Editing in the following screen capture of the original tweet to this Tumblr URL, It’s now Thursday Morning, April 4 2013, Twitter’s cached summary still showing up two days after…
Adding this first line in this story…AFTER tweeting out this Tumblr URL See what I did here? ;-)
I blogged the following on Tumblr, because they use TwitterCards summary. And I wanted to change the first few lines of text to prove my thesis below on what everyone else missed last night.
Attended Tuesday night’s Twitter Platform Event for Developers on the 9th Floor of the Twitter HQ Building at 1355 Market Street in San Francisco.
After the novelty of being “Inside” Twitter for the first time wore off, having walked around the green roof, and snacking on the finger foods, I sat down in the first row and witnessed their big reveal.
Until shortly after 7 p.m. none of the fellow developers I spoke to had any inkling as to what would be revealed by Twitter. But it would be big. That part was obvious.
During the half hour plus change presentation on stage, warning sirens went off as Dave Winer’s warning kept echoing in my thoughts.
The Big Reveal in short, TwitterCards would be expanded from Summary, Single Photo, Video, to now include Photo Galleries (Like Flickr was already doing), and a new “Product” TwitterCard.
The Mobile Version of Twitter is being re-vamped to show these new and previous TwitterCard embeds elegantly.
With “Deep-Linking” into Partner webpages/apps you kind of don’t leave twitter at all… down the rabbit hole we go…
Afterwards, the nerds in the room were encouraged to speak to anyone wearing a blue bird on their T-Shirt. They all were hanging in the back of the room.
I use them. Many don’t.
The Twitter guy I chatted with was a Product Manager and he also uses them. He hinted that MAYBE 1/10th of 1% of Twitter Users even know what Lists are, let alone use them.
I made my point that if Twitter ever axed the Lists, there would be a backlash akin to Google recently killing off Google Reader.
Because in many respects, Twitter Lists are somewhat like Twitter Reader for people we may not wish to directly follow, but still like to “subscribe” to People’s tweets.
Wikipedia’s TwitterCards Problem
Here’s where I was kind of shocked, but then a moment later not that surprised.
Getting feedback from actually users was the reason for just this sort of developer event from Twitter’s point of view.
Here’s the current problem with TwitterCards:
Once you tweet out including a URL from a Twitter Partner who has activated the TwitterCards Summary of text, about 200 characters, Twitter caches it…
FOR SEVEN DAYS !!!!
For fast breaking, constantly re-updated news events, content on Wikipedia or LocalWiki URLs will change on the page, often several times an hour. Yet the URL will remain constant.
Therefore, if you happen to be the SECOND or THIRD Person to tweet that same URL which Twitter just Cached, Too bad. The summary can be out of date, and seeing that, you may not click on it.
Because you’re following a fast breaking news story, and can see from the embedded TwitterCards news text summary is several hours Stale and now out of date.
For Wiki sites, getting as many contributing editors making voluntary updates to pages with correct knowledge is vital.
The Developer appreciated my feedback and confirmed he’d heard no one at Twitter even bring this up.
I also then gave him more impetus to fix this quickly.
For example: I could be the first one to tweet out something with a carefully crafted Twitter Summary Card, which Twitter now caches.
Having tweeted it first, all subsequent retweets of the same URL with that carefully crafted summary, are being spread via retweets for up to 7 days.
Meanwhile, I had immediately changed the entire body of text in that same URL, et voila, bait and switch in the Age of TwitterCards.
You can ponder on that for a while.
This Caching problem also applies to all news websites URLs being tweeted not just Wiki pages.
I offered up a quick fix, and the Twitter Developer said he’d see if it makes sense of their side:
First they could figure out some algorithm tied into Trending Topics to realize what constitutes a “Fast Breaking” or rapidly changing story.
Instead of automatically caching the first tweeted Summary, replace it with some text along the lines of
"This is fast changing current event. Please visit the webpage for latest summary"
Something like that.
You Get The Idea.
Hope Twitter does too.
HiMY SYeD / San Francisco