Tweetiquette: Or, How Douchenozzles Use Twitter

True fact: some people just don’t “get” Twitter. And that’s okay. I don’t get The Big Bang Theory. (Ever seen that clip of the show with the laugh track removed? The joke is that it’s funny how unfunny it is. See? Get it? No? Shut up. ) Not everybody is into everything else. Pronoblem.

Except — except! — some of those poor confused people who don’t “get” Twitter continue to use it wantonly. They use it day in and day out. It’s like watching a monkey play with a handgun — it makes everybody in the room very uncomfortable, and everybody is swaying their heads this way and that whenever the barrel wavers and the monkey diddles the revolver’s hammer. I don’t get The Big Bang Theory, and so I don’t join its fan clubs. If you don’t get Twitter?

If you don’t know how to use it? Learn. Or go take up another hobby. Macrame is popular. So is drinking under highway overpasses until you befoul your britches.

Because if you continue to use Twitter like an asshole, then you’re an asshole.

Or, as the title suggets, a douchenozzle.

How do douchenozzles use Twitter?

Let me count the ways.

Play The Follow-Unfollow Tag-You’re-It Game

Let me paint a picture for you. Some dude follows you. He’s got 9,898 followers, and he follows 9,912 people. He is — well, who cares? He could be anybody. Who knows how he found you? Similar interests, maybe. Could be he threw a dart at a dartboard. Right now, he’s just an email alert. That’s it. That’s the sum total of his existence to you. Maybe you look into his tweetstream — “Do I know this guy? Should I know this guy?” And you see that his tweetstream is full of what I’ll call “legitimate spam.” It’s 90% links. And they’re all links on one topic or two. They feel orchestrated. Perhaps even faux-professional. He’s got very minimum engagement with others. He is nothing but a broadcaster of what he feels to be relevant information, but really it’s just irrelevant noise.

He’s a fisherman, this dick.

He casts bait — the “Follow” button. Then he waits for you to bite — a reciprocal follow. Not because you like him but because a lot of users auto-follow without a moment’s hesitation.

When you don’t, he realizes that he doesn’t have one “on the line” and he drops his bait and bobber somewhere else. Bloop. You might think, “Well, that’s the last of that dude.”

You’d probably be wrong.

He’ll be back. If he’s a low-level douchenozzle, he’ll come back in four months and try it again but probably won’t realize he’s tried this before with you and that you’re just not a bait-taking fish.

If he’s a high-grade, rocket-fueled douchenozzle — the kind that sprays hot douche in the eyes of all who gaze upon him — then he’ll do it again and again over the course of a week. It’s like a dog nipping at your heels, a child tugging on your apron strings, “Mommy Mommy Mommy Mommy Mommy pay attention to me Mommy Mommy.” Get away from me, annoying human.

Solution: block.

Become A Social Media Guru Who Isn’t Very Good At Social Media

Once more on the subject of “legitimate spam” are those people who declare themselves social media experts. You gaze that their Twitter page and it’s some hot sexy Internet logo (from the late 1990s) and they list their “credentials” (which are essentially invented) and once more they offer a tweetstream full of link porn and so-called expert advice.

Ironically, these social media gurus demonstrate that they couldn’t handle social media if it came in a picnic basket and wrapped in a pretty pink bow. These douchenozzles — nay, douchewaffles — don’t know social media from a strap-on dildo. (And, given the quality of their tweets, they don’t know their mouths from their assholes because all they do is poop out a river of shittiness.)

Let me explain a few things.

Social media isn’t hard. It is, at its core, talking to people using a medium different than, say, your mouth and their ears. That’s it. Twitter is a conversation. It’s a big giant globe-spanning conversation. Imagine that some dickbrain steps into your conversational circle and loudly proclaims that he wants to help you have better conversation. He doesn’t want to have a conversation, mind. He just wants to interrupt your conversation to somehow, mysteriously, make it “better.”

