I just finished this ReadWriteWeb article on new pending “shout out” feature from Twitter. It looks like this new feature will be offered by the platform to allow peers to verify, or endorse, other accounts as being relevant or meaningful in one category or another. I believe this is a step in the right direction from Twitter and will make the platform more social than it currently is. A quote from the RWW article by Marshall Kirkpatrick states:
A “shout out” or endorsement would make a good compliment to friends, followers and lists on Twitter. Endorsements offered in 140 characters or less could become a meaningful form of social capital online.
One of the issues I have using Twitter is that I’m unable to use it for much beyond search. I most likely follow too many people, or companies, but every time I read my Twitter stream I just feel like I get a lot of noise from a few people in my community, and not much else that’s particularly relevant.
I believe that if there were an easier way to connect me with the content and influencers that I wanted to follow, I might have a better experience. One way would be to use my friends as a recommendation channel. If friends of mine endorse others whom they follow, I believe I would be included to follow them as well. My current follow process is very haphazard, but I believe being able to search for verified accounts, or find accounts that have been endorsed by my friends, would be a great addition that I would use often.
Another great point that this article brings up is the uselessness of the “followers” number. This number is easily gamed and does not translate to additional influence in the channel. I have yet to see an “influence” rating application that I thought was useful, so maybe endorsements from friends is the way to go.