Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Twitter Rules

Last time I discussed Twitter on this site, I was making fun of it. I said that I didn't see the point of it, and I said that I would never start an account.

I lied.

I got an Twitter account sometime last fall, and I've noticed a number of benefits that weren't evident before I joined the site. For one, I like that I can follow publications and celebrities to get up-to-the-minute information on new stories, or new material from my favorite artists. I also like being able to share links instantly with friends without having to wait for them to check their Facebook profile. So yeah, it's not all bad.

Having said that, though, I must admit that I can only check up on Twitter periodically. If I go on too often, I usually just get frustrated. Why, you ask? Well, because most of the tweets I see on my timeline are bullsh*t. Now, this isn't a knock at any specific people that I follow (OK, maybe it is), but I just feel like a lot of people put inconsequential stuff on Twitter without realizing that no one cares at all. Twitter is supposed to be used as a social networking tool, but I find that far too many people use it just to write down all of their thoughts, as if Twitter were some sort of a public journal. Or the Internet's equivalent of talking to yourself out loud. I don't mean to be rude, but trust that neither I nor any of your other followers care that you're craving IHOP or that you lost your favorite pair of socks. That's not interesting. So, to help some of your hapless saps who tweet without any discretion, I have come up with three very simple rules to make your tweets more follow-friendly. I find that if your tweets fall outside of these three basic tenets, you're probably just typing nonsense. I call them "The Twitter Rules."

1. Post interesting links
Did you hear about the black couple that gave birth to a white baby? Or how about that video of the guy crying (and seemingly having an orgasm) when he sees a "double rainbow"? What about that new Usher song featuring Jay-Z? Those would all be interesting links that you could share with your followers on Twitter. Not to mention, posting links is an interesting way of spreading news. On the other hand, remember when MJ died, and Twitter was filled with people typing tweets like "omg, Michael Jackson died! bbm sad face"? Were any of those tweets necessary? Did anyone need to be told that he had died, or care that you had a "sad face"? When news is that widespread, there's no need to tweet about it. We already know. The key word here is "interesting". Post links that will create interest.

2. Create/Spur an interesting discussion
There's that "interesting" word again. One of the things I enjoy about Twitter is when ideas or opinions are shared, and a number of followers create a back-and-forth conversation regarding their views on the issue. I enjoy discussion and debate, and I always think it's interesting to see how different people view the same situation. Starting a conversation about an issue is always a good way to keep your followers interested in what you have to say.

3. Be funny
In the words of the illustrious Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "Make em laugh." Funny tweets are always welcomed, regardless of context. There's really nothing else that needs to be said about that.

The Bottom Line: Any original tweet should have the capability to elicit some sort of response from a follower. "Damn, I just missed the bus" cannot be responded to. Nor can "that was the best one so far lol #subliminaltweet". Those are bad tweets. It leaves no room for feedback, and at that point you're really just talking to yourself.

I realize that I'm a part of a generation in which everyone think they're the sh*t and that whatever they say is important. The truth is, it's not, and most people couldn't care less. In my opinion, over-tweeting is one of the biggest problems here. If you tweet too often, there's no way all of those tweets will be interesting. It's impossible. Not to mention, you're probably tweeting so often because you feel neglected in real life. That's a shame, but really, no one cares. Slow it down.

I'm tired of having to unfollow people because of Twitter rambling and an excess of uninteresting tweets. Please people, for the love of God, just follow the rules. Your followers will be happy for it.

1 comment:

Tonixoxo said...

RUDE!!! But no, I agree with you. Tweople who have nothing but nonsense to say usually get unfollowed. But I see nothing wrong with a few nonsense tweets mixed in with something interesting (like mine) It's all about the person and what he or she wants to talk about. You can't tell them what they should tweet, but as you have been doing, you can be free to unfollow.

I was reading somewhere that twitter is used for different purposes. Obtaining info (silently reading industry news/current events) Sharing (when you take these news and pass along to your timeline) and Conversing (engaging in convos about the previous two things or yes, sometimes, about the fact that a person took a shit that lasted and hour. I'm sure that person believes that someone out there will care enough to "@" then and demand further details.