Twitter has made a great change. In account settings, users can now specify that all direct replies to their user account show up in their Twitter timeline, regardless of whether that user is being followed or not by the recipient user.

Twitter: A welcome change!

This is good news, and hopefully will alleviate some of the frustrated conversations I’ve witnessed (mainly at conferences) where new Twitter users can’t converse or even get the attention of other Twitter users they’re messaging, because the other Twitter user isn’t following them.

I’m not sure how long this feature has been available in Twitter, but I just discovered it this evening. Long live Twitter and further improvements to Twitter! 🙂

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8 Responses to Welcome change to Twitter conversations

  1. Mathew says:

    That’s a good change.

  2. Sue Waters says:

    Well switching on all @ replies may be a good solution for someone with only a few followers but I know with the number I follow, which isn’t as high as the number you follow Wes — that I can’t cope with the number of tweets, it’s just too much. Now that I use TweetScan I think it is probably the better solution — using TweetScan you can subscribe to the RSS feed for terms. I use it to subscribe to my twitter name and variations of my twitter name. But would also be useful at a conference if there is a common term people tweetered. I love how Alan Levine is using it to have conversations with people he doesn’t follow — means that he doesn’t have to follow everyone, can reduce the level of noise but still respond to people who twitter a message at him.

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    Sue: I hadn’t heard of TweetScan, so thanks for the heads up on it. I’ll check it out.

    There is no way I can follow all the posts to twitter of the folks I’m following, similar to the RSS feeds I subscribe to now. I find twitter is wonderful when I want to check in, but it is not something I leave on all the time or am tuned into constantly. I’m not sure what the right analogy for this is… It does mean that if someone messages me directly, I may not see the message for awhile. I’m checking my replies a couple times per week now, but not every day. If people need to contact me about something urgent I’m hoping (as suggested on my contact form that they use the phone or skype. For less urgent matters and conversations I’m finding the asynchronous as well as synchronous functionality of Twitter to be wonderful. Twitter is also good for urgent/time sensitive matters when you need input or help, but not necessarily from a specific person (since they may not be “on.”) Twitter is certainly an interesting and different communications platform, full of possibilities but also unique in many ways. I’m glad to see the tool is continuing to evolve and improve. It’s great the collective imaginations of the Twitter community are helping to make it better. In this way I think Twitter personifies many of the best things about 21st century communications possibilities.

  4. Suad says:

    HI Wesley Fryer hi I’m Suad from Seattle, Washington I love your blog comment me back at my blog at

  5. Sue Waters says:

    Hi Wes – look forward to how you find TweetScan and yes I guessed where you were at based on your number of updates :). As a well known Twitter-aholic, while I know that some cope really well with the number of followers you have, I know I couldn’t. There would be too much noise and a loss of the conversations that I can achieve at the moment.

  6. Alan Levine says:

    Sue is amazing and generous. Please send her lots of chocolate (insulate well as it is blazing hot in Perth right now).

    I’ve been using this approach, monitoring my @cogdog tweets in Google Reader, described bottom of post

    It makes a huge difference in being connected to people who follow you. I would hate to tweet someone a specific message and not get a response. Sometimes, when I do this, I find it is someone I want to add to my followers.

    But it potentially would allow you to reply to people w/o necessarily following them.

    I run a bunch of similar feeds for monitoring sites; RSS for my flickr comments, changelogs from wiki sites, etc.

    Web 2.0 may be sexy, but an understanding of how to leverage RSS is the one thing I wish more people had. It is the unsung hero of the small pieces loosely joined web world.

  7. Wesley Fryer says:

    I’ll have to see what our insulated chocolate shipping options are here in Oklahoma… I’m glad to get connected to Sue!

    Thanks for sharing that link– I’ve seen it referenced but hadn’t actually read it before/yet– now I am!

    RSS and aggregators really are “basic ingredients” for learning today I think, I agree with you they are unsung and generally unacknowledged by many for their power. I’m going to add RSS aggregators to my list of “basic ingredients” for digital learning which I linked up today for my skype presos this week: “Creating, Collaborating and Blending Learning in the 21st Century Infovers.”

  8. Sue Waters says:

    Thanks for the kind words Alan but I wouldn’t know about TweetScan if you had not shared. Just wish I knew about it before I built up my twitter network.

    Regarding chocolate – thinking may have to give away my secret weapons (chocolate and coke)cause someone has been enjoying them tooooo much (but not enough to start running!).

    RSS definitely should be a priority — yet it is such a hard concept to get people used to and start using.

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