10 Twitter Do’s and Don’t

I am not the Mayor of Twitterville, but I have been doing social media long enough to have some thoughts that might be worth sharing. Please take this as you will.

I have been having some fun playing on the Twitter merry go round — its a great outlet for those random thoughts and passing links that are not meaty enough for the blog, or too juicy to way until the next “reads” post.

I love the way ideas develop sua sponte on the Tweetstream; the last thing it needs are hard and fast rules. But lately, some of the interactions have become shall-we-say-a-tad tedious.

So consider these guidelines suggested parameters — nothing dictatorial (like these) — just some basic “Twitterquette” that will work to everyone’s deep and mutual satisfaction (deep sigh, pause, blows cigarette smoke towards ceiling).

For lack of a better title, here are some of my own personal rules for the Tweeting — follow them or don’t at your own discretion:

Some Do’s and Don’t for Twitter

1. Go read this: bit.ly.nn.sns This is a major Don’t in m link. Who has the time or inclination to click on a blind link? Can you please give a reader your reasons to click thru? (If you have huge street cred, ignore this suggestion).

2. Retweet: If you follow people who say or refer to something worthwhile, spread the love. That’s how the linkonomy works. Ahhh, that feels good.

3. Be coherent! Yes, its only 140 characters, but if Charlie Sheen can cobble together something intelligible, so can you.

4. Question question question: Many Tweeters will occasionally answer a question off here and there — I try to answer where appropriate — but if you fire off 10 questions in a row, you need to make an appointment to come in to see the doctor . . .

5. Mix it up:  Whatever your main interest is, don’t be afraid to throw out unrelated links to surprising insights or enduring beauty.

6. Humor is Hard. Humor in 140 characters is exquisitely difficult. There are some very funny people on Twitter: Andy Borowitz (@BorowitzReport), Sarah Silverman’s dad (@RantsFromBoca), @lizzieohreally of Bloomberg, Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker), and a rapper named @FATJEW.  The odds are you are not one of them. (But, we love you for trying).

7. Thy shalt not constantly Retweet yourself. EOM

8. Entries & Exits:  This one’s for the traders: Don’t tweet your exit from a trade if you didn’t tweet your entry. That’s the Code of the Stream.

9. Lighten Up, Francis: If your avatar is you in a suit and tie, you’re doing it wrong.  This ain’t Class Picture Day, it’s social media – lighten up.

10. Anonymous: Many people have no choice but to be anonymous, that’s understandable.  But don’t abuse that anonymity by picking fights with real people who are out in the open…after all, they can’t get down in the mud with you.

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