A torrent of tweets: managing information overload in online social streams


Bernstein, M.; Kairam, S.; Suh, B.; Hong, L.; Chi, E. H. A torrent of tweets: managing information overload in online social streams. CHI2010 Workshop on Microblogging.; 2010 April 10, Atlanta, GA


Twitter streams are on overload: active users receive hundreds of items per day and existing interfaces force us to march through a chronologically-ordered morass to find tweets of interest.

We propose that the research community engage with microblogging feed consumption practice: how do users manage the incoming flood of updates, and how can we help them do it?

We have pursued these questions through formative studies and prototype development. An online survey and semi-structured interviews with information stream users revealed that users assign different value to feed items according to tie strength, topical relevance and serendipitous discovery. Faced with an intractable number of these streams, users either manicure follow lists for manageability or give up on reading everything and subscribe to many more individuals. We introduce an alternative Twitter client called Eddi that groups tweets in a users feed into topics mentioned explicitly or implicitly. Using Eddi, Twitterers can browse for tweets of interest by topic, filtering out undesired topics.

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