Gordon Swaby

Because i couldn’t say this in 140 Characters or less…Vivre Twitter.

I’ve been on twitter for a while, circa 2007, a year or so after its inception.  I was what you’d call “an early-ish adapter” and in my time on the hip “micro-blogging site” ( i remember when that term was coined) I’ve seen trend after trend; Some I’m indifferent to, others are annoying and others are extremely annoying.

I mean, It’s just a few things that grind my gears, here goes:

Cryptic Tweets: People who only tweet strange, enigmatic thoughts that no one ever gets. Do you think you’re cool?

IM Conversations: Yes, It’s your twitter account, you do with it what you want, but there are unwritten rules and something called “netiquette”.  Twitter was never meant to be used as  a chat-room ( ipso facto, the 140 character limit).  Some people constantly @ each other talking about things no one can relate to, because it was never meant for twitter. Blackberry Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Chat and a myriad of others are there if you need to have prolonged conversations with a friend, UTILIZE them because nobody cares about your extremely mundane conversations.  Then you wonder why you have 50 followers; that last bit is a precursor to annoyance #3.

That annoying, “Please follow me” phrase: Please, don’t beg someone to follow you on Twitter, It’s really pathetic.  If you are genuinely interesting or actually have some substantial tweets then people will follow you, albeit  maybe not that person you’d want to follow you, but that’s fine; different strokes for different folks, but people will follow you.

Retweeting/replying done wrong: I remember when “retweeting” made its debut on Twitter.  The users created it, until twitter decided to formalize it. I remember how people originally used it.  People retweeted your tweet for many reasons, maybe because they liked it, because it was a tweet that was particularly helpful etc.  In recent time many Jamaicans have flocked to twitter and as simple as it is, not many people know how to use the re-tweet/reply function.  They are distinctly different.  A brief tutorial:

The tweet above is how i see most people reply to to tweets. They “retweet” the original tweeter’s tweet and put their response in front. Occasionally this is fine, especially when you want to save people from clicking the “in reply to” option, but most people, i find don’t know any better, so they always do it thinking it’s the only way to respond to a tweet, but it’s not.

Now this is the right way to respond to someone’s tweet. It’s really easy. Just find the tweet you’re referring to on whatever client you’re using whether it be Tweetdeck, Seesmic, or even Twitter web use the reply function and twitter will automatically reference the tweet automagically.  When the person who you replied to receives your response they’ll know what tweet you’re referring to because they’ll see the “in reply to username” as highlighted above which avoids the “what are you talking about” tweet.  It’s a really easy concept to grasp, So if @waynjonesjnr is to click ” in reply to Waynejonesjnr he’ll promptly see that i was referring to his tweet about cigarette smoking women.

People who do blast #FF’s– On twitter it’s tradition to recommend tweeters  that you like for other people to follow. This is called “Follow Friday, or #FF for short. Follow Fridays are done by putting the #FF hashtag in front of the tweets followed by the people you want other people to follow. e.g: #FF @nigel_thomas @ryanmattis, @waynejonesjnr, @rtrowe, @iamsbee (btw, these are all cool people, you should follow them), but i find this way of “mass #FF’ing”  annoying and ineffective, instead i find it a lot more substantial to write a blurb about the person(s) you want other people to follow instead. e.g: #FF @ryanmattis Fellow techie, blogger and full-time pessimist. You’ll find that people appreciate this method as opposed to the “blast method” that i mentioned above, they’re also more likely to get followed; Quality over quantity i say.

Finally, Tweeting in CAPS: Anybody who’s an internet fanatic or even someone who occasionally uses the internet knows that when you type in caps it signifies that you’re screaming/shouting or showing your disgust for something. Typing/tweeting: “I’M SO LOVING MY BREAKFAST RIGHT NOW”  in caps  is wrong, tweeting using caps indefinitely is annoying and not to mention noobish, come on, get with it. Read more about Online etiquette here

Unfortunately many people i follow on twitter are guilty of my peeves; hoping they’ll all read this and apply it to their day-to-day tweeting so that me and everyone else can have a more pleasant twitter experience. *crosses fingers*

Written by Gordon Swaby

Gordon Swaby

Founder and CEO of social learning service EduFocal.com. I’m passionate about technology, the internet and the use of technology in education. I am a recipient of Governor General’s Youth Award, the PSOJ’s 50 Under 50 Award, The commonwealth Youth Award and many others.


