It must be the weekend because much like my post earlier today everyone seems to be lining up to take some shots at social media and even bigger shots at Twitter. It’s not that these things might not deserve it especially when we find out we have ghosts in the machine but really it does get a little old after awhile.
I’ve had three posts from earlier today lined up all ready to shotgun together a nice little rant and then Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins had to go and ruin the flow – more on that in a bit. For now though I just want to take a look at two specific posts from this morning because in of themselves they were some pretty good smack down. First up is a post from Douglas Karr over at The Marketing Technology Blog and while I’m not use to Douglas going on a rant like this, it definitely went well with the morning coffee.
His post called The Wicked Lies that Social Media Gurus Weave nicely stated much of what is wrong with the whole social media world right now. His basic point was that social media sites don’t come with instruction manuals. There is no right way or wrong way to use them regardless of what the gurus might be telling you. In the post he lists a bunch of things that people shouldn’t be telling those using the sites not to do
- Don’t tell me I shouldn’t use auto direct messages on Twitter.
- Don’t tell me I can’t sell on my blog.
- Don’t tell me I must be publishing videos on YouTube.
- Don’t tell me not to advertise… everywhere
- Don’t tell me I need to participate in the conversation on Facebook
- Don’t tell me I can’t send an email with one big image and no text in my email marketing campaign.
- Don’t tell me not to cuss.
Just slicing and dicing Douglas’ list of don’t doesn’t do his whole post justice but for the most part I agree with what he had to say. As Chris Brogan said in a post some time back there is no right way or wrong way to do this social media thing – just your way.
So we follow this up with a post by Meg Pickard where she provides a list of things that in her eyes are just bad Twitter etiquette; or as Alan Patrick at Broadstuff called it “Twitterquette for Dummies”. For Meg any of the following is justifiable reasons for not following people
- Endless retweeting
- Posting link after link after link
- Saying good morning, hello, good night to your followers
- Going to an event and liveblogging it via Twitter
- Using it to organise an event or rendezvous with other people who happen to be in your twitter list
- Flooding the screen by updating 84 times in rapid succession
- Referring to people as “tweeple” or “tweeps”, questions as “twestions” or “twask”, adding someone to your list as a “twadd”, use of “tweet” or any other kind of meaningless derivative which is wholly unnecessary and infantile.
Now I will say right off the bat that I am in total agreement with her last two items and the flooding one has caused me to un-follow more than one person recently. As for the rest – meh – chalk it up to be the nature of the new microblogging status updating world. Either live with or ignore what are pretty well minor irritations – it’s not that hard to do ‘cause I do it all the time.
Anyway this was the ammunition I was going to work together into a fine end of a Friday night cranky post – that was until, like I said above, Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins had to go and rain on my cranky parade. While his post mainly centered around Meg Pickard’s post on Twitter much of what he says can equally apply to any of the social media sites we all use.
One of the things that makes Twitter, well, Twitter instead of something puzzlingly popular like MySpace or Facebook is the fact that it’s so versatile and used in an endless myriad of ways. People use it to update the world about their cats. People use it as a tool for journalistic reporting or discovery. People use it as an opt-in chat room. People use it as a link blog. People use it as a mobile group messaging tool.
Bottom line? It’s versatile. And you have no business telling me the right way to use it.
Guess what? We’re all doing it wrong. Because we’re all doing it our own way, and it’s not always going to match the way you think it works best. And just like pretty much all of life, we’ll get there somehow. Thanks for sharing your opinion. Glad you got that off your chest.
Thank god we aren’t all the same or that we all use these services the same way. Thank goodness that we are learning new ways to do new things but in the end it is all about