Now, I get it — social media still offers nuance. And it offers opportunity for human beings to engage in their field and for creators to gain audience. Obviously that leaves some room for education (like me educating you with a karate kick across the bridge of your nose via a post like this one, though I don’t claim to be an expert in anything), so I’ll thus leave room for people who can do this and do this well. Example: Marian Schembari, who a) engages with other human beings and b) talks about a wide array of topics rather than merely pimping her own loudness. She also has a very targeted approach toward how she’ll help you with social media and isn’t just a vague, stammering, stumbling “Buh-buh-but I’m a goo-goo-guru!”

Engage In Vengeful Unfollowing

“You unfollow me? Then I unfollow you! Cur! Mongrel! Vile specimen of humanity!”

I don’t unfollow out of revenge. I unfollow because I no longer want to partake in your conversation. And that’s not a slight against anybody — you know how at a party you float around and land on the people with whom you want to communicate, and sometimes those participants come and go? Twitter’s like that. It’s okay. I’m not upset if you unfollow me. I mean, if we’re supposed to be friends I guess I might, but even then — hey, maybe I was just being noisy. Or being a jerk. Or having some long-winded conversation that drowned out your other tweeps. I don’t blame you. Hell, I’d probably unfollow me.

Obviously, why someone unfollows another human being is something that cannot be determined — that’s between you and your god (or between you and the Almighty Fail Whale). But in your heart you know if you unfollowed as revenge for them not following you. Remember: this shit ain’t Facebook. Reciprocal relationships are not necessary. You do not require a perfectly balanced follower/followee ratio, you dig?

Decide That Following People Is For Assholes

Okay, I know I just said that Twitter isn’t reciprocal, but will you at least follow somebody? Like I said, Twitter is a conversation. It isn’t a bully pulpit. It’s not just you standing by the punchbowl yelling so loud that it drowns out all the other conversation. Do you use Twitter just as a broadcast channel, a one-way street where words leave your mouth but none reach your ear- and eye-holes?

Then you might be a douchenozzle.

Now, some people follow zero, but still respond to others, or use Twitter lists. Okay. You’re engaging. Good. You’re probably fine, then. But seriously — partake in the conversation. You are not a mouthpiece.

Vomit Up A Turbid Broth Of Follow Friday Recommendations

Ever seen the EFFing project? The “End Follow Friday” project?

Essential thesis is, “Follow Friday is Spam, so quit that shit.”

I half-agree.

I agree that it’s spam when it’s just a ceaseless tide of #ffs: “#ff @bonerjack @kiley729212 @monsterturd @W3ird0 @pillpopper @badgerface @wifeofbadgerface @picardsnipples @doctorhymenbreaker @sewerbilly @roderickmanmilk” etc. etc. Who the fuck are these people? I just should, what, follow them all without any comprehension of why? I should look to them and care nothing about context? I want to know why I should follow @badgerface and @wifeofbadgerface. Do they say funny things? Are they writers? Performance artists? By god, are they social media gurus? Why do you follow them?

It’s even worse when people vomit up not just one of these tweets but like, 70 of them. They basically tell you to follow everybody they follow. Well, just say that, then. Say, “Hey, #ff, follow everybody I follow because I’m the smartest douchecannon in the room.”

Do you really think you’re helping anybody?

Do you think you’re getting anybody any followers?

You’re not. You’re just throwing up on the floor and making everybody else look at it.

Tell People How To Use Twitter By Using Words Like “Tweetiquette”

See what I did there? I’m telling you how to use Twitter? Using a word like “Tweetiquette?”

Are you daft? I’m calling myself a douchenozzle is what I’m doing. Sheesh.

Nobody can really tell you how to use Twitter. Twitter is a conversation and you can join it as you like. That’s the joy of it, and that’s the hell of it. Sure, I think the things I said here are true, but I can’t make you do differently. However you want to enter the conversation is up to you. My only suggestion is, do it. Have the conversation. Engage. Be social — “social” is the key word of “social media.” Don’t just be a mouthpiece. Don’t just contribute to the tide of flotsam and jetsam; spam is spam even when it’s not produced from the telescoping sphincter found in a spam-bot’s clanking haunches.

