Posts Tagged ‘Twitterqette’

Twitter Etiquette Part II: Auto-Tweeting Is OK For #FollowFriday/#FF Posting. Feat @jpuopolo & @oatmeal

February 25, 2011 2 comments

Some FollowFriday Auto-Tweets Set Up In My TweetDeck For Today's Tweeting,


In this post “Twitter Etiquette: The Do’s & Don’ts Of Auto-Tweeting (My Opinion)” written exactly a month ago on January 25th I discuss what I think is OK and not OK if you are going to set up an Auto-Tweet on Twitter.

However, as each #FollowFriday (now more often than not shortened to #FF), passes and I see tons of people who write a bunch of names with the #FF hashtag preceding it I became less and less likely to pay any attention to the #FF tweets. Then, I got a #FF tweet from one @jpuopolo at around the same time as I read The Oatmeal’s “How #FollowFriday Is SUPPOSED To Work” comic (I pasted only part of it below to make it a lot smaller because otherwise it would take up this entire page and also that part illustrates what I am talking click the link above to read the entire comic).


What I would see on #FF and my reaction as a result. Go to to see the full comic.


Now @jpuopolo is one of those people who, in my opinion, is ‘doing it right’. His #FF tweets are always dedicated to one or maybe two people per tweet. There is always a reason given in the tweet why we should actually want to follow that person or why @jpuopolo likes that person or even just something funny about the person to make them into a person and not some random Twitter handle accompanied by a bunch more and a hashtag.


The way that @jpuopolo does his #FF tweets is pretty much exactly what The Oatmeal recommends as the proper/expected way – the way #FollowFriday is SUPPOSED to work. But when I tried doing it one week I found that with the amount of conversations and experiences I have in a week it is sometimes difficult to remember who and why I would like to issue a #FF tweet for when it actually comes to Friday.

This is why I have changed my rules for when it is OK to auto-tweet. I think it is completely legitimate to set up auto-tweets for fully formed and thought out #FollowFriday tweets. This way, when Friday comes not only do you give some credit where credit is due and encourage other people to follow someone who you think is awesome – your #FF tweet is really from the heart because when you wrote it on Tuesday you really were thinking at the time, “Wow, this person rocks…other people should get to experience the fantastamazingness of their Twitter streams!”

One final thing, I asked @jpuopolo: “How do you keep coming up with all these awesometastic #FF? thanx so much!” and pictured below was his reply:



Final Thought: Do you agree that this is a completely legitimate use for auto-tweets?

Have a great #FollowFriday and a great weekend!

To check out my first Twitter Etiquette post from January 25, 2011 click here.

Twitter Etiquette: The Do’s & Don’ts Of Auto-Tweeting (My Opinion)

January 25, 2011 2 comments

Many posts have been written on this topic but quite frankly I don’t think that we will ever reach a true consensus on what is the “correct way” to use social media tools like Twitter. The fact of the matter is that interacting on Twitter is very much like interacting in the physical world on certain levels. What I mean by that is that no one can ever really tell you your method of interacting is ‘wrong’ because if you go to another country or culture what is socially weird in the first place is the norm in the other. Even social norms in one place can – and do – change over time.

Example: before the 1960’s EVERY MAN wore a hat when he went out of the house.  There were different styles for people with different jobs but all in all, every man wore a hat when he went outside. As the 1960’s developed less and less men wore hats in the Western World. If you re-watch the show Mad Men which begins in the 1960 through until the end of the current season which ends in 1965 you will notice that the main character, Don Draper, wears his hat out less and less as the seasons progress. Before the 1960’s it was so expected that men had hats when they went out that places had ‘hat checks’ along with their coat checks. (I read that as I researched this example, I had no idea about this beforehand!)

Don Draper of Mad Men in all his hatted glory.

My point is we will never be able to tell someone they are using Twitter – or any social media for that matter – ‘wrong’. If they can reach their goals doing what they do and using the tools at hand they way they want to use them then that is awesome. It is not up to us to educate them.

That long-winded introduction being said here is when I think it is OK to  auto-tweet. If you disagree let me know in the comments! This is just my $0.02, you don’t have to agree.

NOTE: If you don’t know what an auto-tweet is, it is when you use a program like TweetDeck or HootSuite to schedule a tweet to go out automatically without any interaction from you – or your computer even being on. It is also called a scheduled tweet or an autotweet. Many people do not like them and I have heard many people rant & rail against them while I have seen many other people use them. I follow my own rules as described below for when it’s OK and when it isn’t OK to auto-tweet.

