I’ve decided to air some grievances about trends in the WordPress community that have me annoyed. Yesterday, I raised the issue of “freemium” plugins in the WordPress Repository. Today I want to bitch about the #wordpress twitter stream. There was a time when you could follow #wordpress and find real people exchanging ideas or asking questions or linking tutorials. It seems now though the community is a victim of it’s own success. To demonstrate my point yesterday I went through the first 50 tweets and broke them down by function:
34 tweets were directly selling something. And example might be
Visual Themify #Builder #WordPress #Plugin True #Drag #Drop #ThemeBuilder Design. Front- and Backend Design https://link/link
The link in the tweet above actually takes you to a hosting company website which is a bit misleading.
23 tweets were soft-selling. By this I mean they were tweets by a company to a blog post that was indirectly promoting their business or products. This is obviously preferable to the direct sell, but it still has some issues. For one thing, the quality of the content leaves much to be desired. I don’t find an article on “building an ecommerce site” that just lists a bunch of super-obvious steps, “First you need a domain, here’s a link to the domain affiliate that I profit from,” to be particularly valuable.
Only 3 articles had no obvious sales angle. This is a pathetic number. What’s worse is that many of the direct-sell tweets are just repeats of each other. At least 8 tweets ultimately linked back to one theme on the Envato Marketplace.
To be fair some of the issue here is without a doubt an issue with Twitter, not WordPress. And It’s hardly reasonable to expect WordPress to somehow curate the hashtag.
My concern though is that it is somewhat indicative of a trend in the WordPress ecosystem: it’s getting increasingly difficult to separate the cream from the crap.
Idea’s on this would be welcome.