Feel free to tell me I’m a douchewaffle. Or douchenozzle. Or der dooshmaschine.

Alternately, feel free to share your Twitter pet peeves.

Or, tell me about your new social media guru business you got going.

46 comments

  • A long time ago, there was this guy I follow. Let’s call him… uh… Duck. Duck Bending. And Duck Bending wanted a certain number of followers by a certain date. So Duck Bending’s followers told a whole bunch of other people to follow him. And Duck Bending got his motherfucking followers. He did! Through aggressive, rabid promotion of the #FF and other methods.

    Moral of the story: We should have eaten Duck L’Orange instead.

    I get, on average, two or three “this person is now following you”. I usually check the link in my email. If the person has a low tweet count and said tweets comprise 90% links and 10% other forms of spam, I ignore them. If the person looks vaguely interesting and updates fairly frequently (three or four times every coupla days), I’ll follow back.

    I like #FF. I’ve found a number of really great people through #FF. I really dislike it, though, when people claim that “just follow whoever I’m following”. Well bud, if you can’t be arsed to promote them on whatever merit you think should attract me to their wit, their ingenuity and their lives, I’m not going to be arsed to do the work to find out.

    • @Maggie –

      To be clear, that’s why I said I “half-agree” about #ff being spam. I like the practice when it has context — “Follow @eskimojoe because he tweets awesome whale blubber recipes,” OH SNAP I NEED WHALE BLUBBER RECIPES. /follow.

      But the context-free vomit-broth of #ff is just a wash of noise that I — and, frankly, everybody else — scrolls over.

      – c.

  • A Twitter pet peeve (is that a Tweeve?): I hate when I tweet something about my dog, for example (it could be any topic), and I instantly gain 6 new followers who all happen to be in the “dog business.” I might get a dog trainer, a dog bedding manufacturer, two dog bloggers and two random people who have pictures of their fluffy best friend as their avatar. Then, when these people realize that I don’t tweet about dogs 24/7 or buy what their selling, they unfollow… until the next time I tweet about my dog. Then, they come back like we’ve never been to this rodeo.

    • @Darren:

      No doubt. And the thing is, some of these accounts are legitimate in the sense that, real people are behind them. They’re not just weirdo spambots. They’re people who — I guess? — are out in the world diligently waiting for ANYBODY to say ANYTHING about puppies. Then they pounce.

      – c.

  • You missed one of my favourites – the overnight celebrity. They’re a nice, friendly user who builds up a following over time with a lot of reciprocal following. Then suddenly bang overnight they unfollow all but 4-40 of their followers and now they’re a celebrity because look at their follower/following ratio. An addiction to Klout and other monitoring tools may suggest the direction they’re heading in…

    • @Mark –

      Had never heard of Klout before.

      Link, if people want it and find it of value: http://klout.com

      I haven’t experienced that exact issue, but I can see it being a wee bit silly. They step out of the conversation then, and up onto a dais.

      – c.

  • I always thought The Big Bang Theory was The IT Crowd for people who don’t get geekdom and computers enough to follow The IT Crowd. Never saw it as a real attempt as comedy. Although I did watch the first season just to see how many Roseanne cameos they could fit in there.

    I still don’t really get Follow Friday. Sure, I indulge in it every once in a while, and I thank the people that list me and all that… Most of the time I don’t end up following any new people. No real increase in followers either. Although on the other hand, I have ended up meeting some cool people on the Twitter through FF recommendations. Whenever two people that don’t know each other end up saying roughly the same things to me in the form of an @ reply, I tend to make sure they know it though. That’s actually gotten most of my followers mixing up with each other.

