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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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