It’s interesting what grinds other people’s gears. Here are some complaints I’ve seen about Twitter etiquette. Let’s discuss, with fencing
terms*! En francais! Commence! En garde!
Attaque indirecte: Some consider it a breach of etiquette to have too many #hashtags in your Twitter post.
Froisssement: How many is “too many” and who made you king? Got any other arbitrary rules? Are you the one who made spats go away? If there were still spats, I’d definitely be one of those guys wearing spats! I’m still rocking the fedora.
Coup droit: After being followed, some consider it bad manners for the followee to have the audacity to send a message with a welcome autotweet. As in, “Thanks for climbing on board! If you want to know more about me, here’s my website etc.,…
Septime haute: This is another arbitrary one and I could very well argue that (a) you followed me and that’s how I run my show. You don’t like it, you know where the “unfollow” button is. (b) It seems an awfully friendly gesture of politeness to welcome someone to your Twitter stream if they thought you were cool enough to follow in the first place. You say “rude” and I reply “friendly”. That is the stalemate of our conversation of crossed swords.
However, so we don’t end in a draw and since so many people took this bit of etiquette as the new social contract on Twitter, I capitulated. I don’t do the gentlemanly thing anymore. I’m glad to have new followers on Twitter, but I don’t send out the auto-welcome anymore. If you follow me (@rchazzchute), you now have no idea that I give a shit.
Bravo. You win. Touché!
Opposition: But Chazz, autotweets are rude!
Passata-sotto: If that’s all you have to give, yes. However, autotweeting had its place as a useful time management tool. If you have a decent following on Twitter, it’s impossible to “engage” everyone. Then somebody made up a rule that autotweets are rude and too many people believed them.
There’s always somebody who wants to round up the cows and put a fence around them when they were just fine in the open field minding their own business. Scolds are awfully boring people, aren’t they? I should know. I’m being one right now.
Coup droit: If you can’t engage everyone adequately, you must be following too many people.
Balestra & beat: If you don’t follow enough people, maybe you’re a narcissist who isn’t really all that interested in the world.
Presser: But what’s with all these people spamming us all the time? They’re shameless!
Double: Maybe they just aren’t funny or useful enough, but that’s not spam. I don’t believe in spam. It’s only spam if it’s fraud from a Nigerian prince who wants to give you money from a needlessly complex banking transaction that start’s out, “Dear beloved, I’m going to prey upon your desperation, gullibility and greed…”
Mal-parry (in your Monty Python voice) SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!
Remise: When you cry “SPAM!”, I hear that you aren’t interested. But if you wanted it — whatever it is — you’d be pleased to be made aware of the opportunity from a brilliant author, entrepreneur or artist. We’re not all into the same stuff, that’s all.
Coup de taille: When I look at Twitter, I see no spam. I see stuff I ignore and stuff that intrigues me. I do not cast aspersions on people who try to sell me on anything sports-related. I pity them because they don’t know that I have no interest in cheap Superbowl tournament tickets. (Is “tournament” the right word for a swimming competition such as the Superbowl?)
Attaque au fer: Seems petty to be mean to people who are just trying to get attention to their art and support their families. If you tried their wares, you might even enjoy yourself. We’re all just squirrels trying to get a nut and chances are, you have a job, too. Either you’re advertising your business to keep eating or someone is doing it for you. Advertising is so easy to ignore, it’s impossible for me to get upset about it.
Coup d’arret: It’s not that the drumbeat of “Buy my books” is offensive. The problem is that it’s ineffective. We have to be funnier, smarter and more creative than that.
~ Confession: I, Robert Chazz Chute, fenced in college. The most fun I ever had wasn’t the formal training. It was in practice when we’d fence without supervision, sometimes three at a time! It was less like a stuffy fencing school and more like The Princess Bride. Everything’s more fun when it’s less stuffy, including Twitter.
If you’re interested in the meaning of these fencing terms, check them out here. And click here for the latest All That Chazz podcast and links to my books of bizarre themes and intense violence. And don’t cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. Cry freedom.
- How to get attention from internet celebrities (asmartbear.com)
- Stuff not to say on your blog (chazzwrites.com)
- Seven tips about book marketing very few will heed (chazzwrites.com)
- Author Interview – Robert Chazz Chute – The Bunny’s Review (chazzwrites.com)