    As for a right way to use Twitter… Just have fun. If you’re having fun using the site, chances are you’re using it correctly. Although fun could be perceived as wrong too. Even some of the spambots can be hilarious at times. Like the Ben Kenobi one that @ replies tweets mentioning the moon. “That’s not a moon, it’s a space station!” Or the Indiana Jones one that responds to the word snakes. Brilliant.

  • To me, Twitter is similar to my observations of my high school years. A few people are doing cool things that I want to know about. An endless sea of thoughtless shitbags are mimicking one another. Everybody’s got an agenda and nobody will talk to me. But I have to go cause that’s where the authorities expect you to be. So I’m there and sometimes it’s cool and sometimes it’s just cruel blow to the ego .

    Fuck facebook, though.

  • I have the luck of never having had to deal with the people fishing for me to follow them. Then again, like with most social media sites I use, I have fairly low numbers of followers and following.

    I do agree that the fishing sounds annoying, and I am not the biggest fan of FF spam. Though FF with reasons for why I should follow people is much enjoyed.

  • I find that just saying random crap into Twitter is a lot of fun. It’s amazing the conversations that can spark up over ignorant BS.

    However, and you know I love you Chuck, but I am going to have to agree with The Wife on the FF thing. It does work both ways – and I get that you said “only half-agree”, but this is the sort of thing you take on the chin, you know? We’ve all done things that brand us hypocritical (not a full blown hypocrite, mind you) and that’s fine… fuck, we’re only human, nes pas?

    I have decided to just stop partaking in Follow Friday. I hope it doesn’t make me seem like an asshole, especially when people list me in their FF’s, but the little snippets don’t really sell me on following new people. I’m really discriminating about who I follow, and maybe that’s a bad thing, but that’s how it is. I don’t mean any disrespect to any of the people I seriously adore by not sending out their Twitter names with a #FF. I just can’t really dig it anymore. It’s that entire signal-to-noise thing you’re always mentioning, dude.

    So, peace, love, and hand grenades. And boobs.

    • @Rick –

      What exactly am I taking on the chin?

      I recognize that #followfriday has helped me earn some followers, absolutely. (Though, according to @Maggie, it might’ve been better to follow a sentient duck recipe, which — well, that maybe true, I dunno how exciting my Twitterstream actually is.) But I don’t believe I’ve ever earned a single follower from #followfriday spam. Sometimes I see my name in one of those huge lists — and I have not once gotten a bump in followers from it.

      As I said in the post –

      “I want to know why I should follow @badgerface and @wifeofbadgerface. Do they say funny things? Are they writers? Performance artists? By god, are they social media gurus? Why do you follow them?”

      Obviously I support context-laden #followfridays. And it’s why I partake in them (when I have time, a couple-few on every Friday).

      Forgive me for being a bit prickly, but really, why am I taking anything on the chin re: #ff?

      – c.

  • I have mixed feelings about Follow Friday. When it comes down to anything more than one block of people and a person floods a feed with 15 tweets that are nothing but people’s names, I not only ignore it–unless you’re somebody who normally shares great stuff, I’m likely to unfollow you.

    Then there’s a feeling of obligation, like somebody at work or a party gives you a gift you didn’t really want and you’re almost expected to return the favor. Some people even seem to expect that. If I mention somebody in a #FF update, I don’t do it in the hope that they’ll mention me–I do it because I think people who like my feed will like the suggested feed.

    I do like aspects of Follow Friday. I try avoiding the block of names #FF list and instead–over the course of the day–send out five #FF updates with the reason why people should follow the person.

    For example, instead of including @chuckwendig in a big block of recommendations that say nothing, last week I said:

    “#FF @chuckwendig has some of the best #writing advice you’ll find online–straight to the point stuff at terribleminds.com.”

    It lets people know why I think they’d like to follow Chuck, and I never expect anything in return.

    Follow Friday isn’t something I ‘d like to see ended (I can do without Writer Wednesday (#WW), though), but I’d like to see more reasons why I should follow somebody. In my own weird way, I think it shows more respect to the person you’re telling others to follow when you take time to focus only on them in the update and say a thing or two about them.

