Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How to Tell if Somebody Sucks at Twitter.

I've blogged about this topic once before, but I've found new ways that people suck on twitter. Sometimes you'll follow somebody and THEN find out they suck. Here are some tips for recognizing  that a tweep isn't worth following, broken down into what part of their profile you can find these offenses in:

THE AVATAR: The little picture that tells you who you are talking to. It can be a real photo, a heavily photoshopped pic, a cartoon character, a logo, an image from a movie/book/tv show, anything really. Anything... except for the following:

- Their avatar is of their torso.

- Their avatar is of their butt, probably clad in skimpy panties.

- Their avatar is of their cleavage.

- Their avatar is of their duck face.

ALSO: Don't make your avatar a GIF. That's not a dealbreaker, but it's pretty freaking annoying.

THE BIO: The 140 characters you have to tell the world who you are, what you stand for, what they can expect to see in your tweets. 

- Their bio is full of nothing but hashtags. This:

#writer #author #books #novels #fiction #YA #paranormal #hot #vampires #blood #sex #romance #love #story #horror #writing #amwriting #writeclub #words #grammar #vampirewords #vampirebook #bestseller 

is not a description of a person. It is a (poorly) calculated method of attracting viewers.

- Their bio consists of nothing but links to their books being sold on Amazon. Or their etsy shop. Or... you get the idea. Posting these links, or linking to a website that features your work is COMPLETELY FINE. But that does not describe you. If you are absolutely nothing but the sum of your sales, then you need to rethink your life.

THE TWEETSTREAM: Their tweets, plain and simple. Make sure you click on their complete profile to look at these (the preview window shows only their most recent original thoughts... and that can be deceiving).

- Their tweetstream is nothing but links to their old blog posts. Posting blog links is COMPLETELY FINE. Just make sure you're doing other stuff, too. And only tweet the oldies if they're goodies.

- Their tweetstream is overwhelmingly RTs (Re-tweets). They have no original thoughts of their own? They just keep sending out what everybody else says? Also, ten-to-one these RTs are their own version of spam anyway.

- Their tweetstream is nothing but quotes, quips, and impersonal nonsense.

- They've tweeted the phrase "#TeamFollowBack" in the last week. Unless they're making fun. And then that's okay.

- They are misusing common internet lingo (lol = lots of love), are signing their name to every tweet, or are otherwise obviously clueless. The only exception to this is if it's a family member that you want to help out. And they're eighty. And really sweet.

- Related: They are obviously talking to somebody, but not using the @ feature. Or are using the @ feature to talk to the whole world. Just basically looking like they have no idea what they are doing. If they're nice, help them out, otherwise, come back in a few weeks when they've figured things out.

- No @ mentions at all. Or the @ mentions only say "Thanks for the follow, here's where you can buy my book: LINK."

Those are the biggest ways I think people abuse twitter. What do you think, folks?

Oh, BTDubs, the links will take you to the tweep who suggested the infraction. Thanks to Suz, Jes, Darci, Amber, Sarah, Sarah (yes, both), Rachel, and Xe for participating!

And, if you're not on twitter... why the heck not??? It's where all the cool kids are eating lunch now. Or something.


  1. Phew, I don't suck at Twitter! According to you, anyway. I read another blog a week or two ago with a list so long, it left me wondering what sorts of tweets the author actually considered acceptable.

    Also, exception to the "not using the @ feature to talk to people" would be if they're participating in a chat. I see that all the time. But I don't think I've ever seen someone clearly having (or trying to have) a conversation, without somehow connecting, either with @ or a hashtag. (I actually see this way more on FB, posting a status when you mean to post to someone else's page. Some of my relatives just don't get it.)

  2. You know, I am on Twitter, but I really don't like it. I hate the way it looks, I hate the symbols, I hate how hard it is to follow conversations, I hate that everyone uses abbreviations to fit into the 140-character limit. I feel like it's trendy now to say you love Twitter and hate Facebook, but I'm the complete opposite. I posted something on Twitter once and it got no response, but I posted the same thing on Facebook and it got several "likes." The ONLY reason I'm on Twitter is to follow bloggers I like (like you!), since they often post interesting things on Twitter, too. And Twitter on Oscar night was interesting, since everyone was watching the same thing. But I wish so much that Twitter hadn't become one of those things you HAVE to do.

  3. "If you are absolutely nothing but the sum of your sales, then you need to rethink your life." Well freaking said.

    Awesome post in general. :) Thankfully I seem to be doing okay, and maybe I could actually post more links to blog posts now that I consider it...

