Using Twitter

José Picardo in a recent blog post is not too happy with the way in which some people use Twitter.

Twitter is being abused. I’m not talking about spammers or celebrities, who we know use Twitter as a means to achieve self promotion. I am talking about people like you and me, with similar interests and expertise (education in this case), who are followed by many but only choose to follow a tiny proportion back.

My complaint, whine – whatever you want to call it – is that by not following back most of their followers, these people are, wittingly or unwittingly, taking advantage of their followers’ willingness to share, participate and converse, whilst putting in evidence their lack thereof.

No one is forced to follow anyone on Twitter, nor should it be the case that people follow each other.

If you want to be followed and the @famousteacher does not follow you, then don’t follow them.

If you’re not happy about helping them and them not helping you then don’t help them, or don’t follow them.

The problem arises that everyone wants Twitter to be their ideal tool and the reality is that it is everyone’s ideal tool, just that not everyone has the same ideals.

I believe that Twitter is not about information and links but is all about the coffee. However many don’t want the coffee chat and therefore my model is not what they want.

To be honest that is the beauty of Twitter.

The reality is that we can’t tell people how to use Twitter as they have their way of using it and you have yours. They are not the same way and nor can they be. Unless we each follow exactly the same people, use the same tools, and follow the same etiquette it is impossible for each of us to have and use Twitter in the same way.

We need to work out how Twitter works for us and use it accordingly. follow people for a range of reasons, I never expect any of them to follow me back.

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2 Responses to Using Twitter

  1. Nick Sharratt says:

    Hear hear. I never have understood the concept of ‘automatically follow back’, and I understand that people who do are also a large driver for the spam bots (accumulating their own followers to look more legit).

    The way I see it: speech is free, listeners are earned.

  2. Clare says:

    We use Twitter as a fun & informal way of getting info across to our students. Lots of them follow us, and we always try to reply to @ messages, but I really don’t think they’d even want us to follow them in return. They’d possibly see it as an invasion of privacy, a bit too close for comfort I think!

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