A bunch of folks have been submitting some silly study claiming that 40% of Twitter messages are "pointless babble,"
confirming the standard critique from non-Twitter users of the uselessness of Twitter as a whole. Of course, there are all sorts of problems with this that have been raised by a bunch of people, starting with the methodology
, but a bigger point is that the only really "pointless babble" is in trying to determine how much of Twitter is pointless babble. That's because Twitter doesn't work as a broadcast mechanism, whereby you have to pay attention to all of it. It's based on who you follow. If there's too much "pointless babble," there's a simple solution: follow other people. As Sean Garrett sarcastically notes
, "62% of all phone conversations
deemed "useless babble" say researchers."
But the real issue is that "pointless babble" is very much in the eye of the beholder. What these researchers consider to be pointless babble
(things like someone tweeting that they were going out to eat) can actually be quite useful and valuable. I still tell the story of how just such a "pointless babble" of a Tweet resulted in me getting a chance to meet someone
I'd wanted to meet for a while, and I've had many other "pointless babble" tweets come in handy in doing business deals or meeting other people as well. What's "pointless babble" to some can be incredibly useful to others.