  4. I think there's a whooooooolle lot of gray area on twitter. Some people are "absolutely no link" and "absolutely no self-promotion" and I think that's harsh. I don't mind seeing it, I even click on them. My old blog generated about 2,500 unique visitors a month from twitter, almost 25% of my traffic, so I get why people do it.

  5. Twitter on Oscar night is a fantastic example of why Twitter is great. You find a group/community that supports you and enjoys the same things and you are automatically welcomed. Following a hastag (Like #Oscars or #WriteClub) connects you with a bunch of people who are all doing/watching/enjoying/talking about the same thing you are, RIGHT THEN.

    I don't follow other people's conversations often, just mostly have my own.

    And I really don't think FB and Twitter are the same thing. What gets a reaction on Twitter almost always falls flat on FB, and vice-versa. I use them differently and enjoy them for different reasons. FB is getting difficult because there are so many people that you are socially obligated to be "friends" with and that gets under my skin. Some of the most annoying people on FB are people I "can't" unfriend :\

  6. You're right. Being in a # chat would eliminate the need for the @ function. But it would also not make the person look like they have no idea what's happening.

    And, seriously, with the old people on facebook! A lady in my church posts like this every time:

    Facebook - I am looking for someone to help me with my plants. - Jean.


    Facebook - That is a very pretty sweater. - Jean.

    It makes me want to sign off forever.

  7. Yep, I agree with a lot of these. In my young, naive days of twitter I followed back. Then I realized how stupid that was. :P

    Have to admit, though, I'm not the best at twitter conversations with the @ symbol. Too much I want to say, and sometimes it makes me nervous to reply to someone. My social anxiety comes out.

  8. Whew, I passed! I haven't always even huge on Twitter until it became my job.. Mostly for the same "I get more of a response on Facebook" reason. Well, and also because I log onto Twitter and realize I'm not nearly as witty as I thought I was. Twitter can be pretty dang hilarious. Unless I'm working, that's when all the obnoxious, entitled morons seem to emerge.

  9. And by 'even huge' I mean 'been huge'.

    Phone: 348 Chelsea: 0

  10. Great points, Gina. I have to say that I hate haTE HATE when people follow me and I follow them back and then they DM me with their blog site or where I can buy their book. Shear stupidity people. That just shows that they are not on Twitter to make connections with real people. They just want to sell their book or blog. So, people... DO NOT DO THAT!


  12. Also? OMIGOSH HI IT'S SO GOOD TO SEE YOU!!!!!!!!

  13. I have NO idea HOW I didn't follow your blog?! But I LOVE this! I see all of this all the time! Drives me crazy!

  14. Because I used to do the Fantasy Casting blog. This one is new and not nearly as popular. Probably because there aren't pictures of Hugh Jackman on it.

  15. or their tweets are not even actual tweets, but one pinterest pin after another. or instagram pictures. THAT IS NOT TWEETING.

  16. hmmmm after reading this I think that maybe I kind of suck at the whole Twitter thing. I should probably work on that.

  17. I created a Twitter account a while back, and then I realized I a) had no idea what I was doing and b) had no interest in learning. Please take it as a sincere compliment when I say, this post convinces me I made the right decision. Better to stay out of the social networking game than to ruin it for those who are already playing. ; )

    In a (slightly) related matter, I followed your pin, "7 tips for teaching your little boys about girls," read the article, loved it, and then realized you wrote it. What a delightful surprise! My husband and I decided early on to take the straightforward approach with our son regarding his body, so I was very happy to read your suggestions for teaching him about girls and to know I had a like-minded friend. My mother-in-law nearly died the last time I said penis. http://familyshare.com/7-tips-for-teaching-your-little-boys-about-girls?Itemid=631#.UaEkhrU4u3s

  18. 1. Thank you for the compliment! I always feel a little weird promoting my own work, but then I realize most people don't notice anyway :)

    2. ANYBODY can learn to use twitter properly, and we are all annoying during our first few weeks (or months... not that I'm speaking from experience or anything... ahem). You should come back and try again. It's fun!

    3. My mother is the same way. She gets completely red-faced embarrassed if one of my little boys accidentally flashes her. They all have to change in the bathroom when they swim at her house because she just can't handle the presence of tiny penises. And she cannot understand why I'm willing to say the word "vulva" to my seven year old. So, I feel your pain. But I promise, the honest approach is working very well for us, and people with children much older than mine also vouch for it. Stay strong, Lisa!

  19. This week I explained to my son that neither he nor daddy will ever have a "baby in their tummies" because they don't have a uterus. I feel like I'm taking a step in the right direction. ; )

  20. LOL, in the genuine context. I guess I need to spend more time reading your blog for the enjoyment of it.