Everyone seems to agree that there is a right way and a wrong way to use Twitter.
One thing I learned from TweetCamp San Antonio is that no one seems to be able to agree on what exactly the right way consists of.
I had a great time at TweetCamp San Antonio. I met some fantastic people, had some great conversations, and gained about 40 followers. I was a bit disappointed by the light attendance for my presentation, but I understand that the presentation in the other room (placed on the schedule after I had placed mine) had a big draw. Ah well. The feedback I got was great, and with word of mouth, several people asked me afterward to give them an overview. What I was truly bummed about was that I missed out on Bo Lora’s presentation, but was very happy to have gotten a chance to speak with him afterwards.
On many of the basics of using Twitter, most of the people I spoke to and listened to did seem to agree… not being obnoxious, annoying and intrusive; don’t be Twignorant; don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to know about you (because they will find it); on those kinds of things, there is a general sense of agreement.
But just what does constitute obnoxious behavior? What is proper Twitter netiquette? How important are followers, and why? What can you do with Twitter? What should you do with it? To borrow an expression from another truism, “If you lined up all the Twitter experts end to end, they’d all point in different directions”.
I was in two presentations, practically back-to-back, where one said that chasing the goal of having thousands of followers was ridiculous and a waste of time and effort with no real gain, while the next talked about the strategy and tactics of gaining followers because high numbers of followers was essential!
It wasn’t until after my presentation, after I had seen others give advice opposite to my own, that I could see that I may have been a little overly prescriptive in my thoughts in using Twitter. Not that I am wrong, but it grated on me listening to them say definitively that their way was the right way, and I can imagine that things that I said where I might have stepped on the experience of others may have similarly grated on them.
In fact, it seems that the defining factor for what works on Twitter is… whatever works for YOU.
The presentation linked below is reflective of my experience on Twitter, relates to what I am comfortable with and speaks against the things that bother me. Your mileage may vary, consult a physician immediately if you show signs of an allergic reaction. Or something like that.
I encourage you to get out and kick the tires and find out what works for you. Check out the opinions of others – I’ve got no exclusive hold on “the ultimate twuth”.
Just remember to not be obnoxious, annoying or intrusive. Whatever that means…
This version of my presentation differs from my earlier presentation with the elimination of the step-through on getting signed up, and the addition of additional wisdom gained in the meantime (and a need to fill out the time allotted!).
Here are the links in the presentation:
Find Your Community (Blog)
Twouble With Twitters (Video)
Twitter’s got versatility (Article)
All You Need to Know to Twitter (Article)
Using Twitter and Facebook To Find a Job (Article)
Twitter message could be cyber criminal at work (Blog and discussion)
TweetCampSA Video! (new!)
More Fun with Twitter Fail: Tweeting Too Hard
Jim Adcock is Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Check out other career-related entries.