It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Twitter. I have TweetDeck up for better than half the day on average, either while I am on Twitter, or running in the background while I am working on something else. And one of the biggest uses I have for Twitter is to engage in conversations. I am closing in on my 18,000th tweet, and over 75% of those have been replies to someone else. So I spend most of my time on Twitter talking to others.
Which I love! But in the past few months, I have been seeing some less than perfect communication happening between myself and others on Twitter. More than once, I have been involved in an exchange with someone on Twitter, then after wards they would blog about the discussion, and usually incorrectly identify my stance and the points I was trying to make.
Or recently, I got in what I thought was a very mild disagreement with someone on Twitter. At one point someone replied to me to say we were arguing, and I clarified that we were having a civil disagreement. But a day or so later, I discovered that this person had unfollowed me. My first thought was that it must be an error by Twitter, so I replied to them asking if they meant to unfollow me, and never got a reply. So that answered that question.
And what's worse, I have heard from others on Twitter that they have had similar issues. That they would suddenly find themselves in arguments when they thought they were actually agreeing with the other person. That someone would repeatedly mis-state their position (even after they clarified it to them) or they would later discover that someone had unfollowed them after what they thought was a civil disagreement.
What does all this mean? Well I am going to assume that it means that *I* am not doing a good job of accurately expressing myself, or accurately reading what others are saying and feeling. It means I am going to state my stance, re-state once if there's confusion, then drop it. If I see an argument developing, I am going to wave the 'we should agree to disagree' flag MUCH earlier, or invite the person to continue via email so we can better explain our positions.
What about you? Are you seeing the same thing with your conversations on Twitter? Until I can decide differently, I am going to assume that most of these imperfect conversations are my fault. What have you seen?