One of the main reasons i use twitter is to keep an eye on breaking news or search for news i know is breaking. That can be hugely valuable. Knowledge is power as they say and knowing something first or before other people, gives you power. Twitter offers every single one of us the chance to break news as it’s happenening.
It can be used to place bets, gain contacts, gain respect… it’s a currency in it’s own right. You will all have people you follow that submit ‘quality’ tweets. I know i follow several designers for example who will often post useful links and tools (useful to me of course!).
But recently, twitter has been poisoned by spam. It’s increasing too… i’ve noticed it and so have others. Spammers can look at breaking news, see what’s hot and then comment on that news and chuck a sly link in to a completely unrelated website promoting some pyramid scheme or offering you a free dental whitening kit.
Spam has been around from day one on twitter and like a lot of communication mediums, twitter will have to find a way of dealing with it better. Gmail ended spam emails as we used to know them… it could be said Firefox ended popups as we knew them…
The twitter spammer or spam bot is a much more complicated beast to get rid of and at the minute they’re succeeding in getting traffic and fooling people. I’ve no doubt there are people online milking twitter for everything it’s worth. And that’s a problem because they’ll keep doing it until they’re stopped or can’t make more money.
How can twitter solve it? Don’t know. It’s a tough one. Community moderation works, but due to the ‘live’ nature of twitter, it’s too slow.