So, today I retweeted an article that sounded interesting to me on Twitter. It was called "The 5 Most Annoying Things People do on Twitter." It sounded like a great article, because sometimes people truly do some very annoying things on Twitter. I couldn't access the article through my Blackberry, but when I got to my computer I checked it out. Upon reading the article I realized that a lot of the things the author was saying were "annoying" were actually the opposite of the case. Here is my take on Dave LeClair's article.
1. LeClair first says that it is annoying when people constantly hashtag. He also thinks that when people do extremely long hashtags that it is annoying. I have to disagree with LeClair. Hashtags are one of the most important facets of Twitter. It is how companies track their brand name. It is how journalists find information about breaking news. Hashtags allow the community of twitter to trend topics that are important or even funny. Although long hashtags may be annoying, I agree with LeClair on this point, they still have their place on twitter. I personally use hashtags in almost all of my tweets. Sometimes the are jokes, but a lot of times they are used to partake in conversations in the twitter-verse.
2. LeClair next says that people who follow thousands of people are in the wrong. He thinks that this is some weird ploy that if you follow thousands of people, they will follow you in return. I think this is bogus. Sometimes you like to follow a lot of people. My ratio of followers to following is almost equal. It's important to me to know what my followers are saying so that I can participate in conversations with them and react to what they have to say about me. Also, not all of the people I follow are the people following me, in fact, I would say most of the people I follow are not following me. Just because some follows thousands of people does not make them an "annoying" tweeter. Why does that even matter to LeClair anyways? It's not like people are flaunting the people they follow, they are flaunting the number of people that follow them.
3. OK, I have to agree with this next point. I absolutely hate it when people have discussions on Twitter... or any other social medium for that matter. People do not need to know your entire conversation with your best friend. Two or three witty tweets are fine, but seriously, if you are making dinner plans via Twitter, I really don't care.
4. I think that LeClair's statement in this has some validation. People are pretty annoying if all they do it retweet. However, I don't think retweeting all the time is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes I like to retweet a lot of things about a certain news story or event I'm going to. Maybe it is annoying to my followers... but they can just skip my tweet. A tweet is less than 130 characters. It does not take that much energy or time to read a little blurb. Who knows? Maybe amidst the many retweets someone does there is an amazing story hidden in there.
5. LeClair's last point is that it is annoying when someone uses Twitter purely for advertising. He backs it up by saying if someone is following this person going in knowing that that's what the Twitter is used for then it is OK. I think this is a great statement. Twitter is not just an advertising tool. If you want people to look at your stuff, then you better interact with them. If you retweet a link to a cool tool or a neat product, tell people what you think about it. Don't just blindly post links. But, on the other hand, Twitter is a great promotion tool. You can reach thousands of people by putting in the correct hashtags or links.
Overall, I did have a few problems with this article. LeClair seems to attack many of the fundamental principles of what Twitter is. I also think that it is bogus for someone to tell you how to use your Twitter. If you are doing stuff that people don't like then you won't have followers. If you have interesting tweets, they can have a million hashtags or be only retweets for all I care. I follow people on twitter for their individual content, whether or not they are doing some of LeClair's supposedly "annoying" methods.
food for thought: "