Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Twitter Etiquette

Recently, someone that I follow on Twitter posed the question, "Wondering if its worth it to follow people who only Tweet with personal things that hold no interest for me?" She followed it up by asking, "And, what of, those people you know who you stop following because their Tweets aren't worth reading? Will it hurt their feelings?"

I think these are great questions, and made me think about etiquette that is lost among new technology. Growing up most of us were taught manners. I know that can be a foreign term to some, but most folks know to say please, thank you, excuse me, etc. Unfortunately, Miss Manners, cotillions, and parents have not been able to keep up with today's technology. While you can find some guidelines/opinions for cell phones, cubicles, & email etiquette at sites like Rudebusters.com, I also did a Google Search for Twitter Etiquette and found some great blog posts.

The general consensus out there is that you can do whatever you want on Twitter. To each their own. Follow 1000 or follow 20 it's your choice. You can also choose to block people you don't know or care to know. I guess the only risk you take is offending someone with pointless tweets, or by following someone for no reason other than to build your "following" count. That said, my response to her questions without much thought or hesitation was, "not worth it. too many good tweets get lost among the gunk." I still hold that opinion, and have found myself being more conscientious about who follows me and who I follow. I think Twitter can be a great forum for exchanging ideas and posting thoughts for business purposes. I also think a few personal anecdotes can be appropriate, but must not take over your updates. As someone else mentioned in a tweet, maybe it's best to have 2 or more Twitter accounts so people can choose which one to follow and you can choose what content is appropriate for each.

Would love to hear others thoughts so I can create a top 10 rules of Twitter etiquette post in the near future. Oh, and by the way, what is up with people's obsession with tweeting what your eating???!!! I know I'm guilty, but why do we do it? Maybe that's an entire post itself.
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