Twitter certainly has been getting A LOT of press this past week. On Monday, the Daily Show did a segment on it, John Cleese released something on his video blog about it, Daniel Schorr and Scott Simon discussed it on NPR’s Weekend Edition, and there have been at least three articles about it in the editorial pages of the Greenville News. I think the catalyst was when various politicians were spotted Tweeting during President Obama’s recent Congressional address. If Congresscritters could do it, then it must be (A) easy and (B) the thing to do.
As you might imagine, these stories have run the gamut from those who think it’s the absolutely best thing, and everyone MUST start Twittering (Tweeting?) to those that think it’s a complete waste of time. I think I fall somewhere in the middle.
I’ve said before that I jumped into Twitter first as a convenient way to post quick updates to both my blog and my Facebook page. It’s also been a good way to post quick discoveries and ideas, sort of like an external manifestation of an internal dialog. However, most internal dialogs should remain just that – private. Those ideas that rise to the Tweet level should be fairly rare.
To me, Twitter seems like a global chat room. The shared Twitter experience of the Inauguration was very cool. I enjoy following #BSG Tweets while watching Battlestar Galactica (OK, that just sounded too nerdy.) Unfortunately, there is also a lot of noise on Twitter, and I’m just now learning how to filter it out.
Deciding whom to follow can help with that noise. J. L. Watkins beat me to the punch by posting his Twitter Rules of Engagement, so I decided to “harvest” his ideas here:
Here’s my basic, Twitter “rules of engagement”:
1. If the person a friend or someone I know in real life, it’s an automatic follow.
2. If the person is in the TV industry, or from somewhere I live(d), it’s usually a follow.
3. If the person has a commercial interest then I follow if it’s a local business, indie start-up, or a company/org I’m semi-interested in.
4. If the person is a marketing or SEO “expert” then I do NOT follow.
5. If the person is from some random band or improv troupe then I do NOT follow.
6. If the person is a total douche, or I add them and they turn out to be a total douche, then I don’t follow or drop them.
7. If the person adds me and they’re from some weird, out of nowhere place (like a UK dog lovers association or lemonade fan club) then I don’t follow.
8. I’ll drop anyone that gets annoying, fast.
For #2, I would substitute “instructional technology” for “TV industry.” I also especially like #4. For some reason Twitter has drawn these social media types out in droves, and their Tweets get very boring very fast.
I’m sure some people find my updates boring and/or annoying. I’ve been dropped by some, but I don’t really care. As I have done with this blog, I will continue to Tweet what I think to be interesting. If someone finds it useful or interesting, fine. I will continue to Tweet as long as I find it a useful media, regardless of what Congress people, celebrities, or other people decide to jump on the bandwagon.