Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Twitter mysteries and "twetiquette"

Ever feel like you just got aggregated on Twitter?

Following lots of people and not one single update. Why do people do this? If you want to be interested in my life... have a bit of a life yourself, if you don't mind, ta everso. I don't want to be followed by a service or website unless I followed you first or signed myself up to be added. I'd really like just a tiny sliver of control over my online life. Yes, I know it's not massively realistic to want that... but... where's the twitter-etiquette (good grief, I nearly invented a hideous word then: "twetiquette", but stopped myself just in time!) when you need it???

Why also, do they follow you and then protect their updates?

You get a message saying so an' so is following you. You think... oh, that's nice... I'll go see their profile and see if I should be following them. But oooooh no. You can't. Protected updates only. What *is* that about? If you're following people who don't know you... why are your updates protected? Don't you want to let me see just a tiny bit about you? Okay, so you may be new to Twitter... I accept that. But for those of you who aren't... que???

So, my Twetiquette list*

1. Fill in your profile - I don't want loads, I just want to see a tiny smidge of the real you which would help me decide whether or not following you is a good idea

2. Picture please - it doesn't have to be anything much, but I do like to see that I'm talking to a someone or something

3. Don't protect your updates - Twitter is social... it's not a private club. I know it looks like a nice privacy feature, but if you're to get the most out of Twitter you've got to make connections and protecting your updates, hiding your status, is another Twitter-turn-off

4. Participate don't just aggregate - I'm sure no-one minds the odd bit of blog promotion or Blip-ping... but actively participating with a few thoughts of your own sure makes for a more interesting Twitter

5. Update don't stagnate - a few updates here or there... that's not too much to ask, is it?

6. Learn the importance of @ and 'd' - if it's one-on-one communication you're after, direct messages (d + twittername) are much better than clogging someone's stream with personal communication. If you want to make a comment which'll get noticed by someone else, but which isn't private / exclusive... then an @ reply is the daddy.

7. Retweet selectively - yes, I may have missed someone else's tweet or not be following them and find their message really useful... but use the retweet (RT) facility too often and I start to wonder what you've got to say of your own. Think before you retweet.

Am sure there are more... but those are my main rants converted into a handy little list. Ta da!

* see what I did there - said I wasn't going to use that word and then did - shame on me!
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