maandag 19 november 2012

I shared an email with you

Twitter introduced an interesting new feature, emailing a tweet that you think might be of interest to someone else. Twitter lets you send an email straight from the Twitter web interface. If you choose so, up pops a browser window that lets you enter the email address of the recipient and enter some text next to the tweet. Press a button and Twitter takes care of sending the tweet.

Why does this bother me?
Some time ago I wrote a blog entry about Behavior centric identity management. I said that my Identity is constructed using several components, one of which is my behavior. You may know my name, or my interests, my relations, my work, whatever, but the more aspects of me you know, the better you know the real me, the closer you come to the real me. In order to be in control of the real me, for me this means seperating these components as much as possible. That's why I use netvibes rss aggregator (that knows about my areas of interest) instead of iGoogle (that will disappear anyway).

My Twitter handle is one of my identity components, just like my email relations. And the tweeps I follow are not randomly chosen, no, they are part of my identity too. But Twitter is just an instrument for me to use and Twitter has got nothing to do with my other identity components.

But now that they started offering an email facility, they have to possibility to combine my separate identity components. They can combine my areas of interest (the tweet that I want to share) and my non-Twitter relations (this function is obviously meant to reach non.tweeps, otherwise a simple RT would do). It's an effective interest aggregator.  The email sent contains lots of information, but most important is that Twitter owns the mail server. And Twitter is the owner of the sent email message.

Twitter could of course offer the email button and start my email client, just as easy, and they would never know to whom I would like to send a tweet. But by implementing the email facility like they did, they are in the middle of my communication channel with a non-Tweep. They know that my Twitter ID is interested in informing a non Twitter identity about a certain subject.

Since Twitter is becoming the on-line memory for our thoughts, I don't think that Twitter will remove all emails and temp files, do you?
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