Adding Value: Communicating Clearly

Is it just me? Or, has there been a cold wind blowing in the blogosphere and twitterverse of late. I've been absent, or at least marginal in my participation, but my brain keeps projecting thoughts to share.

It seems that some who have been active in these arenas are now becoming concerned about their value and a few have actually tuned out and turned off. The conversation is around the nature, frequency and value of posts. Questions arise about the very nature of the "social" aspect of the "social" network. How much information do we need to know in regard to someone's commute, dinner, vacation, etc. and, most importantly, what value is being added?

Britt Watwood, Jeff Nugent and I have discussed this thread a few times and we seem to agree that getting an occasional glimpse of someone's personal life does add value. Quantifying that value becomes difficult, if not impossible, but, I think it projects their humanity. It seems to put a face on people and establish a relationship with others who share common interests; it may make us more comfortable in sharing information of greater educational value to our own lives.

What is missing in the 140 character twits is an immediate sense of importance or value in the message. It occurs to me that we could spare 2 or 3 precious characters to identify messages with a code that would indicate how we feel our message might add value, joy to, or inform someone else's life. So, I'm proposing a code system and welcome the ideas of others in creating, standardizing and implementing this. In my future twits, I will experiment with a code to give a sense of what I'm trying to convey and give readers the quick option to ignore and not be bothered with content they my not be interested in reading.

Here's my start:

Value Code for Twitter Messages:

AV= Added Value - this will be for sharing information and urls which I find of value and think will be of interest to others.

NBP= New Blog Post

ART - images, movies, digital stories, visual and audio treats I want to share

PF= Fun - things I enjoy

H= Humor

I welcome your comments and suggestions for practical codes. In pursuing this idea, I think we should keep it as simple as possible.

I hope this post AV.


Image courtesy of Colby Stuart


  1. You are right, the value code system would be beneficial to those reading Tweets so that they can get a sense of what they are about to read. Would this cause readers to unintentionally "filter" Tweets to only what they want to read (maybe AV like links and urls). Also, I would have all of the codes be the same length character-wise so that it's instantly recognizable.


    NBP: Posted to my blog
    ADV: Added value

    Just some random thoughts, I really like your idea!

  2. Sidney - Thanks for your reply and suggestions. I'll let this cook for a while to see what others might say and then move forward from there.


  3. It is odd that tweets can be all over the map, but isn't this part of all social interaction? Hopefully the 'cold wind' of folks starting to tune out will be resolved on it's own. Is it possible that Twitter will change as summer ends? Do communication technologies change with seasons of the year :)


  4. Richard, I like your observation/question "It is odd that tweets can be all over the map, but isn't this part of all social interaction?" This addresses the context of conversation and how conversation overlaps into various subjects, formats and media. If these "tweets' were statements made in a group engaged in casual conversation, they would most likely fold into the overall event and those who were interested would tune in. Twitter might be a parallel situation, but somehow I sense that people are wanting a way to quickly be aware of the nature of the communication and either engage or move on.

    Your question about seasonal attention is also interesting. I guess we all go through natural seasons and “seasons” in our life. We may just have natural ebbs and flows of conversation and participation.

  5. I think it's also the summer holidays in the US, so our tweets are less or of less substance. It's hot and many teachers are on vacation. That could account for some of this. I know my tweets have gotten pretty flaky lately. I feel sorry for my followers, who may soon defect if I keep it up. ;)

    Maybe we could/should take blogs seriously, but Twitter & Plurk? In my opinion they are meant to be Social-Networking-Lite.

    Thanks for starting the conversation!

  6. Suzanne,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I agree the functionality in Twitter is first social. My pondering about a code was prompted by the moans of others. As you note, it's just the start of a conversation (in the evolving communication arena).