    • @Christopher –

      (Thanks for any #ff recs you do throw my way, by the way.)

      #ff is tricky, for a lot of the reasons you mention — the sense obligation can lead to sour grapes, and they can be very context-free.

      I wonder if getting rid of #followfriday but engaging in a more generic, week-long #followthisperson thing would be better. Something specific to an individual, and not bound to a single day (thus ensuring that Friday doesn’t become a tide of “#ffs”). I mean, not that I have any control over Twitter memes or anything.

      – c.

  • Alright, this is getting way more serious than I think it should. I will carry on though, man.

    Basically it’s this; I know our campaign to get your follow count up got you a few followers that didn’t follow you before. I know this because I know them (one of them is a dear old friend, the other is my mother-in-law). I made myself part of that campaign to pop you up, it was important to me. But I felt like all I was doing was spamming your name. After a while, I was not giving a lot of context to it beyond “follow Chuck, I want a story”.

    Are my actions on you?

    No, of course not. Yet, you were the Catalyst. That tempting bait of something we, as your friends and audience, wanted to see come up. You said “get me 1k followers, and Codpiece ye shall have” and we went forth and multiplied, like a bunch of crack-head rabbits trying ecstasy for the first time.

    A lot of that push was spam – and some of those followers may have dropped and some may have remained, so that is what I mean by “take it on the chin”. While you didn’t do the groundwork, you give a carrot that led to what you dislike about the FF spam.

    Once more, I want to point out that you were not responsible for our methods, but you did benefit from them (if you can consider bigger numbers a benefit – gamer mentality at work?).

    If I am wrong here dude, please feel free to put me in my place and tell me how. I don’t think any less of you, you’re still the Magic Talking Beardhead in my eyes. It just seemed odd to me that what Maggie said would sting, based on what she said. And I want to say this just to make it bottom line, I say all of this with the upmost respect for you and as a friend. If this is going to be a conversation that causes any form of internet drama or aggression between us, then I will totally drop it and never say another word about it again. It isn’t that critical – you’re still cool, and I’m still an asshole (but I have my moments ;)

    • @Rick:

      To clarify, I own up to being an asshole. This post? It’s the post of an asshole. I do it in part to be funny, in part to make a point, and I intend to be self-deprecating because I, like everyone, engage in healthy and unhealthy hyperbole and hypocriticalism. (Not a word, shut up.)

      The part that stung from what Maggie said had nothing to do with the #ff comment, it had to do with the fact she indicated people would’ve been better off following — in essence — anybody but me. Now, maybe that was a joke, but the Internet is notoriously hard to read in terms of nuance and humor. I don’t like smiley faces as an aesthetic, but damnit if they don’t at least offer a signal of “Hey, I’m just playing a little bit over here.”

      In terms of the rest of this, the part I’m confused about is — well, what’s the problem?

      I have:

      a) Said I support #followfriday provided it has context

      b) Damned the #followfriday events that are just ceaseless lists of names, like some kind of roll-call pogrom (“Execute all these people by midnight”)

      c) Never asked anybody to engage in #followfriday spam — I never said, “Please tweet my name endlessly into the void in order to get me followers.”

      d) Never *saw* anybody at that time throw my name into the “spam bucket,” as the tweets talking about the free story provided some context.

      I’m not condemning #followfriday wholesale out of the one side of my mouth and then talking out the other side to say I support it. I support a particular mode of #followfriday — “Tell me why I should follow someone.” And I don’t know how that sentiment in any way betrays my behavior, or vice versa.

      I’m not angry or aggressive over this (a bit prickly perhaps, but the Internet can do that all too easily). Again, in terms of @Maggie’s comment, I was more stung in that I thought she was seriously suggesting that following me was a waste of time. That may have been a misread on my part, I dunno.

      – c.

