(yes I know, quite an ambitious title)
What if Facebook only allowed you 75 friends?
The continued rise of Twitter.com has been attributed to many things by many people. Beyond the ambient intimacy, portability, business uses, networking, simplicity, etc, is one thing that may not have been blogged about quite as much: In a bandwidth-is-cheap storage-is-cheap development-is-cheap world, setting limits can create freedom.
Twitter.com limits all conversation atoms (a unit of measure for posts, replies, direct messages) to 140 characters. That’s it. No exceptions. This forces atoms to be succinct, without artifice or flowery stuff or suckuptitude or any of that capital-m-Marketing that more freedom allows.
Turns out that setting limits is a pretty effective way to get people to say what they want to say and then sit back. I’d be very interested to see what effect putting the 10 minute time limit on YouTube videos did for overall creativity, usage, and density of videos created over time. (paging Mediaeater, can Trendrr demonstrate that).
Being social network fatigued as I am (seriously, if one more site asks me to enter my email address, then upload a photo, then shout at my gmail contacts, I’m quitting the internets.), I hope this trend will expand. Another …