Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

My Personal Twitter Rules So Far

By Dennis D. McDonald

So far I’ve found Twitter useful for keeping in touch, for getting quick questions answered, and for announcing new blog posts. I check in a couple of times a day if I’m at my computer. Here are my personal Twitter rules so far:

  1. Web only. I don’t use a phone for sending or receiving messages nor do I use other applications; plain vanilla Web access is how I use Twitter.
  2. No bad language. I usually “unfollow” people after reading an obscenity, swear words, cursing, or plain nastiness. It’s OK to call me old fashioned.
  3. Names, please. If you follow me but make it impossible for me to tell if you are an individual human being or not, I probably won’t follow you.
  4. No spam. If you’re just interested in selling me something that’s fine, I just have no interest in following Twitter based advertising that has no personal element.
  5. No personal health details. I’d rather not know your personal health details. My family has had its share of life-threatening and traumatic situations in the past and I have no interest in sharing such details with others.
  6. No blocking. Usually I feel that if someone wants to “follow” me, that’s fine with me, but just because you follow me that doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily be following you — especially if you don’t provide any name or personal information. I seldom use the “blocking” function.
  7. Direct messages are OK. At first I didn’t remember to check to see if I had direct messages, now I do. I use the “DM” facility quite a bit now as a simple form of self contained email.
  8. No Twitter feed on my web site. I experimented with this but dropped it. First, the aesthetics didn’t match my page design. Second, I didn’t think it provided the same “social experience” that the main web view provides.
  9. Please no abbreviations. I know it can be tough to get your ideas across in 140 characters or less but please, don’t resort to abbreviations. How do I know if RE refer to “Real Estate ” or “Re Insurance”? Does ECM refer to “Enterprise Content Management” or to “Electronic Counter Measures”?

For the record:

  • As of March 27, 2008 I was following 224; 337 were following me; and I’d posted 1, 431 updates to Twitter.
  • As of December 9, 2008 I was following 501; 940 were following me; and I’d posted 3,085 updates to Twitter.
  • As of January 8, 2009 I was following 529; 925 were following me; and I’d posted 3,278 updates to Twitter.

Question: how do these rules compare with your own? 

  • Copyright (c) 2008-2009 by Dennis D. McDonald


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