Twitter Comments01 Mar 2009
Daniel Sandler has attempted to integrate Twitter responses for comments on his site. I like the idea but the implementation is a little rough, it requires a url shortening service to create a sort of tagging system which is referenced later by a query against Twitter.
Daniel points out one of the potential negatives:
Blindly including the results of a search on your blog is an easy way to get spammed, of course, so we'll have to see how this goes. Note, however, that because the tweets are fetched by the client, they never actually appear in the blog when it's crawled by search engines, so you can't mess with my PageRank (or boost your own) by abusing this system – all you can do is cause grief. (So. Don't.)
Dan has a really cool idea and it plays on one of Twitters strengths – ad-hoc discussions. Twitter for blog comments could (and probably should) be addressed by a more architected approach, one which addresses the specific detractors of Dan's implementation. If Twitter were to allow the embedding of links as metadata this would pretty much seal the deal, one could then refer to the link which would be automatically embedded in the commenters message similar to embedding some random string of characters in the message itself.
Ultimately this highlights some of the weaknesses of Twitter itself. As a business (they *are* a business right?) they should react to their users by making the experience better. Common tasks which break the experience like embedding a picture or linking something go beyond the original intent of the service but it's what users are doing. Twitter should be asking itself the question: What are *they* doing?