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Your No Apologies Tour: What’s your Twitter ratio?

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Many people on Twitter make a big deal about unfollowing anyone who tries to sell them something.

That’s screwed up.

I wish I could remember where I saw it so I could give the glory to the Google+ person who came up with this powerful observation:

“I’m amazed at the number of people who don’t understand what spam is,” she said. “The definition seems to have expanded to include anything you don’t want to read.”

Some people have a problem with being asked for something (even when there’s no obligation to read, to buy or even to acknowledge the attempt to sell a product or service.) It’s not enough for some people to simply refuse to read the commercial link. They get self-righteous and announce they are unfollowing anyone who dares try to sell them something.

That attitude casts aspersions on my intent. The first salesperson who trained me told me two things I’ll never forget: He said “ZZ Top is right. Girls do go crazy for a sharp-dressed man,” and “I’m not here to sell anyone anything. I’m here to help them buy.”

Okay, let’s grant that I’m a pig if all I do is pester you to buy, buy, buy! Agreed. But what’s the corollary? What’s your responsibility? I propose that you’re an ungracious snot if you can’t tolerate anyone who gives you the opportunity to check out something you might like (or even love.) 

If you say you value reading but get pissed if an author tries to get you to look at their book, that’s unfair. Not interested? Just don’t read it. Why get angry that someone tried to share their work with you? No one’s polluting your timeline. Just choose what you pay attention to without the drama. I don’t care for Carrot Top’s comedy. That doesn’t mean I have to hate his guts and declare a fatwa. I just change the channel (quickly!)

Does that mean Twitter should only be commercials? No, that wouldn’t be effective. Eventually you’ll tire everyone out. Some misguided fools use trickery or even make the mistake of trying to extort attention through Twitter and alienate people who could have helped them (see Eden Baylee’s weird experience below.) But if we can find a reasonable Twitter ratio of fun/information/helping others/even shameless self-promotion, there will be no need to apologize. Unless you’re royalty or a lottery winner, everybody serves somebody and we’re all selling something.

If you’re such a delicate doily that you can’t handle the mention of a blog post, a book or a service, just unfollow…just about everybody. Use Twitter as quick email among your friends and leave it at that (or don’t use it at all.) Don’t feel you have to announce you’re going, just go. The rest of us will take part in the world and try to feed ourselves off the proceeds of our labors.

What’s your Twitter Ratio?

How often do you tweet your blog link before you let it go? How much of your feed is commercials versus fun and informational? How often are you tweeting about other people’s work to help them meet their dreams? We give  and we get. If you resent it when someone asks for your attention, maybe your expectations are screwy. 

Maybe those people you despise aren’t pigs. Maybe you’re just dealing with reality poorly.

Filed under: Rant, Rejection, self-publishing, Social Media, Twitter, , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. eden baylee says:

    Hah! You’re priceless – and thanks for linking me to your post, Chazz,

    Couple of comments:

    It takes a lot of energy to follow, then unfollow. Everyone is selling something on Twitter. Some do it well and others are a pain in the ass. So far, I’ve only unfollowed a handful of times because of consistent and constant badgering tweets that I didn’t care for. These individuals were not close friends, and we had never so much as had a Twitter chat, so no harm done.

    Secondly, are you sure I shouldn’t declare a fatwa over Carrot Top?


  2. Chazz says:

    Haha! Thanks for reading!

    Uh, no, Carrot Top isn’t hurting anybody. I admit that I’m still on the fence about Dennis Miller, though. 🙂

    • eden baylee says:

      Yes, I’m joking about Carrot Top! He’s funny with his silly props, although he’s beginning to look like a prop himself with how he’s bulked up so much.
      Now that you mention it about Dennis Miller…he used to be a cool guy and then completely moved RIGHT of RIGHT! He’s not even funny, just makes me cringe. I’d love to see him spar with either Jon Stewart or even Bill Maher. They’d kick his butt.

  3. Chazz says:

    Couldn’t agree more on Dennis. I used to love him. He used to be funny in his “I don’t want to get off on a rant here” days. Now he’s a shill for O’Reilley. Notice Dennis used to say, “I may be wrong but…” Now that he’s ultra-Conservative, it seems he thinks he’s infallible and everyone left of him is an idiot. I miss the old Dennis,

    I love Jon, but he’d be too polite to Dennis (Stewart’s worst interviews are always with fellow comedians. He’s best at taking apart a prick like Jim Cramer.) On the other hand, yes, Bill would shred him on many points. (Love Bill! I’m seeing Maher in a couple of weeks.)

    And Carrot Top…wow that got weird. He used to be a skinny little guy. I assumed those delts are implants (that went awry.) Those are implants, right?

  4. Reena Jacobs says:

    I’ve been horrible at twitter the last month or so. Actually, I’ve been horrible at social media in general, except when it comes to an occasional forum on Goodreads and LinkedIn.

    Even so, I think a little balance is important. Not too long ago, I tweeted something to the effect, “I follow tweeters who tweet with other tweeters.” In fact, if I looked at my tweet feed how it’s been the last few weeks, I doubt I’d even follow myself. 🙂

    It’s okay to advertise and such. There’s a lot of good information out there, and if not good, at least interesting. I like to follow some of the links my twitter buddies send. However, all advertisement all the time and nothing else is lame.

    To me, twitter is about interactions. And if all you do is tweet links, you’re not interacting with anyone.

    The other item I look at is the number of tweets compared to followers/following. If I see someone with 10,000 followers/following and 15 tweets, it tells me they’re more interested in follower count than interaction. I won’t follow them. However, if someone has maybe 15 tweets and 10 followers, it tells me they’re just starting out and need a bit of twitter luvin’.

    Anyway, nice article. 🙂 Now to stalk Eden and see what she has to say on the topic.

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