6 months ago Twitter was the best place in existence to use and develop great relations with key players in industry, brilliant thinkers and friends. It has since become popular, and like the kids trying to be popular in high school, has become a whore. Not that it was ever exclusive by restrictions, but rather by obscurity. Now twitter is being over run with spammers, marketeers ( is there a difference ), robots, celebrities, fake celebrities, ghost writers and a whole flood of me too people.

I feel like when a great indy band gets picked up by a major label and all of a sudden they are the “next big thing”. Yeah, you, with the T-shirt you bought at hot topic.. You haven’t “earned” the shirt. Just cause you bought the album doesn’t make you a fan. Please stop talking to me about how great they are. I liked them back when the venue was small and nobody knew their name.

How does twitter avoid “selling out” and thus burning everyone that helped them grow in the first place?

  1. Please do a better job about vetting users. I must get 5-10 follows a day from spam users. I don’t care much that they are following me, but since for the time being I actually care about participating in the community I still look at everyone one to see if I want to follow back.
  2. Put more restrictions in place. How about a cap on following. The existing 2000 rule doesn’t work. Anyone following more than 2000 (or X) people are very unlikely to be actually following any of them anyway. Most power users have a search checking for any of their @replies anyway, following or not.
  3. Put a restriction on unfollowing. Since the game the abusers play is follow / unfollow.. Don’t let them. Make a follow a week minimum commitment and restrict the total number of follows (over time, not at one time).
  4. Be consistent and keep users honest. I follow @the_real_shaq because it’s the real Shaq. I may even want to follow someone like the fake steve jobs, but only if they are honest about it.

Twitter is at a really critical point right now and really needs to act fast or it’ll be another sell out one hit wonder. There are a few dozen services that would love nothing more than to pickup the pieces as soon as Twitter implodes.