Dave Winer has been irritated for some time at Twitter’s suggested users list. I don’t like the list either…it steers Twitter in a direction I don’t care for. Winer suggests several ways in which Twitter can address the problems with the list but there’s a really good simple solution:
Make the list entirely random consisting of selections from the entire Twitter userbase. After signing up, each new user sees 100 recommended accounts randomly chosen out of a HUGE pool of non-spam accounts (where HUGE = hundreds of thousands) that have been active for more than 3 months, tweet more than 5 times a week & fewer than 10 times a day, and have 2 times as many followers as followees (or something like that). Twitter has to be doing similar calculations to find spam accounts…just reverse it and whitelist accounts for the recommended list. That way, Twitter gets what they want (new users following people) and the super-user & conflict of interest problems are eliminated.