    • Also for the record, I’m not actually offended if someone tweets my name in a giant block of names. I’ll thank them. It’s just — it’s not productive. I can tell you with almost certain authority that I have never netted a follower that way. But #ffs with context *do* sometimes yield one or several new followers. And I am in no way opposed to that.

      – c.

  • Two big ones:

    1.) People who live-tweet things they’re watching. Not with meaningful commentary, but with stuff like “Oh, he totally didn’t swing at that!” Swing at what? A pitch? Who he? If you’re live-tweeting, offer me something insightful. And for the love of fuck, don’t live-tweet something days later off your DVR. I don’t give a fuck about last Tuesday. And double don’t do it via text message when you’re not following anyone by text notifications. (Or maybe just me. I tweet a lot.) You’re not interested in having a chat. You’re just spewing your opinion.

    2.) People who retweet every mention of them. Especially the #FF recommendations. “Hey, this guy who you don’t follow thinks I’m fucking awesome”! I have news for you. I already follow you (though sometimes I wonder why). I don’t need to know that @awesomeguyinthecorner likes you. It’s not like I can follow you twice.

    3.) People who announce they’re unfollowing you. That shit is just rude, and it’s not like I’m gonna say, “Crappe diem! Hank doesn’t like my tweetstorm!”

    4.) People who complain about the level of noise in their stream. “Gosh, your political debate is fascinating, but I’m missing important Kanye West tweets so shut up.” No one is making you follow me.

    I could go on for a while.

    -j-

    • @Joe –

      1) Yeah, I’m with you. Again, it’s a matter of context. Tell me you’re excited So-And-So just won an Oscar. But don’t say, OMG HOT DRESS! because — what? Who? Dress? Hot? Help!

      2) Heh.

      3) Had this happen. I mean, I guess it’s fine, horses for courses, but it is meant to be a barb rather than something informational.

      4) I’ve totally done this. (See? We’re all waffles-of-douche.)

      – c.

  • See, I thought you were stung over the entire spamming for followers thing. All you said was that it stung, I thought you were referring to the first part of the message, not the orange duck thing. I thought she could have set that up to be more obviously sarcastic, also.

    To be fair, though, all you said was that it stung and you next comment was about the Follow Friday spam thing, so that is why I thought that is what you were reeling from. Maggie thought so, also.

    I would totally take your blog over Duck L’pussy any day.

  • Folks that RT anyone the @’s or RT’s them seriously need to die. Especially if they just do a new style RT and don’t add anything of their own. Once in a while if someone @’s me a real zinger I want to share with the world, I’ll do it. But people that spend all day with the god damn meaningless retweets …

    For context – two weeks ago this guy I was following was trying to promote something. His bevvy of followers began RTing all across the twitter stream. Dude-a-rino then RT’d all those RTs until my feed was nothing but a solid wall of the same message over and over again. 1000′s of the same exact thing. So I did like any sane person and unfollowed.

    I kid you not, three minutes later every follower that he had that was also following me jumped ship. It was a mass vengeance unfollow. I’m still baffled.

    (And I don’t think you’re a douchecanoe. You pretty much summed up how I feel about Twitter to the t.)

    • @Kate:

      Douchecanoe? +1243 laugh points.

      On RT’ing — I often have to RT directly because I don’t have time (or I’m on my iPhone). When possible I add context or put my spin on it, but if the original tweeter tweeted the tweet awesomely to begin with, I’m comfortable that a direct RT may still engage followers.

      And it amazes me that we can now, in this modern age, use the word “tweet” with abject seriousness. Like it’s a real thing and not an absurd word. It sounds made-up.

      – c.

  • I’m not demonizing all RT’s – just the folks that have to do each and every single one. It seriously made me dread Wednesdays and Fridays until I gave all those folks an unfollow hammer.

  • You guys have covered the annoying aspects of Twitter pretty well. The only thing I’ll add that sucks is when people follow you/talk with you and then dump you when they realize you can’t offer them whatever leg-up they’re looking for.

