In yesterday’s post about updating the Green Twitter list, I mentioned Twellow in passing. Based on Scam’s comments I realized that many users did not know about Twellow. In order for Twellow to become truly useful, users must first know that it exists and then login and add/remove themselves from categories.
Twellow is a directory of Twitter users that grabs posts and scans profiles in order to categorize users and add them to the directory. There is a commercial on the radio which suggests you should not buy a house from a cabdriver who happens to take you past the house. Of course, most people do not know which attorneys concentrate their practice in a specific area or which attorneys happen to focus their practice on the highly technical and difficult field of medical malpractice. Most attorney advertising suggests that the attorney who paid for the ad is an expert in every area of the New York City Law Firm ASK4SAM including medical malpractice. The premise, of course, is that the cabdriver has little or no knowledge of the home or of you. The obvious truth of this simple message extends to almost every facet of our lives. Very few of us would hire someone for something as important as being a babysitter for our children or as relatively mundane as repairing our car without being sure that the person we hire knows what they are doing and has some positive track record that we can rely upon. With that basic premise in mind, I find myself consistently surprised at how often a person will hire an attorney to handle a medical malpractice case (as well as many other types of cases) without knowing who the attorney is; what experience they may have in the field; what their record of success in the field may be; or, where they stand in the eyes of their peers and adversaries. When a person is injured from medical malpractice, a lawsuit against a doctor or health care provider is usually the furthest thing from his or her mind. Concerns about one’s health; one’s ability to keep working and providing for a family; and, the ability to regain one’s place as a productive member of society are among the far more pressing issues. It is typically not until these concerns have been dealt with or accepted that people even consider whether malpractice might have occurred. Unfortunately, the realization that one’s life altering injury may have been preventable often adds to the difficulty of the situation. It is within this emotionally charged and upsetting context that the search for a medical malpractice attorney typically begins. With the personal stresses and without any way to separate out which attorneys truly know how to handle a medical malpractice case, many people will hire the wrong lawyer. A further part of the difficulty an injured person deals with when he or she considers a lawsuit is the perceived role of lawsuits in today’s society. Lawsuits are not and should not be about a “quick buck” or holding a company up for a “pay day”. The civil justice system is about accountability – about placing blame where it belongs. It is about making sure that those injured are compensated for that which they can never get back. It is about making sure that the individual, regardless of his or her financial or societal status, has the same rights as the rich and powerful. It is about assuring society that we are all equal. Not every wrong can or should be the basis of a lawsuit. There are, however, many valid reasons to bring a lawsuit. Obviously, the simplest reason is to right a wrong. There is also great benefit to others in our community and our society as a whole in that meritorious lawsuits deter similar conduct. Unfortunately, the role of lawsuits in society has been damaged considerably by media attention of a handful of lawsuits, some of which were portrayed inaccurately to fit an agenda and some of which were portrayed correctly but should never have been brought. The end result is that, for a great number of people, lawsuits are nearly the definition of what is wrong with our society today. Critics of our judicial system depict our courts as out of control, attorneys as greedy and lawsuits as damaging to the economy and society as a whole. Obviously, these are positions taken to drive an agenda. These critics do not address the accountability and equality a lawsuit can provide. They do not account for the positive societal changes the courts have engendered. They do not account for workplaces and products having been made safer by the effects of a lawsuit. They do not account for the millions of people who have been restored some of the ill-gotten gains fleeced by stockbrokers and corporations. They do not account for the many people who do not need to resort to public assistance for their health needs because a lawsuit has provided sufficient financial resources. In short, they do not account for any of the benefits to society of a lawsuit. Rather, they focus on some examples of ill-conceived or poorly prosecuted cases as representative of our system as a whole. Take a moment to consider who drives these agendas: insurance companies; big business; negligent doctors and others. We must consider, before we accept their agenda, whether they have our best interests at heart or whether their agenda is designed to avoid accountability and increase profits. There are many questions a person must ask themselves before they even consider whether to bring a lawsuit. The most important of those questions, however, is why, over the course of centuries, wars have been waged and governments toppled by people demanding the equality and justice guaranteed by our courts?
Initially, it only categorized users based on what was written in their Twitter profile. This led to some humorous results. For example, my profile says Doctor Who because I am a fan of the series. This led Twitter to place me in the Health and Medicine category in the directory. I am not in the Health and Medical field and would feel bad for anyone who asked me for medical advice. Apparently, other Doctor Who fans are running into the same issue.
Twellow still categorizes based on bios but it is now possible to login and then add and remove yourself from categories. You can add up to 10 verified ones. If you add unverified categories, you can use as many as you want.
The login is the same as the one used for Twitter. Before logging in for the first time, the profile has to be claimed. Search for your username, claim the profile and then login. You can then search for users who have similar interests to add the same categories that they use or drill down via the category listing on the main page.
I hope that more people started using Twellow and adding themselves to the appropriate subject areas. Ideally, Twitter will integrate a user directory.