Twitter is making me a bad blogger


If it can’t be said in under 140 characters, it doesn’t need to be said. At least that’s my view of the world when I use Twitter.

Sometimes I blog out of courtesy just to let people know I’m still alive. It saves them from having to make the awkward phone call to my wife to ask about me if I’ve been quiet too long. Instead, they can just check my blog and see if there’s any recent activity, and if so, then there’s no reason to disturb me or my wife by inquiring about my status.

Let’s face it, I have a lot of dangerous hobbies, for example, motorcycling, flying experimental airplanes, eating meat, and so forth, and there’s always a chance that I may not be around tomorrow and no one would know what happened to me. With Twitter, I can keep people aware of my most recent thoughts and experiences and not have to write too much. In fact, with my iPhone, I can snap a picture and thereby add virtually 1000 words to any tweet. It lets the people who know me in real life that I’m still alive. Best of all, my Twitter feed ends up over in the right hand column of this blog and so if you come here and find a stale article you’ve already read, you can always find a crumb in the Twitter feed. And that feature is making me a lazy blogger, because I find that I’m not updating my blog nearly as much as I might otherwise.

And if I ever do have anything important to say, I can blog it here and then tweet the link, thereby letting people know that I actually had something that took longer than 140 characters to say. In fact, I think I’ll tweet the link to this entry after I finish it.

You know you’re a bad blogger when you want to start every entry with, ‘Sorry it’s been so long since my last update…’ One benefit of merging your Twitter feed into your blog is that it gives readers some Twitter crumbs on which to nibble during those dry spells.

Now, where’s a Twitter app that periodically tweets my heartbeat? Better yet, where’s the app that posts my last tweet when that rate has gone to 0 for a few minutes….and what might I post in that final tweet? A picture? a URL? Perhaps it will be my whole life’s story reduced to 140 characters.

Are you one of those people who check in here every now and again to see if I’m still alive? What about you? Where may I surreptitiously inquire about your status? I always imagine, probably incorrectly, that some long lost friend or relative is reading this blog, yet I have no way of knowing. If you’re in that category, please, send me an email or call me (my contact info is up there under that link that reads ‘Contact’) and let me know you’re a reader. I’d really love to hear from you… you know… just to make sure you’re still alive. 😉

My Twitter Policy


Twitter continues to confound me. People who I respect are treating it in the same realm as the second coming so I’ve decided to suspend my skepticism, at least for now. I’ve written about Twitter before, albeit in a slightly satirical way. Now I’ll get a just a little bit more serious.

My friend Rob McNealy, (TwitterID @robmcnealy), has a Twitter policy on his website that inspired me to write my own.

Here it is:

I do not use autofollow. I generally wait for a day or two before I reciprocate a follow because if you’re a crook or identity thief, it takes about that long for Twitter to notice and boot you off. By then, you’ll have disappeared from my list of followers and I won’t have to waste any time. Otherwise, I will generally reciprocate, but not always. I actually visit the profiles of people who follow me before I decide to follow them.

I may not follow you if your Avatar looks like this -> twitter-anon unless I know you personally or if you’re just starting out on Twitter.

I may not follow you if you identify yourself as a quick buck artist who promises to help people make guaranteed millions on-line with no effort while they sleep.

I may not follow you if the website linked to your profile doesn’t appear to have a real person or real company behind it.

If I detect the slightest hint of MLM or network marketing or other pyramid ripoff schemes on your profile, I will most certainly not follow you. Here’s why.

I don’t use Qwitter to see who’s unfollowing me, mostly because that would be vain and it would keep me up at night worrying, but if I ever catch someone following me and then unfollowing me immediately after I’ve reciprocated, look out, because that really pushes my hot button. What kind of egotistical phony would pretend to follow someone just to get another follower and then immediately disconnect from that person? You’re welcome to ignore me, but a least give me the illusion that you care about my inane tweets.

I may unfollow you if you are hellbent on pushing a political agenda. A tweet or two to identify yourself as a card-carrying commie or slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun won’t bother me, but if you expect me to be converted over to your point of view with a continual barrage of venom directed at your political opponents, well that won’t fly with me.

If every single post you make contains a link to your business and how I should visit your website or buy something from you, then I may unfollow you. A continual barrage of commercials is something I can get on TV or the radio if I really wanted it.

If your posts look like you queued them up and fired them from a machine gun, I may unfollow you. Spread it out, I don’t want your mug, as attractive as it may be, stretching from the top to the bottom of my Tweetdeck.

If you decide to make up a longform blog post, and then chop it up into 140 character segments and send it out sequentially, don’t be surprised if I unfollow you half way through the ordeal. Just put it in your blog and tweet the link.

Telling the world good morning or good night on Twitter is OK, just once. If you make it a daily habit out of it, I may not unfollow you, but I will find a way to ignore you.

I reserve the right to change (or periodically violate) these policies at any time.

Still hungry for some more, better, Twitter advice? Here a few articles on Twitter etiquette:

Twitter’s 10 commandments
Twitter’s top 10 18 do’s and don’ts