    Example: There was a writer (unpublished) that I sorta became friends with on Twitter. We chatted and read each other’s blogs.

    Well slowly she stopped talking with me much. I noticed she was talking up more and more published authors and basically forcing herself into their “crowd”. Eventually she stopped replying to me completely. I realized that since I wasn’t a possible “in” to the publishing industry I was useless to her.

    I got Twitter dumped.

    My point? Don’t use people.

  • So this brings up a question – I’m trying to build more followers so I can sell more books in November.

    It seems like you’re saying I should just wait for people to find me, or, if I follow them, I should never unfollow them, should they not follow me back. However, Twitter limits you to 2000 follows – unless you meet some mysterious guidelines that aren’t defined and they won’t tell you.

    Should it not be tit for tat in this case? If someone won’t follow me, and this prevents me from finding potential readers, is it being a douchebag to unfollow them? Granted, I don’t read everything on Twitter that comes across on my feed, but I do regularly scan through the feed to find interesting tweets; I check out good tweeters and add them to a private list so I can read them more often and boost them when the opportunity arises, too.

    I have often put my foot in my mouth by following someone I have recently unfollowed – because I run into links to them multiple times, they sound neat, and I’ve forgotten that they’re not the type to follow me back. I’ll follow people who don’t follow me, but they have to be reaaaaaally interesting on a consistent basis for me to do so. It’s a learning curve. Only about 1/10 of the people I follow, follow me back. I can’t afford to hang on to 9/10 of the people who want to have me listen to them, but not give me a chance to toot my horn in return.

    And #ff? Whew. If you can’t find something worthwhile RT’ing or to say about the person, then I don’t bother chasing your links.

    • @DeAnna –

      Well, for me, Twitter can’t be purely a marketing mechanic.

      Someone who doesn’t follow you back isn’t automatically NOT an avenue for potential readers — but if you follow/unfollow, you might make them that way. Further, someone who follows you isn’t a guaranteed resource, either. People aren’t really resources and cannot be counted that way. When the time comes and you have a book, your friends will talk about it, and those who don’t really know you (but follow you) won’t. Let people come to you. The follow/unfollow trick doesn’t work, and it irritates more than it helps.

      My 2c.

      – c.

  • I feel a pressure to FF even though it generally seems to be a waste of time, because many weeks will go by when everyone I’d mention is already followed by most everyone I talk to anyway.

    When I get several new followers in a week or so I’ll try to do some FFs so the new folks might find the old folks.

    I do check out some FFs people tweet, but invariably I’ll follow someone due to an RT that interested me or made me laugh. A few times I’ve clicked someone’s profile, laughed out loud more than once reading their recent tweets, and followed them.

    To me, RTs give me that extra push to check someone out. FFs with no context generally don’t.

    I’m grateful to everyone who lists me on Fridays, but most of the people who follow me based on those lists are spam in my experience.

    • @Julie:

      My experience, too. I #ff some old favorites, but people probably already either a) follow them or b) don’t want to. I get an okay number of new followers per week, though, so I sometimes revisit the standby folks in order to maybe expose them to newer peeps.

      But yeah, ff’ing new people you follow is a better trick, I think.

      – c.

  • I enjoy Twitter. Klout accurately identified me. I interact mostly with people I know in real life. I’ve never given a FF list. I’ll admit I worry if I’m being a Twitter douchenozzle, but that’s just insecurity about whether my shares are shareworthy. But I think my position is different from people who tie Twitter into their jobs/websites/careers (not including the “Twitter Users Drive Datastream Proactive Revenue Uptick for Strategic Web 2.0 Development! http://bit.ly/douchehammer tweets). I feel like Chuck is obliged to pimp himself because of his career. A few lame tweets by me might mean my friends groan or make fun of me. For all of you who are professional writers, your tweets are almost like prose business cards.

  • I try to be creative when I #ff someone, usually by saying something about why I like them.

