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Twitter is a Mess

'Epic fail' redefined.


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SAN FRANCISCO (Radsoft) — Five years old to the day last Friday, it bumbles and stumbles on. The site gets worse by the day and outsiders have to be wondering how long it can survive.

Twitter is an utter mess.

'Twitter is over capacity'

The 'fail whale' still appears regularly after all these years. Users get the message 'Twitter is over capacity' together with the admonition to visit the separate 'status' site to see what's wrong.

Growing pains can always be expected in a new project. Things can and do go wrong. But to be afflicted by the same issues over and over again for years on end is a sure sign something else is endemically wrong in the company.

If Twitter engineers continually see they're running out of capacity, then they need to increase capacity - dramatically. If they see the surge in new accounts outpaces their own efforts to keep up, then they need to do something about it.

But the Twitter engineers don't seem to be doing anything. The fail whale returns. And sometimes users get the silly message 'there's something technically wrong'.

#NewTwitter

Twitter's new interface #NewTwitter is never going to be adopted because it's a total bug farm, people don't like it, and the Twitter engineers are sticking to their guns and not fixing a thing. Faced with a reluctance on the part of their users to adapt to the wobbly upgrade, the Twitter engineers are now trying to force users to use it. Almost anybody can see how that's going to end - but strangely not the Twitter engineers themselves who seem unwilling to part ways with their golden ratios and all the other assorted nonsense they go on about.

Twitter engineers expect users to appreciate the geometric beauty of it when most users would prefer the thing just worked.

#NewTwitter wastes obscene amounts of screen real estate; it uses a buggy and unsuccessful algorithm for updating timelines; it has flaps, panels within panels, and flawed entry fields; it has timeline data jumping all over the place, it has 'flap data' doing it too - it's an impossible interface to work with, not even at the 'alpha' stage. And yet the Twitter engineers see nothing, they do nothing, and they're prepared in their indignation to intimidate their users into adapting #NewTwitter anyway.

Not exactly a formula for success.

Mediocrity

There are ample signs of a dangerous level of mediocrity amongst the Twitter engineers. They're often caught 'cheating' when constructing their algorithms; the Twitter interface continues to spew out mishaps and idiosyncrasies; they show all signs of not being of the caliber necessary to run and shepherd such a project.

As they're cultivated in turn by the corporate leadership, there are ample signs that even that latter group lack the necessary credentials to run the site.

The original Twitter was what caught everyone's attention - a simple idea and a very malleable idea too. Twitter users created the Twitter community and most of the useful ideas the site became famous for.

Then Twitter management and their incompetent programming staff moved in and tried to make things better without once coming to terms with how the site was really used.

They've tried several times to survey their users on why they won't adopt #NewTwitter, but the questions they pose show how tragically far off the mark they are.

When's the last time Facebook or Google greeted you with a fail whale? How often do any major sites have the screw-ups the Twitter site is today notorious for? Do the math.

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