I first called Twitter a "conversation ecosystem" back in 2007 (BusinessWeek) during my initial months of using the service. That's because it is. It's living breathing complex system with all types of dynamics, customs, nuances, etc. It truly is an environment vs. a Web software application. The people make it that, and this became clear to me after watching it evolve from something it was never really designed to be in the first place.
So when Hillel Fuld asked me to "re-tweet" (this is Twitter's version of forwarding, passing along etc.) the above message, I couldn't help but see a opportunity for a "re-design". And we're not alone, Dave Malouf and others have expressed similar thoughts.
#Followfriday is a phenomenon on Twitter where every Friday of the week, Twitter users make recommendations of who to follow by putting out there twitter names followed by the phrase #followfriday. This tells people in their network they should follow their suggestions and the hashtag "#" aggregates all of these suggestions. Below is a typical example.
Now while the beauty of any social ecosystem is the organic and flexible nature of customs such as #followfriday, I'd like to suggest that there could be an opportunity to "re-design" how it works. As Hilz points out (originally posted by @thinkreferrals) there's a possible flaw in the delivery. Currently, most (not all) #followfriday recommendations tell you who to follow—they never tell you why. So what would that look like? Here's an example:
So, I'm going to take up Hillel's suggestion and start participating in the weekly social event as he suggests. If you're on Twitter, you don't have to. You can do whatever you want—that's part of the appeal. But I think his suggestion is better "designed". Making one recommendation and following it up with justification as to "why" that person should be followed. I just think it's a better solution to a problem that many Twitter users have "who is worth following here?". If you notice, a direct answer to that question is to tell the person "who". But in reality, the better solution could be answering "why?".
What do you think?