The case for editing tweets

Twitter is a publishing platform. Run and used by human beings.

Most publishing platforms allows us to make things and then post those things to the internet.

Tumblr. WordPress. Instagram. Blogger. Facebook. Drupal. Medium. LinkedIn. Your company’s custom CMS. Hell, even Path. Pinterest. Twitter. Publishing platforms. Run and used by human beings.

Virtually every publishing platform recognizes that we’re human beings. That’s why they allow us to edit the things we publish. Tumblr. WordPress. Instagram. Blogger. Facebook. Drupal. Medium. LinkedIn. Your company’s custom CMS. Hell, even Path. Pinterest. Publishing platforms. Run, used, and editable by human beings.

Per the human condition, sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we need to update people on a topic or event they’re following. Sometimes we need to add more information for clarity. Sometimes we say something very, very stupid and need to make amends. There are zillions more reasons like this. Because we’re human beings.

Twitter is not unique among its peers.

The way people use Twitter to publish things they say or create is not unique among its peers.

The ways and reasons people quote or otherwise use Twitter content outside of Twitter are not unique among its peers.

Virtually every other publishing platform recognizes that we’re human beings, and that we have zillions of reasons to need and want to edit the things we publish.

The only thing unique about Twitter is that its decision makers don’t get it.

Addendum

Know something that is unique about one of the many platforms that recognizes we need to edit the things we publish? As far as I can tell, Facebook is the only that offers any kind of ‘paper trail.’

When someone edits a Facebook post or comment, an “Edited” link appears on it somewhere, usually near the timestamp. Tap it, and you’ll see a list of not just the current and original versions, but any and all iterations in between.

That’s frigging smart. All publishing platforms should do that. Especially Twitter.

The science and documentary TV format doesn't hold up well in the age of streaming

Jessi and I just watched this episode of Megastructures, about the Gotthard Base Tunnel project, on YouTube. It’s a 36-mile train tunnel Switzerland is building under the Alps—it’ll help people and commerce move much faster than going over the mountains. It’s a pretty wild project, nearly finished, that’s taken 50 years of planning and 12 years of work. You should check it out.

This YouTube cut has no commercial breaks, but the episode was originally written, shot, and cut for TV, so the original edits and padding dialog are still there. They talk about what’s coming up “after the break,” there are fade outs and ins, and they review what was covered so far after every one or two breaks.

It’s weird enough to see commercial break edits these days in streaming shows where commercials have thankfully been removed (from the likes of iTunes Store, YouTube Red, and Hulu premium). But info-rich shows that cover science and documentaries stick out even more since they usually opt to offer post-commercial summaries at various points. It’s probably to make sure the ads didn’t wash out everything that’s been covered, or to help channel-hoppers catch up.

Regardless, the format has not aged well in a time of on-demand content, where TV commercials and ‘jumping back into the middle of a show’ basically don’t exist anymore. It feels more and more like a relic of a different time with every episode and documentary I watch.

The tech industry wants to use women’s voices – they just won't listen to them | The Guardian

For all its recent improvements, the tech industry still has a nasty blind spot:

How could anyone think that creating a young woman and inviting strangers to interact with her on social media would make Tay “smarter”? How can the story of Tay be met with such corporate bafflement, such late apology? Why did no one at Microsoft know right from the start that this would happen, when all of us – female journalists, activists, game developers and engineers who live online every day and could have predicted it – are talking about it all the time?

The answer cannot be anything but outright disdain. The industry wants to use women’s voices but still has no plans to actually listen to them. If empathy is core to the future of artificial intelligence, worry not – the Singularity is still quite a way off, no matter how many terrifying Holocaust-denying, racist, anti-feminist white millennial-bots Microsoft “accidentally” spawns.