Thursday, December 6, 2007

In which I wax semi philosophically (or, how I learned to love bugs for their nutritional value)

I'm sure you've heard the jokes - "That's not a bug, that's a feature." Name your favorite bug, and you can probably justify the reason for its existence.

I've previously blogged about Club 140, a site that reproduces the most recent 100 tweets from people that Dave Winer follows, provided that the tweets are exactly 140 characters in length - no more, no less.

Well, some of us who tried to use Club 140 around (Pacific time) dinnertime last night ran into a teeny tiny little problem.

For example, late yesterday afternoon I composed the most precisely worded 140 character tweet. It went like this:

thinking. is there a correlation between the 2.0ish transparency assumptions and classical economics perfect market information assumptions.

However, when I checked Club 140, it looked like this:


And every tweet after that was coming out as "true." So, I naturally concluded:

uh oh i broke club140

But then something appeared to happen that unbroke it, because this tweet displayed fine:

ah! it appears that a @creativesage post went to and didn't result in a boolean "true" entry. will this tweet work??

Eventually, the problem was sorted out:

Ooops! I made a change to and then went to dinner, resulting in "trues" in posts that didn't have @names in them. Fixed.

(By the time I figured out the problem, Dave Winer had figured it out and fixed it.)

But then I got to thinking; was it really a bug?

One could argue that the purpose of the exercise was simply to acknowledge that Twitter users had created tweets of exactly 140 characters. Was there necessarily an obligation for the Club 140 site to reproduce the tweets? Is Winer obligated to satisfy my ego in seeing my words pop up at yet another place? Of course he isn't.

I thought long and hard about this, and this morning I posted a tweet about it. The tweet did not appear on Club 140, but it did appear, and is still available, on Twitter. Here is my tweet on this issue:


I think that says it all.


[mrontemp business] | [mrontemp politics] | [mrontemp technology] | [mrontemp tags]

Sphere: Related Content