Twitter Local Trends
I’ve still got a hmm-ahh kind of relationship with Twitter. On the one hand it brings me content that I might not otherwise see, but as a communications medium I think it’s pretty woeful. Stupid little things like having to remember how many direct messages I had last time I checked so I can work out if I’ve got any new ones. Or the awful conversational threading.
But, today there’s nothing to blog about till Steve Jobs descends to Earth in a fiery chariot from Mount Ararat with his New! Revolutionary! device, so I suppose we should have a look at the latest Twitter feature – local trends.
Basically, you get to choose a country by means of… err… choosing a country in a little menu option and then you’ll see relevant Tweets.
Firstly, this is a pretty primitive way of going about things. While geolocating through IP might have it’s flaws it’s good enough for Google and pretty much everyone else so why Twitter are plumping for this “tell me what country in which you are located” business is anyone’s guess. Anyway, once you’ve done that, you start to see trending topics among other users from your chosen country.
The results are, predictably, weird. This morning, ‘mango juice‘ is a trending topic in the UK. Amusingly, almost every tweet about it read “WTF? Why is #mangojuice a trending UK topic?” which, of course, carries on perpetuating it. Maybe it will never end and will be a mystery for future historians to unravel, or the 2114 version of Dan Brown to base a novel on.
Actually, the answer is probably because not many people have set a UK preference. Probably 3 retweets is enough at the moment to set off a trending topic (as evidenced by the ‘boobiewed’ trend that’s cropped up since I started writing this post).
Slater also made the point that one of the great things about Twitter is that you get to see what’s happening around the world. Iran protests… plane crashes in New York… earthquakes… all these things are massive news and often surface first on Twitter, giving you a heads up on the news. Do you think Twitter is going to be enhanced if there’s another 9/11 and you’re busily trying to decipher why ‘mangojuice’ is trending?
So personally, I’m giving it a resounding ‘meh’. You, of course, will have your own opinion… and the floor is open as ever