Don’t Be a Twitter Jerk: Tutorial on Twitter Kindness

twitter-jerkAre you a Twitter jerk?

You know, are you one of those people who look down your nose at people who enjoy social media?

Not sure? Well, have you ever said: “I don’t understand it. Twitter is for people with too much time on their hands.”

If so, then you just might be a jerk. Maybe it’s time to stop judging and instead learn how Twitter works and how the site might benefit you.

Twitter Defined, Part 1 – The Basic Definition

Twitter.com is a micro-blogging service. Once you create an account, you can write posts of less than 140 characters that include links, questions, and any other bit of information you think relevant to the world around you.

“The world around you” is made up of individuals who like you and like what you have to say. They become “followers” so they can see your updates in their “Twitter Stream” (a/k/a all the updates from everyone they are following in real time).

Twitter Defined, Part 2 – The Blow Your Mind Definition

Twitter is about connecting with people in ways you couldn’t do otherwise. For example:

  1. Having trouble finding the right software or an effective resource? Just ask the Twitterverse. I asked for information on collaborative writing tools and the very nice Lindsay Berger responded with her experience on Basecamp.com. As a result, I created an account with the service. How nice is that!
  2. Citizen journalism is exploding. News is covered in ways the traditional media just can’t do. Ask Ann Curry, she’ll tell you. (Read about how Curry and several others who were recently stuck in an elevator on Gawker.com.)
  3. Businesses and customers connect on Twitter. I use the site to stay connected with clients or with people I hope become my clients. There are also opportunities for people/businesses to connect with me, the customer. One afternoon I posted a question about where to find a nice martini in Mid-Town Manhattan. As a result, the Twitter account manager for a local establishment sent me their drink menu. I went to that bar because of that interaction. Thanks Twitter!
  4. With Twitter, big brands become personable. Customer service improves and accessibility to government and corporations becomes easier. Just look at JetBlue Airways.

Now That You Know Twitter, Here’s What Not to Do

A fellow blogger wrote an extensive list of what not to do on Twitter. Check it out over at WebStudio 13: 50 Things to Avoid When You Tweet. Number 36 is my favorite. “Do not neglect to check if a link is useful before retweeting it out.”

Bottom line: Don’t be a Twitter jerk. Just be nice. Is that so hard?

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This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed Twitter and social media here at No. 2 Pen. Check out some of our other posts:

Twitter Brings Back the Exclamation Mark

The Ethics of Ghost Tweeting

9 Bright Ideas for Your Social Media Account


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