Lovingly made on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 at 1:29 pm. Filed under Interesting, Personal, Rant, Tech, Uncategorized, Webology.

  • http://fyrfli.net fyrfli

    Ouch… point well taken.

  • http://www.jamaipanese.com Jamaipanese

    hahahaha, I think I share all these pet peeves too! Fortunately I don't suffer from any of them ^_^. I'm a Twitter Vet, we should have you teaching internet etiquette classes Gordon. Good post.

    • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

      Lol, maybe i should!

  • Kane_audioslave

    Lol..The cryptic tweets got me the best XD. Good post.

    • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

      Lol, thanks:)

  • http://franarexic.wordpress.com/ franarexic

    I don't have a problem with blast #FFs, mainly because I've stopped celebrating Follow Friday.
    I do, however, have a huge problem with incorrect replying and using RT to reply. (Although it can be acceptable if you retweet a tweet, then add additional information to it).
    I think the developers of Twitter created the new RT feature to combat that problem though.
    I wholeheartedly agree with the whole begging people to follow you thing, I think it's sad.

    And Gordon, while you use Twitter as a tool for sharing information and keeping updated with current affairs, some people use it to communicate with friends. I don't have a problem with people using Twitter as a chat room.

    But yeah, I thought this was a really good post, and the bird is really podgy and cute; made me smile.

  • http://ryanmattis.wordpress.com/ Ryan Mattis

    Its no mystery why we're friends. I most definitely share the same peeves.

  • Marangand

    I am clueless on twitter 🙂 i need to re-read this post again…..

  • http://twitter.com/HelloJamz Jamila A. Litchmore

    Great post Gordon 🙂
    I’m still new to Twitter but I don’t think I’ll be annoying anyone….ever, unless it’s intentional.

  • http://gordonswaby.com Gordon Swaby

    Thanks dear:) Looking forward to your tweets:)

  • http://twitter.com/davidmullings davidmullings

    Nice read. Definitely agree with much of it. IM-like conversations are fine if they add value in some way i.e. the followers learn something from it.

    Personally, if someone does stuff that annoys me, I unfollow them no matter what else they post. I do like to exercise the control that I was given.

    As for “please follow me”, as a marketer I highly recommend that you ask for what you want but you are quite right that it may be in bad taste to actually ask someone to follow you via Twitter itself.

    I would rather have a follower who likes some stuff I tweeted and decided to follow vs. someone I begged to follow me and they agreed only out of pity and now totally ignore my tweets.

    Just one comment to add:

    (1) Retweeting is definitely not the same as Replying.

    If I am retweeting then naturally I include the Tweet and sometimes add a personal comment. If I am replying then I don’t include the original tweet and people have to click “in reply to” in order to follow the convo.

    e.g. You retweet an inspiration quote but you reply to a question with your answer.

  • http://twitter.com/davidmullings davidmullings

    Would you engage in a loud conversation with one person in a room of 20 people? Only in certain cases, like you are trying to help everyone learn something (like on a panel discussion).

    If you have 20 followers that is basically what you are doing when it turns into a private chat room. “What will my followers gain from this conversation that I should not use a DM instead?” is the question one should ask first.

    The answer of course could be that your followers get to know you better, fair enough.

  • http://franarexic.com franarexic

    Some people have a small circle of followers that all interact with each other. In such a case, I see no problem with using Twitter as a “chat room” because everyone in that small circle would get involved in the “chat room”. Though all of us have the responsibility of not disclosing potentially damaging information online.

  • http://twitter.com/davidmullings davidmullings

    Agreed franarexic.

    I never said Twitter can’t be a chat room – it actually makes a GREAT chat room for webinars.

    IM is different from a chat room. One-to-One conversations usually are private unless one party specifically sees value in making it public.

    Determining the value is what should decide when to engage in IM-like behavour.

    Ultimately, it all depends on what YOU are choosing to use Twitter for since if you choose from day one to use it like an IM then no one can tell you that you are wrong, it is just a tool and you can do whatever you want with it.

  • http://twitter.com/jermaineUtwit Jermaine H

    tweets are linked to the ones you reply to…. oops O_O

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