Monday, December 29, 2008

Things that people do on Twitter that bug me

I love twitter. Its a great way to communicate, but there are a few things that people do that bug me. So here is my list.

I have been thinking about this for a while and decided to write about it after reading a post written by Chris Brogan, Social Media is no place for robot behavior.

1. Auto DMs
Every now and then, when I follow someone, I get and auto DM thanking me for the follow. I hate these and I don't care if there is or isn't a link to your website or some other self promotion. At the end of the day, its still a self promotion tactic. Plus its just plain impersonal and that's just not what social media is about. People who use auto DM just don't get social media and from now on, if I get an auto DM, I am sending them a link to this post.

2. No Profile info
I don't like when someone follows me and they have no profile info. How am I supposed to know if I would be interested in following them? Its only 160 character, and if someone can't take the time to fill it out or isn't interesting enough to fill it up, then I don't want to follow them.

3. No Tweets
It bugs me when a person follows me and they have only one tweet that says, "Just joined Twitter". How am I supposed to find that interesting? If you are new to twitter, before you go out and follow anyone, fill out your profile with at least 10 or 20 tweets. This is good for two reasons. First, people need to know you are active. If it looks like an inactive account, no one will want to follow it. Second, tweets help people to know what you are truly interested in and will help them to determine if they want to follow you or not.

4. People who are obviously on Twitter just to sell something
Twitter isn't about selling. If you are thinking about joining Twitter just so you can sell your "10 secrets to working from home on the internet" then don't bother. Does anyone still buy that garbage? Sure, we all do a little self promotion in some way or another, but really we are here to communicate and participate in a conversation. Not just sell something.

5. No Profile Pic
I think that Twitter intentionally made the default profile pic weird and ugly so that people wouldn't leave it up for very long. Its easy to upload a pick and doesn't take long. Having the default profile pic tells me that you aren't really active on twitter and don't really plan on participating.

So thats my short list. What do people do on twitter that bothers you?


Dun said...

That's a solid list. My biggest twitter pet peeve is the spam follow: someone who doesn't know you, or doesn't have a common interest/location, just randomly follows you. Usually their stats look like "1500 following/5 followers". That annoys the heck out of me.

Unknown said...

Great article - although I am to blame of some mistakes you mentioned like for instance automatic greetings (without the link!) send to new persons following me (not any more - after re-thinking it!). Well, all of us make mistakes learning new technology ;) .
Anyway - I agree with you. Let me add/underline some things which irritate me:
1. Constant self-promotion (and... nothing but this).
2. Automatic messages on everyday basis welcoming new "followers" + constant complaining that nobody, one follows, is entertaining enough on Twitter.
3. Social pressure to follow back each person who follows you...("unwritten rule").
4. Links in DM's.(one of the reason so many people were caught in the latest scam).
But, well, I like Twitter and I am using it! :)
I dream only sometimes of a bit better interface - I know, I know - I could use Twitdeck or Twhirl or any other of thousands clients out there! My problem is that each of those clients has only one of the features I find useful (Twitdeck - grouping, Twhirl - following both Twitter and FriendFeed, iTweet - threaded discussions and so on).
As for now I hope that my dream application will come to Twitter one day and - I keep on "tweeting" - it is worth an effort if I can be be of a help (even for one person only!) :)
PS. Twitter is not only about a conversation for me, it is also about sharing (knowledge, thoughts etc.). But it is just me...

Anonymous said...

OK, what the hell is Twitter and all the rest? No, I am not joking, I thought it was an instant messaging system for the young to mass comunicate with their mates, saying something like, "we are all meeting up at Alford for coffee" or something.

My friend wants me to join, but I do not talk all the time, I am on Yahoo Answers, I have a good score for Best Answers, but to talk about what I do all day would be sad.

I am on Facebook, I joined to keep intouch with friends who do not live here in Greece, as I have travelled a lot, I thought it would be a great way to keep in touch with everyone, but I found a couple of apps that I am addicted to, I spend too much time fighting or saving already, why should I Twit?

I am on Skype, I stay in contact with my family that way, and some friends, but no strangers, I have lots of email accounts, not because I a popular, but to get away from the constant spam.

So what does Twitting do for me?

Propocius said...

"things that people do or not that bug you" is entirely up to you.
meaning it is you who decide to get bugged or not.
i am not a social media enthusiastic, you can find me on twitter (now following you) and on facebook but i am only interested in understanding it and it's technology.
my behavior on twitter might bug you. in my opinion, it is enough to have the tools that allow you to keep behaving the way you see fit and leave me to do my own thing.
even if you think the network should be a certain way and become a certain thing there is no way of guaranteeing this.
you can only use the network to try and influence people to go your way.