Last week was extremely busy and so my blogging was curtailed. This despite having nightmares about a bearded Celt and wiry aussie guy pinning me down and demanding “Blog! Damn you! Blog!” But having got some stuff out of the way I’m focussed this week on providing a continued stream of high quality content!!

Today it was announced that Twitter is 5 years old. The latest usage figures indicate the continued rise of the platform (200 million registered accounts), and the announcement last week that they intend to control more tightly what third party developers can and can’t do with the API perhaps points to a direction of travel as they look for revenue streams?

However, a confession. I’m getting increasingly agitated with Twitter and, in the last two weeks, checking my Twitter stream has on more than one occasion actually made me angry. Just for clarity this usually involves swearing at a computer screen or into a smartphone. A very modern phenomena.

My use of Twitter has changed since the service started. When I first joined I thought I might use it as a messaging/information service to keep in touch with friends and the like.

However, over time (and maybe due to the Twitter client I use on my Blackberry) I use the service to primarily track news and media outlets that I’m interested in as well as various individuals that I might be also be interested in following. I have two accounts @woodholmes and @stugreulich and I’m mainly a ‘re-tweeter’ on these channels. That’s probably half-way between a lurker and contributor.!?

Now maybe its the limitations of the format but the number of self-styled ‘gurus’ on the platform broadcasting (not interacting like they would think) homespun wisdom, motherhood and apple pie, trite truisms, platitudes and marketing links to even more trite truisms is, at least on my timeline, on the increase.

Suddenly, lots of people have something to say and the noise is deafening. Most of these people I started following as they were ‘suggested’ to me by Twitter or I had heard about them elsewhere.

The main culprits that I need to unfollow are, in order of irritation:

1) self-styled change management and innovation gurus. Having worked for many years on some of the most complex and intractable change projects in multiple subject areas I have little time for superficial nonsense such as “To maintain the change – keep momentum” “To ensure the success of your innovation project make sure you have buy in” “Make sure you communicate widely about your proposed change“. You know the stuff. 3rd rate sub-Confucian management babble. Tell me ‘How’ and then I might listen.

2) anybody who tweets things like, “Just had great meeting with a client. They said we were the best firm ever. Phew I had to blush“. This is very unsubtle brand building of the most disingenuous kind. I note that no ever tweets, “Just had bad meeting with client where we were exposed as being pretty useless charlatans. The client is an idiot“. That would be so much funnier. But of course we can’t do that. It would be rude, dangerous and potentially upsetting. Wait. Does that mean. OMG social media not as open and transparent as we thought shocker!!

3) people who overtweet. If you are a global news outlet like Reuters or the BBC then it’s fair enough that you tweet more that once an hour. However, some individuals on twitter are like firehoses. I’m actually not that bothered by those who tweet about their every waking move or link their foursquare check-ins (or similar) to twitter, in a sad human stalker type way I find that interesting. What I can’t stand are the people who seem to be tweeting nonsense (see point 1) every 5 mins or even worse have automated their nonsense and have ‘scheduled’ tweets going off at regular intervals.

Of course none of this is the Twitter platforms fault as such. I guess I’m really agitated with some of the tweeters out there. Time to push the unfollow button I think! Or focus on interacting with the billions of people who are not on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Path, Gowalla, etc etc

Glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for listening.! Tomorrow: What Happened When I Didn’t Check Twitter for 10 mins.

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