10 things you do on Twitter that make me want to kick you in the shins
Some of you may not have checked out the Twitter thing yet, and that's more than fine. There are definitely plenty of people who would find very little utility in it. As a news gatherer, it works pretty great for me - it's my own personal news feed, customized by people who share my interests, but who explore things I don't get around to, so it's not as subject to my own biases as a straight RSS feed of news sources. They're a distillery of sorts. People dig up stuff I never would have seen all the time. However. (And you knew this was coming, judging by my incendiary headline, guaranteed by any number of online "experts" to increase my blog reads by 116 percent.) Should you use Twitter, please stop with the following: 1. "@soandso thanks for the RT!" - If you actually wanted to thank that person, you would have directly messaged that person and thanked that person directly. Instead, you put out a meaningless post to the rest of the world to show that, in fact, someone gave enough of a crap about you that they retweeted something you said. Look at how important I am! Someone retweeted me! Wow! Just stop with that. Please. 2. "Mmmm. Coffee. Just what I needed!" This is the ultimate cliche the world uses to dismiss Twitter's benefits. Why do you feel the need to feed into it? Do you think you're the first one who ever discovered the incredible pepping properties of coffee? Why do I want to read that? Do you think we'll all sympathize and think, "wow, that @soandso, he really nailed that one!" 3. "Wow. I haven't been on Twitter in a week. Better post 15 times in a row so that I've hit my quota that I have to show to my boss who started this whole social media program." Please resist this urge. No one will read any of the posts. They just look like one giant blob of you, and you're not THAT interesting that I'm going to examine every single one of the posts, which are all probably just self-promotional anyway. 4. "Life is only what you make of it!" -Some Guy Who Said Some Meaningless Aphorisms A While Ago. Yeah, we all got one of those quote-a-day calendars from our aunt for Christmas, too. We also go to the dentist on a regular basis and read those posters they put on the ceiling. We don't need Twitter for that, too. 5. "Get ready guys, I'm going to put out a 600-word blog post all in 140-character Twitter posts! It's gonna be awesome." Dude, if you're trying to teach me about fundamentals of perimeter protection, maybe you should blog about it and then provide a link instead of wasting 40 straight posts in my Twitter feed. It's also impossible to read and get anything out of. 6. "#physec, #IT, #ISC, #cameras, #ff" - the hashtags serve their purpose. If you're covering an event that other people are covering, that can be really helpful to pull a lot of stuff together you care about. That I get. But, really, aren't you just trying most of the time to glom on to a topic and praying that people will search that hash-tag and discover you? I think you are. 7. "Hey, remember when I posted this thing this morning? I'm going to post it again in case you missed it." Oh, how savvy of you... 8. "http://bit.ly/aSc25m" Really, that's all you're going to post? A random link that has no indication whatsoever what it points to? Because you're so trustworthy and brilliant that we'll follow wherever you point us? Obviously, you could have been hacked and that's a spam bot and it's going to lead me to the web page of death (actually, that can't really happen to me because I'm on a Mac and I'm invulnerable!), so it's very unlikely I'm going to click on that. But, just in general, that isn't very helpful. You've got about 100 characters left, guy. 9. "Testing posting from Tweetdeck" - You know how you could test that? You could post something valuable and see if it posts. If it doesn't, it didn't work. See how that works? But, you know what, big giant programs that everyone uses generally work. You don't really need to broadcast a test to the entirety of your little Twitter world. 10. "Look at my blog where I list 10 things that I want to rant about" - God, I hate when self-righteous jerk-faces do this. If you don't like the way people do Twitter, just unfollow them. Or don't use Twitter at all, you loser! Jeez, someone should just take away your right to use the Internet at all.