Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twitterphobe: More to Hate About Twitter

I've purposefully avoided Twitter: I'm neither interested in constantly publishing myself as if narcissistic, and thinking I should be constantly available, nor think such microcontext-ing is a good thing. It is useful for those in various roles who need to get information out, to coordinate, etc., but overall Twitter has a huge community of people who really have no place in constantly writing about themselves, a community where celebrities fawning over themselves are applauded for campaigning for no purpose other than who can gain more friends faster.

One of those figures who might be worth keeping tabs on, however, if Twitter is used by him for certain particulars, is Lawrence Lessig. So I headed over to Twitter to subscribe, came upon the "Full Name" box for sign-up, entered my first initial, middle name, and last name, (the first item as so because my grandfather and father and I all share first names, and my father and I a middle initial), and was greeted by..."Name is too long (maximum is 20 characters)".

I'm over only by two characters. Things like this--restrictions applied to names--are wonderful ensemples of worst practices in technology. A comparable example is password fields that don't take all standard charcter inputs from a typical computer, especially banks that not only narrowly constrict password size, but disallow all but perhaps a few special characters.

If one is going to log onto a service like Twitter, one is going to use a full name to be searchable if someone wants to find you: considering that, and my own Facebook account, I remember this and now actually want to enter the whole thing since I'm known variously by first and last name: not that I'll likely use Twitter any more than facebook (which is uncommon).

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