

Update (12/31/09): I’ve created a linked edition of the examples in this post.

    7 thoughts on “Imagine Twitter without links

    1. I think this is what the anti-Twitter/newspaper/Old Media crowd think Twitter actually is. Twitter would be ridiculous and a complete waste of time without links. Non-users don't seem to get that it's not about talking about your lunch; it's about sharing and directing people to information. It's a taxi to where you actually want to go, that's all.

      • Thanks for stopping by, Paul. You make a great point about the important role links play in conversations on Twitter. I love the taxi analogy.

    2. Rav, thanks for the comment. I think the majority of Twitter users live somewhere in that middle ground that you refer to. One great thing about Twitter is that, like the telephone, there is no "right" way to use it. People choose if they want to share and/or look for links.

      Your idea of filtering out links would be a great feature to have in every Twitter client, just as many provide URL previews. I'm all for anything that can help filter the stream for each user's particular needs.

      I'm also a huge fan of Delicious for discovering and sharing links, and use it on a daily basis. I just added ravcasleygera to my network.

      By the way, your services page is a wonderful example of giving me all the information I was looking for in one simple and organized page.

    3. Thanks! I set that services page up recently, I'm delighted it works for you. So much better than a page full of badges, buttons and widgets, dontcha think?

      Just read my comment back – sorry it seemed so irritable! People have been sharing a lot of particularly irritating links today….!

      I'll subscribe to your delicious too.

      _________________________

      Rav Casley Gera
      rav@casleygera.com | ravcasleygera.com | +447970 146 529

    4. No worries. I can empathize with your irritation.

      Your original post never said people shouldn't share links on Twitter, so I have to disagree with you about being a hypocrite. It looks to me like you practice what you preach.

    5. Ken, seeing as this page is still the top result on Google for 'twitter without links' i thought I should mention that I have had some success using the Twitter filter Chrome extension to filter our links on Twitter, and then later on each day to look at all the link tweets together.

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