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Some interesting stuff in the world of Twitter this week that caught my eye. I typically stray from wading into such matters, but it is always interesting to note what is going on in these new social channels and the implications of less than productive behaviors.
Ian Capstick of Media Style has a good summary of National Post reporter David George-Cosh who launched a mini Twitter tirade this week at April Dunford, formerly of Nortel (whom I met a while back when we were both judges for the Canadian Investment Awards). The issue at hand seems to be that April apparently did not return David’s calls which resulted in the exchange captured in the image below (photo credit to Media Style). Warning … there are a few F-bombs contained in the back and forth.
Hey David, maybe she’s just not that into you.
Anyhow, it reminded me of some items to keep in mind with Twitter:
1. Think before you publish. It is your personal long tail of content, your own digital graffiti. Digital graffiti is different as it does not get covered up with other graffiti. It spreads and remains searchable. The instantaneous nature of Twitter can get you in hot water if you are careless.
2. Understand the community. It is not just your friends or colleagues that are listening. What you think may be an innocent comment could easily blow up (re: the unintended Fed Ex mess from Key Influencer James Andrews)
3. Take the high road. Say something positive and avoid becoming “that guy/girl”. It is too easy to join in with the “pile-on” mentality and become part of the trash talk crowd (no matter who is in the right). Those who differentiate themselves usually find the insight and communicate it without having to slam anyone.
4. Add value. Twitter is powerful and interesting (at least I find it to be) when others pointed to great content and topical information/events/memes. I am more interested in what others are reading than what they are doing. “I’m walking the dog” updates are don’t do it for me. Make us laugh, think and read more stuff we would not otherwise find.
5. Not all conversations should be made public. Ask yourself, “is it more appropriate or better suited to use the direct message feature, or perhaps even an old school email?
6. Bring someone new into the conversation outside of your industry. Twitter is extending its reach beyond the early adopters and the typical participants in the echo-chamber. It is becoming more and more mainstream. There are many interesting people and personalities from politicians to celebrities, journalists and others walks of life adding color and commentary to the space.
Bottom line is that it is almost too easy to get on board and start using Twitter. There is no learners permit. Best advice is to look before you leap because it is not fun to learn the hard way.
While we are on the topic of Twitter, Tweetdeck has just sent out an update (if you are not using Tweetdeck, you are missing out on a robust way to tap into the platform). It is a rocking Adobe Air application that includes an embedded tiny URL feature and displays columns for sorting who you are following direct messages, favourites, hash tags and the like. The update also allows you to translate from other native languages and a neat new feature Stock Twits. Check it out.