Branch Off a Twitter Conversation

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A couple weeks ago I posted a whimsical (and very slightly sardonic) article on the Internet of Things with a view on what an average day could be like if everything (even your shower soap tray) was network connected and capable of programmed rules or even decision making analytics.

It spurted a generous number of small Twitter conversations and a spot on a couple Internet of Things aggregators. But just a couple days ago I saw an interesting tweet:

Introducing Branch

I had heard of Branch before, and I had understood it as a place where you can have conversations about a topic with more than 140 characters. One of the things I noticed was that I was unable to initially reply to the branch conversation; instead, I had to ask the original conversation author to invite me. It was described to me by @branch thus:

It turns out the reasoning for this is pretty cool. Have you ever been involved in a conversation on Twitter and wanted to take it offline? That’s where Branch comes in. It’s still in the public eye, but now you get 750 characters per response. The people who were on the Twitter conversation with you are still part of the Branch conversation, and other people can ask to be involved. A dinner chat indeed! You can also share any point in the conversation back to Twitter, even a single sentence of someone’s contribution. And the conversation as a whole can be embedded into any site. Here, for example, is the one regarding my Internet of Things article:

It is a fairly cool platform, and I could see it being incredibly useful in the IT world thanks to our long product names, syntax, and tendency to talk too much (okay, maybe I’m projecting).

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  1. Gosh, usenet had more than 750 characters in the ’80s! Why are all these stupid developers making such silly artificial limitations?

  2. Your initial post of early April resurfaced last night via Scoop It and Twitter. It piqued the interest of young Professor @tnhh of St. Andrews UK (computer science dept). He’s a big fan of “open”, but his field of expertise is mobile device-related data privacy. I’m never sure what he thinks is good or bad. Probably my own fault, for lacking sophistication.

    Regarding Branch, I’m impressed that you remained calm upon realizing that they were discussing YOUR written works, yet you couldn’t interject unless invited. It made me feel vicariously indignant! Fortunately, they invited you 😉

    I praised you on Twitter after noticing that you didn’t censor or screen reader comments, even critical ones. (I commented on that post mentioning a “Wearable Communications Protocol”. Your friend with the pleasing spiral avatar, jgarry, commented critically but politely, on your subsequent post.) Your policy is uncommon, and appreciated.

    “Little Data movement”… that’s cute!

  3. What’s worse is the realization that there are probably people talking about my articles on new social sites I don’t even know about and I’m oblivious! Or maybe I’m giving myself too much credit. 😉 Either way, I was able to bear it and probably would have prepared a lengthy series of tweets if I hadn’t received an invitation. Your vicarious indignance is appreciated though.

    “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.” – Anton Ego, Ratatouille 😉

    If I’m wrong I hope someone will call me out on it, and if there is a disagreement I’ll gladly engage in debate or accept that their experience or opinion is different. But deleting? Only if the post is particularly rancorous.

    Anyways, as Branch shows us, if they can’t comment about it on my blog then they can take it elsewhere….to a place where I have no control or invitation to speak!

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