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New Mediocrity Amplifier for Web Ships, Scoble Looks on in Horror

That Echo Chamber Fail motif that Loic LeMeur and Michael Arrington launched has taken on quite a life.  Arrington lectures the blogosphere to, “get it together people,” he is right (surprised?).  Scoble responds with one of the hilarious posts that only he can do with, “Thanks Mike Arrington for taking us off the rails into Twitter idiot land.”

This morning I see that some folks have rushed into availability a Twitter search engine called Twitority that does precisely what these two gents requested–it ranks search results based on how many followers (the “authority”) the Tweeter has.  I heard about it from Loic’s blog, where he adds that he doesn’t see this sort of thing as censorship, but just one useful form of filtering.

Is Twitority an Echo Chamber as I predicted?

Well let’s do that search on LeWeb that Loic suggested was his reason for wanting such a feature.  His problem was he didn’t want to read through 7,000 Tweets about LeWeb.  Here is what I get from Twitority on the first 10 results:

1. Loic himself talking about the conference.  Gee, that’s Echo Chamber fodder.

2. dotdean complaining about bots.  Maybe useful.

3. Loic’s blog post about Twitority.  More EchoChamber.

4.  igorthetroll asking to be invited to LeWeb to annoy Loren.

5.  Pandaran happy about seeing streaming video from LeWeb.

6.  haropakorss:  We need search by auhtority!

7.  ledretch:  response to lezepf about not having enough time with 3 jobs to look at LeWeb.

8.  dalesio:  Is watching the Gillmor gang live at LeWeb while his mom makes him bacon, pancakes, and eggs.

9.  dalesio is also watching @garyvee at LeWeb because he brought the THUNDER!!!

10.  ulihegge:  It’s in German.  No idea what he’s saying, but it looks like he is watching Gillmor gang too.

OK, not a lot of great insights there based on “authority”.  Let’s try the first 10 on Twitter for comparison: it’s not a lot better, BTW.

1.  TwitLinkRSS teling us of Loic’s post about Twitority.

2, 3:  luv_leweb and jlegon post identical messages (retweeting is alive and well) on a video interview with Loic.

4-10:  luv_leweb and others repeating itself about the problem with damned bots (same as #2 on Twitority).  Seems the bots themselves have annoying feedback loops.

Here are a few thoughts:

It is far more important who you follow than who follows you: if you follow people just to get followers you’ll end up being overworked, deep in information overload, and superficial to boot.

It’s clear from both search examples above that some smarter filtering is needed.  Looking at these results, being able to get to the origin of things being retweeted in a smart way might be valuable.  If I had only seen the Tweet that started complaining about bots (perhaps that was dotdean), and the other slots were other equally original thoughts and not echoes, that would have been more interesting.

The best filter would do what Scoble says he wants: to have smarter conversations every day.

Is that what you want?

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