The importance of Twitter being unimportant

Speaking of Facebook, consider this sentence in an interesting New York Times article about Twitter's anticipated IPO:

"Messages flow in continuously, most recent on top, without regard to their importance."

It's describing how the Twitter service works.

The voice is, of course, objective journalistic indifference (or affectation of such), but how loaded is that final clause, "without regard to their importance."

6a01156e3d83cb970c019aff5d02f9970bThe implication is that each unique message must be evaluated and its order arranged (other than by time) to escape the gravitational shame of randomness.

Or, more insidiously, that user curation (both by sender and recipient, the latter having chosen which users may publish to the stream) does not compute.

An algorithm might rank messages with due regard to importance. The importance to an advertiser, say.

My fundamental problem with Facebook was that I had no idea whose agenda was cherry-picking the stream. I knew the agenda wasn't mine.

Yeah, Twitter has ads. I hate them. I report them as spam. I take modest measures to signal to the Twitter servers that I'm the kind of person they want to go easy on with the ads.

When the Gates Foundation buys Twitter, the company - and why not go public; it will facilitate such a move - the ads will be gone, and we will truly have a messaging service of no importance.


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