When It Is OK To Auto-Tweet
  • You’re a night owl and are browsing the internet at 4am when most of the people you speak to on Twitter are very much asleep. You find a super awesome link that you’d love to share with your Twitter followers but know if you tweet it now by the time people wake up it will be long gone and forgotten in their twitter streams. So you set up an auto-tweet to automatically tweet the link & your comment on it at some point in the morning when you will be awake and available to reply to people who respond to your link & comments.
  • Your friend asks you to remind them of something they need to do in hours or days from now or you want to remind yourself to do something. I don’t see any harm here in setting an auto-tweet up here. It isn’t like you’re advertising something for the world to see, it’s probably a one-off tweet and if you set it as an @reply no one who isn’t following both of you will even see the tweet.
  • Sort of like the above two, if you are privy to an awesome deal that hasn’t been announced yet or gone live yet but want to let your circle of followers/friends know the second it is available and don’t want to forget about it by all means set it up as an auto-tweet. People will be glad to hear about the super awesome deal or product (yes, it has to actually be super awesome not just in your opinion) and so the fact that you aren’t present when it is being tweeted is less important.
When It Is NOT OK To Auto-Tweet
  • You are advertising something and tweet essentially the same thing over and over again. Twitter will not let you literally tweet the same tweet twice in a specific period of time but changing one letter or word & tweeting essentially the same thing isn’t cool either. If you are trying to promote an event how about revealing different details about it within each tweet that links to your RSVP page so that it isn’t essentially the same message over and over and over again.

Remember, the above is my opinion and that is all it can ever be. Some people won’t give a damn if you auto-tweet, some people won’t notice, and some people think it is a violation of their human rights to be subjected to your auto-tweets.

Personally I know a couple of people who auto-tweet and do I really care? No, quite honestly I don’t care that much. If you follow and are engaging with enough people on Twitter unless someone is really spamming the same message over and over again it tends to wash over you and you don’t even notice. When you do notice you might grin to yourself and think, “Ah, @AutoTweeter is auto-tweeting again” and then you will go on with your day/night.

What do you think about my stance on this? Agree? Disagree? You’re entitled and I encourage you to voice your support/opposition/apathy to me.

How To Clap When You’re Addicted To Your Phone & Social Media

January 22, 2011 2 comments

Pepsi Refresh Project Tweetup by @PhotoJunkie (

For most of us with smartphones it is very difficult to sometimes put our phones down. As you can see in the above picture from the Pepsi Refresh Project Tweetup by @PhotoJunkie we addicts to social media spend a lot of time on our phones tweeting even when we are out in public with groups of people. Most of us who are used to hanging out with fellow social media addicts do not think anything of it when people violate normal etiquette rules and are looking down at their phones while we are talking to them. We are well aware that (1) we do  it too and (2) no offense is meant by it and (3) most of us are quite adept multitaskers who can listen to a conversation while tweeting about it too.

When I’m tweeting I usually only have one hand free. Like in this picture of me with @Got2ridemyhorse from #XLBday88 by @The_JMoney (

However, one of the problems I often find myself having when I am out and about listening to a speaker or watching a performance and all the while tweeting/BBMing/texting/browsing the Internet is that I only have one hand which remains free for other uses. Often, it is true, this free hand is used for holding a beer as in the picture above but what do you do when the on stage act which you are tweeting about finishes and you are still busy with one hand on your phone? How do you show your appreciation with the rest of the crowd – who aren’t an addict like you and have 2 hands free – who are all clapping? We already know there is no way I’m going to stop tweeting to clap so there must be another way to continue tweeting AND clap at the same time without knocking my phone out my hands. (Hey, I already admitted I’m an addict, don’t judge me!) And so, I have come up with a brilliant solution which I would like to share with you – and please feel free to use it whenever you are out and about. What I do is I ensure I am not holding a beer in my otherwise free hand and I simply slap the side of my leg – below the  pocket so as not to crush stuff in there – and it provides a very similar sound to the clapping of two hands together.

In case you are wondering, I have experimented with slapping other parts of my body – no not my crotch, I wasn’t even trying that one – and they don’t work in terms of the awkwardness of hitting them repeatedly, and their very biological makeup. Your chest will not supply quite the same sound because it is largely hollow inside your lungs, also it is quite awkward smacking your chest while you are trying to tweet…that repeatedly moving hand is an annoying distraction! Slapping your opposite upper arm WOULD work except you’d probably run into the problem of dropping your phone and all the shaking will probably prevent you from tweeting. No, the leg/thigh region is the best place for you to slap as an ersatz clap for all of us social media/iPhone/CrackBerry addicts out there.

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

The Difficulty Of Conveying Emotion, Tone, & Inflection On The Internet

January 10, 2011 2 comments

Copyright 2010 ZITS Partnership. Distributed by King Features Syndicate.

