The day Twitter died

by on March 16, 2009

twitter-logoI can see a few of you fell for the title and that is the point of this article. The frenzy over the new Twitter mania is one we cannot ignore. A 55% growth in one month, whether it’s due to TV coverage or the New York Times, is not the point.  However, with a recorded four million users, all this becomes the point.

This is an observation – or maybe it’s my way of giving in to the new Twitter frenzy. Some may even call it a Monday rant and some may say I’m bitching. Fine.  Maybe I am, but it needs to be said.

To DM or not to DM

How many times have you received DM’s (direct message used in Twitter) from total strangers sending you a link to a product you have no interest in, nor do you really care? That isn’t to say new Twitter users shouldn’t send a “hello nice to meet you” DM though, especially if they’re new.

It’s sweet and I think, “bless their heart””, but at this point I say stop, please.

Why should I care and why should I be ranting about it? Simple. I don’t have the time to train all the new Twitter users and respond to every question that comes through.  Nor am I going to become your best friend and DM you all day long.

Now I understand why no one would talk to me when I first joined Twitter.  I was green –eyed and wanted to do everything right. I wanted to meet and greet the other Twitterettes with a special DM – something like “Hello thanks for the follow I look forward to your posts.” Surely, that was harmless – or so I thought.

Follow Friday rakes in new potential readers

Now that I have broken the 1000 follower mark however, I can see how that would become a bit irritating. I am trying to balance things out in my head. I tell myself that it’s their right.  After all, they’re being nice and using Twitter to the best of their ability. I have even started grooving on new tools used to better your experience. My latest find is the Twitalyzer. I enjoy getting new followers and sometimes I don’t follow people who follow me. Maybe after reading this article they’ll stop following me when they realize I am not following them back. Really, I have a good reason, one that begs for another article, but I won’t get into it in this one.

So for those nice messages I do still chuckle as if I am an old timer and now realize there is no way I would have time to send every new follower a special DM. On some days I may get fifty new followers, while on others I am stagnant. Yet, I recently read someone on a Twitter feed who stated they got 500 followers in one day. You get the point here.  The math and the time spent saying “thanks for the follow” to everyone is bad for business.

The Automated robot SUCKS

Now, if you’re an old timer, you may have opted to use a robot to send out your DM’s. In my humble opinion you are no better than a spammer. Especially when you’re sending ones that look like this: “Thanks for follow! I have a great way to make one gazillion dollars http://www.mywebsite.com.”

Now I know there is no one behind this message, especially when I click on his or her profile and see a big -busted Sheila licking a lollipop. Okay – so I’m not telling the whole truth.  Some of the big Guru’s on Twitter, the Social Media giants, which use their post feeds through an automated system. They don’t bother with the meet & greet, but rather post links to the latest blog or latest eBook they’re selling on how to get a gazillion new followers on Twitter.

That’s beyond me.  Why on earth would I want to get gazillion new followers when I can barely keep up with the little numbers I have?  Well, maybe I’m ranting to the choir or maybe I sound bitter about the whole process. I know I opted to get on Twitter for my business; I also agreed to do it for several clients.

The difference is that I’m behind every one of those posts. Even when I use Hootsuite.com I am still looking at the feed, responses, and @Replies. Because, regardless of how or why you’re using Twitter, you still have to deal with people.

The dynamics of conversation and engaging in short 140 characters takes time. Therefore, if I am going to be engaging and try to brand all my accounts, I sure don’t want to read and see spammer coming at me on a daily basis. Nor do I enjoy users that are continuously posting the same thing over and over again. It won’t make me buy their product nor will I want to RT (re Twittering) their post.

RT is not always a good thing

This brings me to my last rant (I promise). If you want me to RT a post of yours, make sure your link is working. I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at the feed only to waste time telling the original poster “hey your link is broken.” In fact, if you want me to RT something of yours, let me assure you that I look – I click on the link.  first.

I actually tried to be nice one day and just RT as many posts as I could, thinking again that I am doing the “right” thing as a new user. Tragically, or should I say stupidly, I did not check every link.  When I went back, I found I had just RTed a porn site. You can imagine how horrified I was. Needless to say, I no longer RT posts unless I personally look at each one.
Something all new users should consider. If you do see someone RT one of your posts, return the favor, even if it has nothing to do with your industry. It’s called engaging and that is social networking.

Twitter is not dead

In conclusion, Twitter is not dead. It won’t be for quite sometime. As a new user that has been on since December however, I have learned a lot from my own mistakes and feel compelled to share them here.  It‘s been a learning curve, but I have made some great contacts there. I have even hired some great writers and enjoyed a lot of the people I’ve met. How about you?



