Sunday, February 19, 2017

Tips for social media types

Thank you, sincerely, for all the useful things you all post on Twitter. I mean it. I learn a lot every day about resources that are available. I "like" a lot of things and repost many.

Thanks especially when you choose the most cogent or telling sentence out of the piece before posting a link. It really helps.

But when you say, without explanation, "this is a must-read," it makes me want to set fire to it.

Too many acronyms and abbreviations make my head hurt. There are hundreds of intelligent, literate people on Twitter whom I follow who don't use them, and if you clutter up your message that way, I'm going to skip your message and go on.

A Twitter essay, strung out in 15+ posts of 140 characters each, clogs up my Twitter feed and is annoying to read. Go write a blog post or publish on medium.com or lithub like everybody else.

If you set up bots to repeat the same message several times over a 24-hour period, it whispers "spam" to me and everyone who follows you. If you do it for more than a 24-hour period, that whisper turns to a shout.

If you (or your bots, and you know who you are), post just a link to Facebook on your Twitter feed, I'm not going there. Why?

  • First of all, the angry timekeeper guardians that protect me from my own baser timewasting instincts (like Freedom and Strict Pomodoro on Chrome) won't let me go to Facebook, for my own good.
  • Second, FB is a closed system, and I object to having to log in to get a piece of information. Mark Zuckerberg already has enough information about my opinions, habits, and friends and family, thank you very much. 
  • Third, 99.9% of the time it's a piece of self-promotion, which, though not bad in itself, isn't worth the extra clicks and logins. 
Somewhere, if you're tweeting about a conference or event, someone involved ought to give its full name so we mere mortals can tell what you're talking about. Sometimes even clicking on the hashtag doesn't shed any light on the subject. 

Forgot to add this: if you want to play pranks with the the sensibilities of people who follow you, be prepared to be unfollowed and to never have anything you say taken seriously again, even though The Chronicle (a more forgiving medium) publishes your stuff. This is one scholar's body of work I never have to read. What credibility would that scholarship have? How would I know he's not making it up, too, a la the Sokal Social Text hoax?

Edited again, because apparently I still am angry about these oh-so-clever bros (see link above) messing with our minds on Twitter and thinking how meta they are for planting lies and making us fall for it: you call it a pomo experiment, but the erosion of trust is real.

Any tips that I missed?

2 comments:

pat said...

How about retweets? When a topic is mainly retweets, it gives the impression that everybody in the group already feels the topic is settled and discussion is not welcomed.
This may be a failing of the platform rather than its users, though.

Undine Spragg said...

Good point, pat! Twitter doesn't allow for debate a lot of times.

I once made a comment in the middle of a public debate--when someone had asked a question--and was told that this was a private conversation. If it's a private conversation, why are you holding it in the middle of a public Twitter feed?