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  • Twitter Friday: 5 Less Obvious Twitter Netiquette Mistakes

    Mistake, a Creative Commons licensed image by robpatrick

    On this Twitter Friday I will revisit the topic of how to actually communicate on Twitter without alienating people.

    Maybe I’m not a Twitter Netiquette expert but in recent days and weeks I collected 5 mistakes that either I committed myself or were committed by others that really alienate me or other people without being that obvious.

    1. Don’t complain about your Twitter followers (just unfollow or block those you don’t like). I complained in a blog post about the overt linkification of Twitter and promptly people stopped retweeting my links
    2. Do not participate in a fight on Twitter. This one guy I followed who once retweeted me was verbally attacking a seemingly female Twitter user and insulting her in a really ugly way. I send him a “keep calm” message but he and some of his followers just went on justifying swearing on Twitter telling me that it’s probably my fault when I can’t take it. His tweet is now deleted but my mood on that day deteriorated and I still feel odd when reading this guy’s tweets. I know I should just unfollow without complaining but I just can’t heed my own advice.
    3. Do not send “direct messages” to followers you don’t follow back, otherwise they can’t reply to you.
    4. Do not follow people by automatically matching keywords from their profile using a bot. Probably 100+ of my now 942 followers are chefs, recipe sites and restaurants. (Remember my name is Tad Chef.) It’s obvious that you haven’t even taken a look on my profile. Amazingly enough I get more and more of those “followers”. I think I’ll resort to blocking from now on.
    5. Do not unfollow 99% of your followers in a day. I checked a one year old most popular search marketers on Twitter list and then checked their follower/followed numbers again with a tool that compares those numbers historically. 2 of the most prominent then and now just unfollowed 10k+ people which matched approx. 99% of the people they followed. Now how bad does that look?

    What do you think? Is it just me or are these acceptable? Am I not “man enough”? What other less obvious Twitter netiquette mistakes are there people should know about?

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    I help people with blogs, social media & search. I help you succeed on the Web. I've been online publishing for 15 years. I started back in 1997.

    16 Responses to “Twitter Friday: 5 Less Obvious Twitter Netiquette Mistakes”

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    7. About 1 and 4
      I have a “wanna be guru” update every now and then, and say something stupid about the weeks new auto followers. The people using follow-software are an ever increasing number.

      Also should include auto-DM when you follow someone.

    8. Tad Chef says:

      Auto-DM on following is well, not really that annoying, some people seemingly auto-DM on every other action, retweets e.g. that’s a little too much.

    9. Agent SEO says:

      Yeah, I’ve noticed people auto-following me, or sending out an auto-respond direct message to anyone that follows them. It is really annoying when you get a direct message like that, take the time to write a thoughtful response and then don’t hear anything back…

    10. Neal Jansons says:

      You got it right, these are some good and lesser-known rules. And no, you don’t have think skin…the people who flamed you were probably refugees from 4chan or somewhere else where the norm is different. However, if flaming does bother you, avoiding the Goons and Anonymous might be a good idea.

    11. James Gurd says:

      I think they are reasonable engagement guidelines. I would also add what for me is the most alienating, the spam follow. Twitter is getting better at spotting and removing these but there are still people setting up accounts for purely self-serving reasons (the other day I had someone wanting me to vote for their child in a beauty contest!) and then spamming the followers by asking everyone. That irritates me – I have a limited amount of time to catch up on tweets and don’t want any of it wasted by pointless, lazy attempts at using Twitter.

    12. I’m intensely opposed to the idea of Twitter netiquette, or “Twitiquette,” and I’ve written about my opposition in the essay “Steal This Twitter.” (http://pfunn.com/?p=439) This list, however, is not what I would call netiquette. All are good nuts-and-bolts Twitter usage tips that all Twitter users should follow. As to point 2, remember that anyone has the option to unfollow. If the object of the flamer’s wrath didn’t want to read the guy’s insults, she could have very easily removed him from her Twitter stream. On Twitter as in life, don’t let the bastards grind you down.

    13. Cheep_Tweeter says:

      This is the stuff that I have noticed…I think you are right on the money. What really rips my nightie is the automated contact! Either communicate with me personally or don’t bother I say. I can get spam any time I like without having it aimed at me on a site that I use to communicate with people, not bots!

    14. Michelle says:

      I should probably stop swearing so much on Twitter. http://cursebird.com/ says I swear like an enthusiastic porn star… I try, but sometimes nothing beats the F-word.

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