Okay, I know I shouldn’t write about Twitter two days out of three. But this really concerned me, which just goes to show how off-balance my priorities really are. Recently, @AnnWylie wrote a short piece in her PR/Writing newsletter titled “How to Make Your Tweets More Useful.” And it included (along with the very interesting information that the biggest day for tweeting is Tueday) an explanation of @AngelaMaier‘s 70-20-10 rule, which recommends that:
70 percent of your tweets share resources — blog postings, articles, opinions and tools
20 percent of your tweets engage in conversations and connections
10 percent of your tweets “chirp,” or chat about yourself, your life and your thoughts.
Well, no wonder I am not the ultimate twitter goddess that I thought I could be, because this is not what I’ve been doing. My scores, which I just got by counting my last 20 posts on Tweetdeck, are more like:
1) 15% share resources
2) 60% engage in conversation
3) 25% updates on what I am doing.
When I see articles like this one, I always think “so this is why my “All Friends” column on Tweetdeck is just one long rippling thread of hyperlinks and @tags. There’s precious little real message left in our SMS-based system. And even though my browser is pretty quick (since I bought the used iMac from @PeteWann) I don’t have time to click all those links. I don’t even have time to process what they’re about.
I don’t go to twitter looking for articles, I go looking for people, for personality. Also, I’m looking for freedom and the surprising. Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear “Twitter rules” I reach for my gun.
I’m not alone in this. Back in January @ChrisBrogan wrote the post “You’re doing it all wrong?” where he does a complete send-up of the idea that twitter can even have “rules.” I mean, yes, you can make a list of ideas on how to tweeet and call them “rules.” But really they’re only suggestions, guidelines. One of the big things about Twitter, I believe, is that there are no rules.
There are a lot of different types on twitter (I wrote this blog post pointing out a short list of some of the major ones) and each has their own formula of tweet balance. There are some tweeps who are more than anything else like a morning DJ, blasting out news and notes from the scandalous to the profane. Others go on all day chatting with friends. Some really do give updates on what they are doing. Is this okay? With me, it’s okay. I feel you have to work out your twitter identity with fear and trembling.
As for me, I might not be doing twitter right, because after a year I don’t have tens of thousands of followers. But I have enjoyed it a great deal and met some pretty neat folks. That’s good enough for me, for now.
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