Some Simple Truths about Twitter

After 3 years of heavy twittering (with a brief pause of some months – seriously, what was I thinking), I have familiarized myself with most of the service aspects, developing some kind of unwritten Twitter laws.

People don’t take well my Twitter presence at times, so I’ve decided to make a post about it and share: am I a bad Twitter-er people? Do you do these things too?

Without further ado, my patented unwritten Twitter laws™:

  • If you follow me and I don’t follow back and you’re absolutely pissed (there are some people who still do that), try to reply at some of my tweets in a coherent, non-jackass way. Fat chances are, I’ll eventually follow you.
  • An e-mail containing your follow data arrives in my inbox. I always check your twitter page and do a bit of mini-stalking (apart from obvious spambots). If your twitter stream is full of titles + links, you fail. If it’s full of replies to other people, you fail. If you don’t have an online presence, anywhere, you fail. If you have a link to your facebook account or (God forbid) to your twitter account (endless loop anyone?), you fail. If your twitter stream is protected (seriously?), you fail again. If, however, you express coherent thoughts, no matter the language, no matter the subject, you’ll be likely followed back. It helps if you’re kinda hot too, in a steamy geek kinda way.
  • You’re absolutely appalled by my Twitter activity and you decide to unfollow me. If your life or work isn’t spectacular enough to keep my interest in you, don’t expect me to stay a follower of you for long. It’s not a matter of revenge: when I follow someone, it’s because a) I admire their work or lifestyle b) I’d like to know them better (that’s more suitable for Greek twitters). If you decide to unfollow me, you don’t want me to know you better, so if I don’t really admire the things you do, poof! I’m gone too.
  • Contrary to some predictions, you can make money off Twitter (or social media, as the cool kids call it). Not directly, I’m not DELL. But most of the freelance jobs I’ve been offered were based on Twitter interaction. I consider this a huge success for my Twitter presence and I don’t really care I have yet to reach 1000 followers.
  • I’m all for conversations for Twitter, but please. Not lengthy ones. Don’t expect to draw conclusions from Twitter, it’s not for solving complex geopolitical problems – it can give the hints to transfer the conversation to some other medium though (thanks @stazybohorn).
  • I’m perfectly fine with you posting links to your latest blog posts on your Twitter stream. Some people are complaining about this, but I’m not. Since I rarely (if ever) fire up my feed reader, it’s a nice way to let me know of your new posts. I’ll definitely check those out.
  • What’s highly annoying: littering a perfectly coherent tweet with inline hashtags. #this is not #cool, #people.
  • What’s highly annoying #2: auto-tweeting apps. Think gowalla, foursquare and the like. For the record, I’ve used a command-line hack to filter my Tweetie stream of that jargon. You can find it here. (thanks @olrandir)
  • Yes, I’m greek, but I tweet in english. I also blog in english. In fact, about 80% of my online presence is in english. Why? Because english is a simpler, more techno-friendly language that reaches to billions of people, and not just some thousands. I’ll always reply in english, except when what I want to say has only meaning to greek followers (that will probably be a reply to someone though). Case study: this joke tweet reply.
  • Fact: even if I respect your work, if you’re a cold elitist bastard at Twitter, you’ll always be a cold elitist bastard to me.
  • Personal reminder: you can’t DM people that don’t follow you. You can’t DM people that don’t follow you. You can’t DM people that don’t follow you.

Hm, I think that’s all for now. Feel free to add your own pet peeves, usage patterns and unwritten laws.

God I love Twitter.

Flickr credit: directfromcannes

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