It has been said time and time again that a large part of human interaction is our body language coupled with the tone and inflection of our voice and a much smaller part is, surprisingly, the words actually spoken. This was less of a problem with our last major society changing communications device: the Telephone. Although we lose out on body language when talking on the phone at least we can still hear the other person’s tone of voice which greatly helps us to understand the true meaning behind their words. As seen in the above comic strip “Zits” when we attempt to move conversation over to the written word (in the form of text messaging or emailing or tweeting) oftentimes things can be misinterpreted or misunderstood completely or even not understood at all.

I have seen this myself countless times and one specific interaction of mine comes to mind to use as an example. During November’s annual Movember campaign (a campaign where men around the world ‘donate their faces’ and grow mustaches to draw support and awareness to prostate cancer) I was interacting with the Twitter account @MoChampions. Innocently (I thought), I tweeted the question “anyone know who is running the @MoChampions account” to which they replied “@Dan_L why I am Dan? What’s up?“. I was fairly taken aback by the strange answer but looking back on it I knew it was them joking around and not being evasive. I was wondering only because I knew some of my Twitter friends were running the campaign in Toronto and I wanted to know if it was one of them behind the account name. I therefore replied to the tweet “@MoChampions I is a pronoun and doesn’t really answer the q. I was wondering if it was one of the tweeps I know running the account“.

I thought I was just pushing lightly for an actual answer but little did I know they were wondering on the other side of their computers why I was so annoyed and combative with them – something I was not attempting to be. We Direct Messaged back and forth after that – they still kept my curiosity piqued without revealing anything! – and a few days later at the Movember Tweetgasm “MoGasm” event at the Gladstone Hotel I met with the guy behind the account who told me that I had the person actually sitting and running the account (who works for him) worried that they were really pissing me off. Of course, I told him that nothing could be further from the truth. I just wasn’t able to convey my joking tone and smiles via Twitter as it relies on words and although the words are sometimes coupled with emoticons and net acronyms like LOL or ROTFLAMO or even the classic haha even those can be misinterpreted as sarcastic instead of joking. Needless to say, the man behind the MoChampions account and I had a laugh about the whole episode once we were in front of each other in real life.

To sum up: In this day and age of instant communication we have to remember that there is a good portion of human language that is lost when we type our words instead of speak them. Always be careful to make sure the other person (or people) knows when you are joking around and when you are being serious. Remember that your words can be reinterpreted by different people to mean different things – ESPECIALLY if they have never met you in real life and know your personality from their own real world experience with you.

[Above ZITS comic from December 26, 2010 via Arcamax publishing at Copyright 2010 ZITS Partnership. Distributed by King Features Syndicate.]

Twitter conversation tweets pictured above can be found at these 3 links Link 1, Link 2, Link 3

Suggestion: When Changing Your Twitter Handle Overlay Your Old One On Your Avatar

January 5, 2011 1 comment

In my time on Twitter I have seen a number of people who have changed their “Twitter handle” – formally referred to by Twitter as a “Username” – from one day to the next with no warning or notice. Sometimes, it is because the name they originally wanted has been let back into the public domain for whatever reason. Sometimes it is just because the person decided they wanted to switch and just picked a new handle. Often, these new handles don’t have anything to do with the old handle and the person with the new handle decides to change their Twitter avatar (profile picture) as well. This results in people, like me and you, starting to see some seemingly random person posting in their tweet stream. Then we begin wondering who this person is and when did we start following them? This is especially true when the person’s avatar isn’t a very good or clear picture of them or if they have no other information in their profile like their full name listed, a completed bio, or a link to another website of theirs.

When you change your Twitter handle go into whatever image editor you use and insert your OLD handle in a readable font, size, and color in a noticeable place (top or bottom) of the new avatar.

As such, I am going to suggest a new point of “Twitter Etiquette” (Twetiquette? Twitterqette?). When you change your Twitter handle go into Paint (the simplest image editor which every copy of Microsoft Windows comes with) or whatever image editor you use and insert your OLD handle in a readable font, size, and color in a noticeable place (top or bottom) of the new avatar. Leave it there for a week or so, that should be long enough.

Doing this is much more effective and much less annoying than tweeting a message every day (or more) “Hey I used to be @OldHandle but this is account now has a new handle” when you change your handle.

My current (Jan 5, 2011) New Years themed avatar with my "old handle" noted.

The only other – possibly better – way I could think of  to do this would be to change your “Name” to include your old handle. In this method, where my handle on Twitter, as you know, is @Dan_L and my “Name” is Dan Levy if I were to change my handle to @GuruDan or something like that I would simply change my “Name” to ‘Dan Levy formerly @Dan_L’.

What do you think? Is it a simple and yet effective & unobtrusive enough way to accomplish the goal of letting everyone know your new Twitter handle? Have a better idea? Let me know.

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