Twitter Info for … Me!

Hey, I’m Andrew! You can read more about who I am on my About page.

If I had a “Follow” button on my forehead, and you met me in person and pushed that button, I’d likely give you a card that had the following text written upon it:

Here’s some explanation about how I use Twitter. It’s probably more than you want to read, and that’s ok. This is more a personal experiment in exploring network etiquette than anything else. If you’re curious about it and read it, let me know what you think?

Disclaimers

  • I use Twitter for personal expression & connection; self-promotion & “personal brand” not so much (that’s more my blog’s job, but even there not so much).
  • I hate not being able to follow everyone I want to, but it’s just too overwhelming. There’s little rhyme/reason to whom I follow or not. Please don’t be offended if I don’t follow you back, or if I stop following for a while and then start again, or whatever. I’d expect you to do the same to me. All of you are terribly interesting and awesome people, but I have limited attention.
  • Please don’t assume I’ll notice an @ mention within any time span. I sometimes go days without looking.
  • Direct-messages are fine, but emails are even better and more reliable for most things (imho).
  • If you’re twittering more than 10 tweets a day, I may have to stop following just so I can keep up with other folks.
  • If you add my feed, I will certainly check to see who you are, but if there’s zero identifying information on your profile, why would I add you back?

A Few Guidelines for Myself (that I humbly consider useful for everybody else too ;-)

  • I’ll try to keep tweets to about 10 or less a day, to avoid clogging my friends’ feeds.
  • I’ll avoid doing scads of “@” replies, since Twitter isn’t a great conversation mechanism, but is pretty ok as an occasional comment-on-a-tweet mechanism.
  • I won’t use any automated mechanism to track who “unfollows” me. And if I notice you dropped me, I won’t think about it much. Not that I don’t care; just seems a waste of time worrying about it.
  • I won’t try to game Twitter, or workaround my followers’ settings (such as defeating their @mentions filter by putting something before the @, forcing them to see replies they’d otherwise not have to skip.)
  • I’ll avoid doing long-form commentary or “live-blogging” using Twitter, since it’s not a great platform for that (RSS feed readers give the user the choice to read each poster’s feed separately; Twitter feed readers do not, and allow over-tweeting to crowd out other voices on my friends’ feeds.)
  • I’ll post links to things only now and then, since I know Twitter is very often used in (and was intended for) mobile contexts that often don’t have access to useful web browsers; and when I do, I’ll give some context, rather than just “this is cool …”
  • I will avoid using anything that automatically Tweets or direct-messages through my account; these things simply offend me (e.g. if I point to a blog post of mine, I’ll actually type a freaking tweet about it).
  • In spite of my best intentions, I’ll probably break these guidelines now and then, but hopefully not too much, whatever “too much” is.

Thanks for indulging my curmudgeonly Twitter diatribe. Good day!

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  • SarahD

    Twitter is an odd duck. It’s fabulous for conference hookups (no, not that kind, I mean dinner, drinks, hallway encounters). But, away from the conference, it becomes mundane details of people’s lives, and if you’re friended to people for the conference and they unfriend you when it’s just details about your laundry pile, it can seem un-fun. And twitter is *all* about the fun.

    Anyway, I respect your twitter policy. And in this day and age of the attention economy, I think it’s great you’re carving out your boundaries. More people should choose a default of “off” rather than “on”, imo. Including me.

  • http://marks.dk Mark Jensen

    I’ve sent you a request, because you really don’t have to add me as well; that’s the beauty of Twitter!

  • Kit Seeborg

    Ironically, I just locked mine down. Something about the sheer numbers of anonymous viewers makes me uneasy. I’ll see how it goes.

  • Andrew Crow

    I’ve avoided all conversations about setting up rules for Twitter simply because I’d hate to see it closed into some specific use. But, your suggestions above are one’s that I already employ in my personal use of Twitter. These are great guidelines to use not over-annoy people who follow you or those that you follow.

  • http://sourjayne.com/ Sarah

    I think these are great, and I try to follow the same guidelines as well. They are good common sense ways to just be polite and respectful to your fellow Twitter users so we can all have fun.

    I often break the 10-per-day barrier, but am trying to keep that contained for the sanity of everyone around me. :)

  • http://www.kyletwebster.com Kyle T. Webster

    Great post and you have laid out an almost identical policy to my own. Hope you are enjoying Charlotte.