Thursday, August 11, 2011

You're Doing Twitter Wrong

You’re doing Twitter wrong.
You’re Tweeting too much.
Twitter is not a dating site.
Twitter isn't "real".
You take Twitter too seriously.
You use too many swear words…
…And finally.
Twitter is child play.

These things/messages usually come from new users of Twitter, or in some cases people who just don’t like what you are saying. There is an unfollow button for that, and you don’t really need to tell people why you are unfollowing them unless you have some sort of relationship with them, i.e. you’ve been following a long time and have had a conversation with them.

We know somewhere people are telling others they are doing it wrong, not in so many words, but we follow a lot of people and we see the Tweets about being told “you’re doing Twitter wrong”. We finally felt like addressing it in a blog entry, we’ve written a couple things here about Twitter, and plan to write more sometime about social media in general. Once we get the hang of Google + we’ll try to figure out the good and bad qualities of that. Fun. *rolls eyes*

First things first.

Twitter is an open forum social media outlet that has no rules and regulations on how to do it correctly. Though as we have written about Twitter itself imposing some guidelines on how many Tweets a person can send throughout a 24 hour period, and breaks it down into hourly usage limits, including for things like listing and unfollowing/following people. [Read: for tips and more information on the ins and outs of Twitter]

There are no rules on language; it’s a free-speech format. You are responsible for the things you say but have freedom to express yourself however you want, so that means that if you want to say “fuck that fucking cunt”…do it. There are no rules about freedom of expression (on twitter); just keep in mind people are watching and if you try to stay anonymous it doesn’t always work (we know from experience), and the library of congress is logging your Tweets into history.

Of course Twitter has general rules on things like harassment policies, spam policies and the same sort of guideline on naked pictures/porn as real life (only child pornography is prohibited, and rightly so, as far as we can tell). [that link will take you off of this site, and onto a Twitter support page]

Of course that doesn’t mean someone won’t complain, if you find something offensive report it, which essentially blocks the account from YOU and sends a message to Twitter, they’ll look into it, they may send the account holder a note (we’ve talked to at least one person whose .avi had gotten complaints and he was asked to change it) but that doesn’t mean the account will be shut down, if it happened that easily then all the spam bots wouldn’t persist as long as they do roaming around the tweet-o-spher, irritating the fuck out of people. [Info from Twitter support on reporting a violation]

Tweeting too much. Well…what’s too much? Who sets the guidelines? If you follow a lot of the same people and they all talk to each other then you’re going to see everything they Tweet always, rather than just the open Tweets that gets sent out from those accounts. Twitter is the only one who knows what “too much” actually is (see our prior post link share on limits). Just because you don’t have a lot to Tweet about doesn’t mean others don’t.

What Twitter is.

Twitter is social media outlet that is used by millions of people for everything from self expression, self promotion, business, entertainment, entertaining, meeting people and making friends, advertising…sometimes even meeting the man of your dreams…maybe.

Furthermore, it’s an important tool (along with other social media outlets) that has found its way into books on topics surrounding publishing, psychology, ethics, you name it and there is probably a sub-section on social media.

Recently unemployed we went to the library to find books on the how of finding a literary agent, getting published, etc. The book in question [The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, 2nd edition first written under Putting Your Passion Into Print] included a new section on e-books and social media. It didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already understand, innately, about how the internet has changed so much of communication, how e-publishing and print media has evolved, etc., it merely confirmed what we had been talking to people about the last few months, what we had talked to our prior employer about when they created one of the job titles for us at our previous job (Social Media Coordinator/Manager). Social Media is important, and is part of a digital revolution that many, even we, have a hard time picturing the future of, but why limit yourself by denying the potential of the imagination of a world of people?

“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty—a fad.” - The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903

“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” - Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” - Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. 1977

[Quotes taken from Why Naysayers Are Never Right]

Twitter Isn’t Real:

Twitter is a real thing; to some people it’s a thing of survival (you need only connect with the real people at the other end of some of those accounts to understand how much Twitter has helped people through some very dark times of unemployment, divorce and mental illness, just to name a few); to some people Twitter a thing of communication whether it be business related, or trying to locate information across a wide network of living breathing people (need to find a piano tuner in the area? We know of some people who have found local services by asking around Twitter); to some Twitter is not just a social tool but a thing of entertainment, a device used to entertain others…and for some it’s everything, it’s where friends are at the end of the day, it’s where you can be comfortable being who you are.

As sad as we realize it is to some, for most of us, Twitter is everything…the connections we’ve made there this year have saved our life)

We came to Twitter in January, the account having been opened and basically unused from October 2010 until mid-January (because The Other Girl saw no real use in it). We came to Twitter because we needed an outlet to survive, we had been on mental breakdown slide again for the first time in almost 10 years (the last time being when we were diagnosed with Schizophrenia) people who started following us in January and who have been by our side all along, some friends, some entertainment…people who have been there for us…they are the reason we are still here, they held us up through some dark times and in exchange we entertain them, share with them our lives, try to help people who contact us privately even if it’s just to say they don’t feel as alone, or that we’ve helped them in some way by sharing our life the way we do.

So, don’t fucking tell people they are doing Twitter wrong…the only way you do Twitter wrong is to tell other people they are.

Our Twitter Related Posts:


  1. This is one of my pet peeves as well. People who think they know how to do Twitter better than you do. Ugh. Excellent post, Frankie! Your book is going to be fucking amazing!

  2. Nicky,
    We may never actually write a book, looking into it was a way to spend some time while we looked for another job. We're hardly organized enough to write a good blog post everyday :( Maybe if some of the more productive ones of us could take over more time...then we could. We're still struggling for the balance we need to do something like that. We know we know, it's hard. Maybe with our new job that affords us summers off, next summer we can work on it more. xoxo thank you for reading Nicky, you are one who has been with us from the start, and it means a lot to us <3

    ~the et al

  3. Like music that we hear every day... People have their own style of tweets... Great blog post... - Jesse