    Not liking Big Bang Theory is OK as long as you admit that you hate me as well. :( You hate me Chuck? What did I do to you? Your hatred of me made my cat cry. How does that make you feel?!?!

    ;P

  • You know, I really haven’t thought too intensely about Twitter’s pros and cons, but here’s a different look.

    I use it as a networking/online presence tool, in part, but I also use it as an extension of the “party conversation” analogy. I really don’t think I follow or talk to anyone I wouldn’t want to be friends with in person, so my feed is pretty enjoyable and pretty “100% Grade A” twittermeat.
    (I think John Cusack is a hell of a fun actor, but his Tweets and their lack of coherence make my brain hurt… I hope he’s better-spoken in person, that’s all I have to say.)

    I try not to be a douche / spam people / over-tweet / etc, because it IS a business tool as well as a way to keep in touch with friends I don’t get to see often. Why would I want potential clients to think I’m a totally inane twit or angry whacko (not in the fun, Warren-Ellis way)? I probably fail sometimes. Whatev’s.

    The BEST thing about Twitter – for me, at least – is that my feed is full of other freelancers. Writers, comic book artists, so on. These are other people who work at home, usually alone, like me. I usually run DestroyTwitter, which pings every ten minutes or so with new “chatter”, and I welcome the ping.
    This is basically MY “coworker background chatter”. I’m not in an office job anymore, and once I left, I realized how important that was. Twitter provides JUST enough social interaction for a misanthropic painter like me to not go completely “Tom Hanks with his volleyball” nutjob Last-Girl-On-Earth. For that, I’m grateful to Twitter. :)

  • I hate Twitter. It’s like listening to Edison’s ghost box and trying to hear voices in the static.

    As a communication tool, if I wanted to text message you, I would. As a matter of fact, I would probably email you instead if there were lots of vital details, or pick up the phone and actually talk to you human-to-human. The character limit promotes mindless chatter (same on Facebook).

    But, being one of the big names in social media, I use it as an extension of Dieselpunks. If you “follow me,” you’re actually getting a human-filtered feed of the new content we publish on the site each day. In Klout-speak, I’m a curator.

    “You highlight the most interesting people and find the best content on the web and share it to a wide audience. You are a critical information source to your network. You have an amazing ability to filter massive amounts of content to surface the nuggets that your audience truly care about. Your hard work is very much appreciated.”

    Sounds like a load of bullshit, but whatever makes the flowers grow, right?

  • Can anyone explain to me why someone would join Twitter and then protect their tweets so no one can see them unless they ask permission? If you think you’re so important that your Tweets are either super-top secret, only for the cool kids, or so selectively awesome that one must kiss your ring and lick your toes before they can be viewed, you, my friend, are a douchenozzle to the nth degree.

  • Honestly Chuck, the reason I follow your tweets (and your site) is because it’s an excercise in creative profanity. Along with gaming, creative profanity is my other love, and you’re as good as some of the guys I served in the army with.

    Heh… douchecannon… that one had me fucking CRYING man… xD

  • @ LWinters:

    I can think of at least one reason, which is that one has joined Twitter just to talk to the people they know well and in-person, maybe just family and the closest circles.

    Twitter can be used via a Twitter phone application as, basically, unlimited text messaging. You can pay for the smallest text message package for your phone, and just use Twitter to Direct Message your friends/family.

    Sometimes people just join for that closed circle communication, and really have no interest in making their private life and information available online for those who might want to search for them. I don’t think it’s a “self importance” sort of thing, really. At least not for some people.

  • @Amy Houser

    Totally get that point. The ones I’m referencing are the ones that then, for example, follow ME, when they obviously don’t know me and I’m not in their circle. That’s the puzzling scenario to me.

  • I have @wilw on follow, just like everyone else :)

    I wonder if there’s an app for that – tracking who you have, at one point, followed, so you don’t practice dumbassery and follow them again.

Speak Your Mind, Word-Nerds