One of the folks I follow, an author and helicopter pilot, posted about a list of “Twitter Crimes” or activities that will cause people to stop following you. It’s a decent list, but I think it’s heavily flawed in a few places. Let’s take it from the top and I’ll try and be quick:
1. Don’t use your Twitter account as an RSS feed– I agree, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with posting an RSS feed of your blog on Twitter. Services exist to do this for you automatically. Lots of folks do it because the entire point of Twitter is to tell someone what you’re doing. Right now, I’m blogging. You’ll know about it in a few minutes. More than that, news sites do nothing but this and have hundreds of thousands of followers.
2. Avoid Twitter diarrhea- No issues with this one.
3. Stop re-tweeting yourself- There are times that it’s appropriate to re-tweet yourself, but they’re few. Usually, when I upload a new episode of Hyperlinked History, it’s night and the Western Hemisphere has gone to bed. So when Twitter gets the news that there’s a new episode, no one sees it because most of my followers are sleeping. So I’ll re-tweet it sometime the next morning so people can see it. And I only do it once.
4. Don’t spam Facebook with Twitter updates- Totally disagree. Over the last few months Facebook has taken on a look and feel that Twitter users find eerily familiar. If Facebook is going to look and act like Twitter, then I’m going to use it like Twitter. Another thing: I’ve got plenty of friends and family who use Facebook and not Twitter. I want them to be able to see my tweets, so I have Facebook pick them up via the standard Twitter app. The point that this list seems to miss is that Facebook and Twitter are about social networking. The entire point of networking involves linking services and facilitating communication. That’s what networking means.
6. Don’t reply to celebrity twitterers- Why not? Who says I can’t? I don’t expect a reply from @wilw nor do I expect @brentspiner to give a damn what I say. But dammit, if I want to respond to something they said, there’s no reason I can’t do so. Besides, I’ve gotten responses from Twitter celebs and they were very nice. The responses I received didn’t validate my existence, but it shows that these folks are listening, even if on an occasional basis.
7. Don’t use Twitter like a chat window– Yeah. This one’s good.
8. Stop the shameless follower chasing– Twitter users who brag about their number of followers are really trying to show off their e-penis.
9. Don’t ask people to RT your tweets– They wrote this rule and immediately took it back by saying: “Admittedly, in some cases asking for RTs is ok…” So is it okay or not? Obviously it depends on the situation, but if you’re going to tell someone they can’t do something and then say they can, that’s just confusing.
10. Stop the in-jokes– Yeah, this sucks. Don’t do this one.
Note: The pictures of the baluchitherium have nothing to do with anything. I just kinda like the animal and it’s got a fun name. baloo-chee-theer-eeum. Cooooool.