Did Twitter just jump the credibility shark with #twitterlied?

Here’s another lesson we can take from Twitters poor handling of their @ replies notification setting problem: don’t tell users that they’re the problem when it is your system that’s sick

Jumping the credibility shark

Wikipedia explains that the colloquialism “jumping the shark” …

Fonzie 'jumps the shark' action figure.… refers to a scene in a three-part episode of the American TV series Happy Days, first broadcast on September 20, 1977. In the third of the three parts of the “Hollywood” episode, Fonzie (Henry Winkler), wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket, jumps over a confined shark while water skiing

… The infamous scene was seen by many as betraying Happy Days’ 1950s setting and its earlier character development by cashing in on the 1970s fads of Evel Knievel and Jaws.

I’m thinking that Twitter’s blog response to #fixreplies and #twitterfail entitled ‘Whoa Feedback‘ in a way betrays the trust of their community, thereby jumping the proverbial shark – at least in terms of their credibility.

In English please?

Sure thing, let me break this thing down:

  • Last night, Twitter opted to remove the @ replies feature;
  • Twitter initially explained on their blog that the reason for removing the feature was due to metrics and feedback that indicated @ replies was an ‘undesirable and confusing option‘;
  • yours truly speculated in ‘While Twitter fiddled, their users burned‘ that we weren’t buy the user experience issue;
  • a day later, Twitter responded on their blog to complaints with the reason for removing the feature being due to their inability to scale it to their millions of users

In short, I believe that Twitter potentially bought themselves some significant public relations problems by not explaining the real reason for removing the feature up front. One need only review the tweets hashed under #TwitterLied as proof of this.

So what has this got to do with me?

Simple, when something breaks or under performs on your church and/or charity website – don’t blame the user’s browser when you know the problem exists on your server.

Put another way, don’t blame shift problems to your users, and whatever you do – don’t lie to those whom you are called to serve.

As stewards to the Internet presence for your church and/or charity I’d ask that you remember these wise words:

Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. – 1 Corinthians 4:2

Want to learn more?

Here are some useful URLs to additional articles on the topic: