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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Twitter Rules

One of my blogging friends saw that I had added a Twitter account over there on the sidebar. I admit it, I caved to the peer pressure; I didn't want to be left out of the loop; I wanted to play where the cool kids play. Anyway, this blogging friend, who shall remain anonymous unless he/she wants to own up to it, expressed some worries about Twitter:

"I got started on it, and it quickly snowballed, in terms of time spent on it. I do get a bit of traffic from it, but not a ton. I'm confused about whether I should be posting personal stuff or [professional] stuff. and how do you follow a ton of people? Where do you jump in? How often should you check and update? These are some of my questions. -- and then, there's the annoying outages that have been happening recently."

I thought these questions, posed to me, were hilarious, because I had literally only been on Twitter for a few hours...I was a very very very n00by n00b. It hadn't even occurred to me to ask any of them. But to help out, because I'm helpful, I sent a list of Twitter rules that I, uh, made up:

1. tweet, or don't.

2. you can easily overthink 140 characters, so if you are thinking too hard about it, don't post.

3. you need have no shame on Twitter: feel free to post about new blog posts at your site.

4. you need have no shame on Twitter: feel free to post about how awesome your new shoes are

5. you need have no shame on Twitter.

6. you can easily overthink 140 characters, so if you are thinking too hard about it, post immediately.

7. Twitter is a firehose: don't try to keep up.

8. Twitter is like a snowstorm: open your mouth and see what lands on your tongue, but don't try to eat the drifts.

That's all I can think of right now. As for following a ton of people, I don't imagine I will. Or rather, as I start to follow more people I'll realize even more that I can't keep up, so I'll stop beating myself up about missing a tweet. They're tweets, not essays. Ah, I've found another:

9. Like little candies to gourmet meals, so do tweets stand to blog posts. You don't really want to miss too many meals, but who cares if you only eat one candy a week.


Heather said...

Backpacking Dad, is this your nice way of saying you're never going to follow me back? ;-)

Backpacking Dad said...

Heather: Oh, the guilt! The guilt! Ah, you win.

Heather said...

I am sooooo good at guilt, how do you think I got me a husband?

Badass Geek said...

If I started using Twitter, all my updates would read:

"At work now. Wish I had a beer."

"Out of work now. Drinking a beer."

"Going to bed now. Drank too much beer."

... And so on and so forth.

catnip said...

Those are pretty much my twitter rules too! Don't take it too seriously and block the spammers :)

I'm pretty sure I'm one of those that guilted you into it :)

Ali said...

i LOVE twitter. i resisted for so long and finally caved a couple months ago. now i live my life in 140 characters or less.

for a different kind of girl said...

I've been a good girl. Going to class. Respecting my teachers. But the cool kids? They've been trying to lure me behind the bleachers and getting me to Twitter. "Twitter, good girl!" "Come on, just try the twitter!" "You're gonna like the Twitter!"

I've been scared because I've seen A&E Intervention, man!

Plus, hello?! A 140 character limit?! My nickname is "Wordy Girl" because I put out the verbage. However, peer pressure, man. It might be worth seeing if I can contain myself. I wanna be cool, too!

gorillabuns said...

Seriously, don't follow a lot of people. They will only frustrate you with their 50 twits in a row which will in turn make you miss the good stuff.

Patti Mayo said...

I am so behind on reading about your dadaventures with Erin. I will have to catch on them after I go see Sex in the City tonite.

I've never checked out Twitter, but I think I am going to have to now.

Thanks for popping over and checking on me. I'm fine. No memorial for me....maybe for my sister though.

mamatulip said...

This is why I don't Twitter.

Danielle said...

Great analogies.

I like that I can just put random thoughts on my blog without doing a whole post about it. I never even really "follow" the people I'm following.

I also like that I can send stuff to Twitter (therefore to my blog) via my cell phone.

I have images of Twitter/Blog posting about being stuck in an elevator or something someday, and the only way people would know I was stuck was because a faithful blog reader called the police.

I don't know. Active imagination.

And my filters at work classify it as a dating site so I can't even Twit from here. Boo.

Kat said...

I've twittered a couple of times but it just seems so time consuming. I like reading some of the people I follow, but they probably think I suck because I hardly twitter about anything. Oh, well. Maybe I'll twitter more when I get my Blackberry up and running.

Kristen said...

For me the weirdest thing about Twitter is that I will have a friend over and be relating some anecdote and they will say, "oh, you already twittered about that." Good grief.

Backpacking Dad said...

badass geek: was I talking about?

catnip: yep.

ali: I know you do....Semi-Pro did suck.

FADKOG: Don't do it. I spend enough time writing to you as it is; if you were on Twitter I'd never get anything done except: "@ FADKOG so, what color couch are you sitting on?"

gorillabuns: I'm still waiting for the good stuff :}

patti mayo: good to see you're ok. Now I wonder if that other person ever found the "patti mayo memorial" they were looking for.

mamatulip: you are smarter than the average bear.

danielle: a dating site? speed-dating, maybe.

kristen: that has already happened a little bit with my blogging. After work my wife will ask how my day has been and I'll just say "don't you read my blog??" Because it's all out there, now.

dadshouse said...

I don't overthink twitter, but I just now found myself overthinking this comment... Yikes. Time for a beer.

Swanny said...

So wait; there's yet another outlet on the interweb where I can spend hours reading/"communicating" with people? Alright, but all this Twitter and Bloggy goodness is really cutting into my internet porn time.

Mandy said...

My husband runs an IT company. A few twitter, but not as many as I would've thought. Personally, I don't need one more thing I'm not keep up with to feel guilty over.

Mike said...

Ah, Twitter. I don't get it, but I certainly love how it is the reason my wife spends five minutes typing on her blackberry whenever ANYTHING happens.

I saw that other "Dad Jeans" post you suggested. Funny. Maybe the "Dad Jeans" phenomenom will sweep the nation!

Backpacking Dad said...

dadshouse: Now I'm dying to know what you were originally going to write.

swanny: sucker.

mandy: but don't you want to know what I'm doing at 3:02 in the afternoon?

mike: it's certainly swept my pants drawer.

BabyShrink said...

OK, I'm outing myself as the Blogger friend in question, and I still want to know, what the hell is twitter FOR?! Meanwhile, I flail away at must be a function of my rapidly advancing age. I have a feeling my 7-year-old will have a twitter account soon, and she'll be schooling ALL of us!

But I do appreciate the hints BPD, especially the part about not feeling like you have to actually READ each and every tweet. I mean, what a RESPONSIBILITY!