Twitter: I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours.

I should begin by saying that I enjoy Twitter. I like seeing how people tell stories when they’re only given 140 characters to work with. But it’s a good thing that the service is free, because I do have some issues with it. 

Take a look at the screenshot from my (mihow) account. (Specifically the area outlined in yellow.)


Now, take a look at Murray’s


Notice the difference? Murray has a search field, which is pretty insane since he doesn’t even have thumbs. (Not at all insane, however, is that he has a Twitter account.)

Now, before you leave a comment or send an anonymous email letting me know how stupid it is that I even care, I’m not losing sleep over this. But up until recently, I had no idea what these # signs were all about. I’m still not sure how they work. And I don’t use them because I rarely see the end result. (Murray doesn’t log in very often.)

Similarly, I had NO CLUE what “Trending Topics” meant until last weekend whenever Toby Joe showed it me. He checked my account on his computer and still nothing showed up. We checked my settings, still nothing.

But it’s free. I can’t complain.

It is curious, though.


  1. How strange that the side panel layouts are so different! Mine shows those who I’m following plus the search toolbar.

    I took ages to figure out #tags and trending topics too. I follow @stephenfry (a British comedian in case you don’t know him) who is all-knowing about everything to do with twitter. His blog is quite inciteful too! (


  2. Mine looks like yours, weird. I never knew what I was missing. And I have been wondering about the whole “trending topics” thing too.


  3. I’m thankful that “Trending Topics” doesn’t show up in my account either because just the sound of that gives me the shudders. I don’t have the search feature either.


  4. Next question: Did you guys sign up early on? I did. I wonder if it’s something that newbies get for whatever reason and the older registered users do not? (Server problems maybe? Like, we’re on some old as shit jalopy server? Heh.)

    Watch me pretend I know what I’m saying.


  5. I signed up last week(after resisting the urge forever) and my side panel looks like yours. I found this link in help:
    Looks like Murray is blessed!


  6. I signed up at SXSW 2007 I think. So, yeah. Long time ago!


  7. I hate Retweets or RTs. all I have to add to this.


  8. Yup, my sidebar is like yours, and Jack’s is like Murray’s. It’s a cat conspiracy.


  9. mine is like yours, no extra stuff


  10. I don’t have the search feature either…Murrary IS a lucky kitty! :-)

    If you use Twitter on your iPhone using Tweetie, you can search for topics or keywords though, or for those twittering nearby, etc. They have a trend search to see what is ‘trending’ at that time. It’s kinda cool.


  11. Mine looks like Murray’s.

    I prefer yours. The trending topics thing really pisses me off it looks untidy and gets in the way. I joined about four months ago and at first my account looked like yours but a couple of weeks ago it changed. My husband joined almost at the very beginning and his looks like Murray’s too.

    I love Twitter but like I said, I much prefer the screen with out all the extra stuff.


  12. Sarah (@frecs) April 17, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    How funny you wrote about this. I just taught a Social Networking class at the library I work and had to ask someone earlier that day who was on Twitter what all the hashmarks were about (fearful my class might ask). I now have a vague idea….but I have yet to use one.

    In regard to the way my Twitter profile looks..I too do not have a search box or the Trending topics thing. I am slightly jealous of @Murraythecat. I may need to sign Pocket (my pet) up. He already has a Facebook Fanpage:

    :) Ha ha!


  13. mine looks like yours as well. I guess Murray is magical.

    so what DOES the #tag do?

    ps – I notice, dear second cousin, that I am following you on Twitter but you are not following me. Murray IS, but I haven’t even met him yet. if you asked him, I’m sure he would tell you I am succinctly entertaining and worth keeping in touch with.


  14. #hashtags are an ad hoc, de facto way of categorizing tweets.


  15. I joined twitter about two years ago, and my sidebar looks like Murray’s. That sucks that yours doesn’t – it’s fun to see what the trending topics are. Some are really stupid and feel like a flash-mob thing (Texas was trending for NO REASON the other day).

    Hope you get it figured out!


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