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Twitter Don'ts: #7 Don't Twiiter When Drunk

abstract:Spring is here and I have to confess - I've become twitterpated. No, not the Disney Bambi type, but the 140 character online social networking type. As opposed to Facebook, a site I check each morning to see what my friends and family are doing, I find that has become my lifeline to my professional network. It's a shout-out from friends at work telling me what they're reading of interest, what's happening in the backroom at Granta, NPBooks, and BookNet. Twitter is where all the big and small publishers, editors of fine literary blogs, a sprinkling of authors, and other people whose tweets I share, congregate off-and-on throughout the day. It's the virtual water cooler. Of course the authors I know write the best tweets. Susan Orlean cracks me up daily! Regarding Easter she writes, "Haven't told [junior] about organized religion yet but [the 6 year-old] tells me that Google has all the answers." Now that's profound! Whether you're a DJ connecting to other spinners of vinyl, or an architect keeping up with designer friends, other artisans or the textile manufacturer - Twitter can connect your network. As I become more facile with the advantages and disadvantages of the blue bird site, I have to agree with some of PC Magazine's Top 13 Twitter Don'ts with my comments annotated with a * Oh, by the way - my Twiiter ID is BookBuffet.


April 16, 2009
— 1. Don't reply to every single tweet. As @seanludwig points out, it gets old fast.

2. Don't say anything that could get you fired or prevent you from getting a job. @JoelSD points out that if your tweets are public, they really are open to everyone, as has been demonstrated time and time again. *This is not the place for moronic, personal or inappropriate posts.

3. Don't be boring. A simple rule that @kmonson follows is "Never tweet about food or the weather." If your friends see one more "Good morning Twitterverse!" or "I had some awesome corn flakes for breakfast," you're getting un-followed. *Yup, 86'd someone for that yesterday...

4. Don't forget the Twitter lingo: RT is retweet, and @name is how you respond or give props to someone. Feel free to be generous with both your RTs and your @s. *It's so cool when someone you admire @'s you. In the parlance of gansta rap, it's a sign of props.

5. Don't tweet more than ten times a day, or more than five times an hour, says @JasonCross00. It gets annoying and takes space and attention away from other Twitterers' links and observations. If you have that much to say, maybe it belongs on a blog. *Guy Kawasaki is bordering on this fault. Every time I log on a barrage of posts hog the page. I have over a hundred people to follow and there's no room to see what anyone else is thinking. Also - he must pay some schlep(s) to write them. No one can read that quickly and diversely.

6. Don't live-tweet TV shows. @CorinneIOZO warns that lots of people use DVRs or watch shows on Hulu these days, so spoiling big moments ("OMG, the smoke monster was actually from outer space! No way!") is a major no-no. As an alternative, tweet an inside joke that the show's viewers will get, but that doesn't give away any important details. *I don't watch TV so this one doesn't phase me, but I can relate to spoilers in book reviews.

7. Don't tweet drunk, cautions @whitneyarner. Just like in real life, your followers might get a kick out of your drunk tweets, but you'll probably regret them in the morning. *Indeed!

8. Don't tell us about something cool or life-changing without a link or picture (use a service like TwitPic for your photos, and a URL shortener like TinyURL or for your links).

9. Don't retweet something and leave off the original Twitter poster. Always give credit to those who wrote it first.

10. Don't ignore people who send you a direct message or a reply, says @LanceUlanoff. Part of the Twitter experience involves conversing with your followers when possible.

11. Don't #hashtag every topic. After a while, your topics will be ignored. *(#hashtags unite posts on a similar topic so that the thread can be followed more easily)

12. Don't whine about people not following you, pleads @SaschaSegan. If you're good at providing interesting stuff and you're patient, you'll get the followers you crave so badly.

13. Don't tweet your bathroom habits. Seriously. Just don't do it.

Other Musings

  • Ron Hiesenger at Webware writes, "How to be a better tweeter".
  • Today@PC writes, "Twitter Use Explodes".
  • This is a really boring competition but the kudo is at the end of the article when Ashton Kutcher who is running neck-to-neck against CNN for the first Twitter member to gain 1M followers sagely says,
    "For one person to actually have the ability to broadcast to as many people as a major media network. I think sort of signifies the turning of the tide from traditional news outlets to social media outlets."



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