{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ching Ya June 19, 2009 at 7:57 am

I think most of us have the similar feelings towards the auto-DMs. I thanked most of my followers personally –although not all due to time constraint, always felt sorry about that. However, never too crazy about auto-DMs with promo links and such. Feels like somebody knocking on the door, you opened it with excitement then found out it’s the salesman. =P

RT is both a sharing tool and networking feature. Since you’ve explained well with it, I’m not gonna go deep into that. Overall, well written.

@wchingya
social media/blogging

Reply

Cathy Sterling March 23, 2009 at 6:25 am

Great post~ I didn’t really fall for the title, new you were roping me in ~ but that’s OK! LOL!
I was one of those newbies who actually wanted to DM everyone and thank them. I would read their bio, or if nothing really there, read their blog or web page, to find something I could comment about to even make the DM more personal! I worked really hard at being “social”! That is until, after spending a day Thanking everyone, tweeter informed me that I had over extended my limit of DM’s for the day, bet no one else EVER got that message! LOL! Now I am a seasoned TW user!
Now, I send a general post at the end of the day thanking all my new followers, however if someone DM’s me or replies to me I respond to those as soon as I see them.

I will say that what I don’t like is someone who follows me, and then immediately unfollows me just to drive up their numbers. I give people about a week to follow me and then clear out the ones that are not following me prior to follow Friday!

I always open the link 1st before I send it! Always!

As time goes on a get a little more educated, a little more savvy and a lot more informative regarding Twitter and its use as a tool in the Social Media arena!

Reply

Sal March 18, 2009 at 7:56 am

Gabriella,

Great post. I agree, especially about the robots. I hate the cold feeling of Twitter. Me, I am a warm guy, or at least I would like to think so. Interaction is a good thing and the people who Auto DM just tweak my last nerve.

As for the RT, that is a great point. You have to give a little, and there isn’t anything wrong with expecting a little in return…that is, as long as you are returning the favor when the tables are turned. It makes for a very social atmosphere.

Nicely done!

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Gabriella March 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Thanks Sal… I have been changing some things I do on twitter. For example I don’t do #FollowFriday as much… I have been busy on Friday’s (go figure) To be honest with you I don’t see that much of a change on those days so keeping up with “rules & regulations” is to stay unpredictable.

Reply

LJP March 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Clever title, you got me as well. I am still learning the Twitter thing – I get a lot of new followers each day and I need to read a few more of these articles to become more familiar with Twitter. I can imagine when you get to a certain number of followers the “thanks for the follow” stuff might get a bit irritating. I will be interested to read your article about deciding not to follow your Twitter followers…

Reply

Simon Mason March 16, 2009 at 5:32 am

To me DMs are for taking the conversation to the next level – if I have engaged with someone through Twitter I might DM them to ask for a e-mail or Skype address to carry on in private and with more space.

I find about a quarter of the people I follow send an auto DM. This is good and bad. Bad because it can fill my DM column with rubbish I don’t want, good because if someone sends me a spammy link it says to me “Hi I’m an idiot who wants to sell you junk, please unfollow me now.”

Good point about the RTs as well – I think most active users check links before they RT them, this makes them a useful filter – hopefully the real rubbish mostly won’t get RTd.

Reply

sean March 16, 2009 at 5:30 am

I fell for the title on twitter! Great post. I too have done everything, personal DM’s(not robot)
But have never RT’d

Just set up twitter on blackberry and
Find I am tweeting three times as much,

I enjoy the interaction tweets but most seem intent on self promotion, which is OK from time time.

Thank you for a great post!

Sean

Reply

Gabriella March 16, 2009 at 8:09 am

I have been hearing more and more Mobile applications for Twitter. I am getting an iPhone so I can’t wait to try it. I no longer do Dm’s unless it’s useless noise to everyone else. Sometimes conversations happen and DM’s are great for that. You really can get to know someone or at least follow a thought in 140 or less characters. :)

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{ 15 trackbacks }

  • Gabriella Sannino 

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  • Gabriella Sannino 

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  • Gabriella Sannino 

    RT @tweetmeme Level343 Articles » Blog Archive » The day Twitter died http://bit.ly/24tA5 (noticed Twitter is dead reminded me of this)

  • Gabriella Sannino 

    The Day Twitter died... http://bit.ly/4VVAf What did you do before Twitter?

  • Gabriella Sannino 

    RT @tweetmeme Level343 Articles » Blog Archive » The day Twitter died http://bit.ly/24tA5

  • Gabriella Sannino

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