Using the @johndoe method to communicate over Twitter is a really stupid way to use the medium. Aren”t people aware that all their followers receive those tweets just as if they were normal ones? And aren’t they aware that many of their followers will thus receive only half of a usually pretty pointless chat conversation? It’s as if the newsreader on TV left his mike on and broadcast his lines in a water-cooler conversation about sports.
I think this behaviour is amazingly stupid. If I subscribe to a Twitter feed and discover that it’s full of banal lines from one-on-one conversations, I just unsubscribe. Discuss!
Update immediately afterwards: Aha! The amazingly stupid one turns out to be me! If you look at somebody’s Twitter home page, you see everything they tweet, including @ replies. But if you add them to your feed, those tweets are suppressed. So in order to find out if somebody’s feed is worthwhile despite all their chatter, you have to subscribe for a while. Thanks to Dayna for setting me straight.
Update same evening: Still, if you have a Twitter conversation with someone, the entire exchange will show up in the feed of everybody who follows both of you guys. So the rule is nevertheless, make sure every tweet you send is intelligible and worthwhile as a piece of standalone text, even if it’s a reply to somebody else’s tweet.