Bloggers Lose The Plot Over Twitter Search

Wow. Loic Le Meur asks for a simple feature on Twitter search – the ability to filter results by the number of followers that a user has to make sense of thousands of messages – and the blogosphere calls for his head.

For the record, I agree with Loic. Being able to filter search results, if you choose, by the number of followers a user has makes sense. Without it, you have no way of knowing which voices are louder and making a bigger impact. It’s a way to make sense of a query when thousands or tens of thousands of results are returned.

Of course, I’m pretty sure I can live without this feature, too. I’m failing to get too worked up over it. But the outpouring of emotion from bloggers is surprising me, and I thought I’d seen just about everything when it comes to blogging.

Robert Scoble: “Here’s why it’s a stupid idea: everyone is gaming the number of followers. And, even if everyone weren’t, popularity on Twitter isn’t a good way to measure whether a Tweet is any good or not.” [Ok, but it is a good way of determining how loud that message was]

Dave Winer: “I think it’s a bad idea.”

Sarah Lacy: “No one could be this nakedly egotistical and self-serving.” [this one was my personal favorite. Sarah is clearly worked up over this idea.]

Steven Hodson: “some-one like me with next to no followers wouldn’t even rate showing up in search results even if I started to topic being searched for” [no, only if someone turned that filter on in the search]

Sam Harrelson:
“I think this is a terrible idea.”

MG Siegler: “this absolutely would ruin one of the most compelling things about Twitter: That it’s completely democratic.”


All this vitriol and angst over a simple feature request – a button to filter search results by number of followers on Twitter search. If people don’t like it, they can not go into advanced search and hit the button. No one is being disenfranchised, the wonderful faux democracy of Twitter won’t be imperiled. And for those of you who just hate the idea, maybe you can have an option to only show messages in search results that are from users with few or no followers.

Get it together people.