Today on my Facebook Timehop reminded me that back on October 20th 2008 I was encouraging my Facebook friends to join this amazing thing – ‘www.twitter.com’.
Back in those days I was mainly (like all of us were) shouting into the ether in the hope someone saw, gradually I started following people, they followed me back – it was all beautifully organic and a nice place to hang out. Thankfully, Twitter is still a bit like that, I’m still friends with a lot of those I ‘met’ in my formative Twitter years, and have made even more since then – but, as a blogger, Twitter has an annoying side.
Everyone is hell-bent on pushing their brands and content, the ethos of Twitter gets lost.
Twitter is instant communication, in that moment – you can avoid Twitter for days, weeks, even months, but go back on, and everyone is talking about the here and now. Which is why scheduled Tweets annoy the FUCK out of me, Twitter isn’t scheduled, it’s life, as it happens – now. Not the blog post from 3 years ago that you feel didn’t get you the admiration it deserved –
Spontaneity ISN’T automated.
I’m not saying NEVER share old content, heck, I do it – but it’s not automatic, I try and keep relevant to the stream I’m seeing – if there’s a Twitter party blocking my stream, I’ll share my ‘I hate Twitter party posts’. Just remember when the next terrorist atrocity happens and the world is tweeting their feelings about it, your post about ‘My Top Ten Pom Poms’ that you scheduled two weeks ago will look pretty fucking stupid.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing older content, because Twitter is SO instant many people won’t have seen it the first time, but if you repeat the same things OVER and OVER like a Scooby Doo background, you’re not sharing engaging content, you’re just pissing people off.
“I don’t have time for Twitter, I just schedule posts and dip in when I fancy it”
That’s an interesting argument – Twitter is fine to dip in and out of, generally the same people will always be there, and it’ll be as you left it – but if you’ve got time to mercilessly schedule stuff, spend that time INTERACTING. Reply to people, favourite stuff you like, follow new people – you’ll find people more receptive to engaging with you than just screaming about how funny you are into the ether.
Imagine you’re on your High Street, and there’s someone there shouting into a Megaphone.
“LOOK AT ME – LOOK AT ME!!!”
You won’t, because that person is being a shouty twat – you’re more likely to notice the nice person that makes eye contact, smiles, and says ‘Hello – How are you?’ (well you won’t if they are wearing a charity bib and a clipboard). It’s all about the personal touch and engaging with people, not throwing enough shit and seeing what sticks.
Generally I follow people because, I like them, I’m interested in what I have to say – what they’re doing, but it’s really hard to keep up a friendship on-line with someone who is a self promoting dick (oh the irony!).
I *love* Twitter, I really do, it’s my little ‘water cooler’ moment with a whole host of amazing people and is a life line to those, like me who sit working at home and could go hours without human interaction. I try and follow people who make me smile, or interest me, and I’ve slowly binned off those who use it as their megaphone. Which in itself is a shame, because there is so much more to people than the words they write – or the image / brand they like to portray. Bloggers are a complex kind of person, and once you get past the smoke, mirrors and bullshit, most of them are actually fairly okay people – I’d LOVE to see more of the reality than the soft focused, perfectly timed bullshit.
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I’m the same as Donna, I tend to only schedule the most current post on the day it goes live and then will only share old things if they are relevant. I’m dipping in and out of Twitter at the minute as I don’t seem to be able to find the time. What annoys me most is when I reply to an automated tweet of another blogger and they don’t bother acknowledging me – isn’t that the point of Twitter? Like you say Kip, it should be a ‘water cooler’ moment, but most of the time it just isn’t.