So Twitter is incredibly trendy of late. Everyone’s talking about it…but that doesn’t mean that everyone, you know, “gets it.” Lots of you still have questions about how the platform works. So we invited you to write in with those questions. Your letters flooded in…and Twitter has answered.
As I mentioned this morning, I used to be PRETTY SKEPTICAL about you…but I’m going to give you another shot. So, I’m wondering: what’s an APPROPRIATE number of tweets to post each day? How do I become an “engaged journotwit” without being an “ANNOYING EVANGELIST”?
Thanks for writing, Mike. You should ideally post 1,000 or so tweets a day. Also, I’m not sure if you knew this, but each tweet has to be exactly 140 characters long—no more, no less—or I won’t publish it. I am the Speed bus of microblogging.
Haha, just joshing! That was just to get you back for poking fun at me in your article this morning! Chirp, you’ve been served! Seriously, just post as many tweets as you feel like each day. Or don’t. Whatever you feel like. It’s all good!
Isn’t it possible, given the character constraints of your notoriously pithy messaging service, that the state of contemporary discourse might find itself compromised by your users’ inability to express thoughts in an appropriately lengthy, and therefore intellectually honest, manner?
Herbert R. McFinterslab
Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University
I have an etiquette question that’s been nagging me for a while now: Every tweet on my feed is a link to the AC360 Web site. I say that that’s totally appropriate—we’re just spreading our work, after all!—but my producers say that that’s against the “Twitter code” or whatever. Who’s right?
First of all, great show last night! Second of all—sorry, but—I have to go with your producers on this one. It’s actually kinda smarmy to send out link-only tweets, IMHO. (Unless it’s obvious that you’re sending your tweets automatically, a la @thedailydish.) I’m all about the dialogue…but when you use me only to send out links to your Web site, it suggests to your followers that all you want them for is their clicks. Not so classy, you know?
I’ll give you the same advice I gave out so often when I was working as a couples counselor (don’t ask!): consider mixing it up a bit. Keep things spicy for your followers. Sure, you can send out some links—hey, if people are following you, it’s fair to assume they’re interested in the work you’re doing on the show—but add in some of your own thoughts, as well. Ask some questions. Solicit some feedback. Send some shout-outs. Keep asking yourself: “What would @davidgregory do?”
Hope that’s helpful, and keep up the good work!
You’re awesome. Like, really awesome. And we’re telling all our friends we think so.
Oh, right! So we guess our question is: why are you so awesome?
Aw, thanks, guys! Well, I guess the simple answer to your question is that I’ve found a great way to connect people who otherwise probably wouldn’t connect, leveraging the best of dynamic discourse—feedback and sharing and building on other people’s ideas—with the ease of online operation. I have a simple user interface that allows for intuitive navigation. My 140-character limit facilitates relaxed, simple expression. I tap into a cultural longing for conversation that our over-scheduled lives often preclude, providing a renewed sense of community and connectivity during a period of social ennui. Oh, and I’m free.
I hate you. I hate you I hate you I hate you. Why did you have to go and make my life so miserable? I had a really good thing going—an anchoring gig, a great audience, I was working hard, and reporting well, and making my way up the MSNBC food chain—and then along you came, making more work for me. I was busy enough as it is, Twitter. YOU try anchoring live TV broadcasts, and doing all the work that goes into preparing for those broadcasts, and then YOU see how much free time YOU have for Twittering or Tweeting or whatever you call it. Where do you get off, Twitter? Shuster and Gregory may have time for you in their lives, fine, but they don’t have to spend an hour in makeup each day. Ugh. It’s so unfair. I hope you ARE just a trend, and a short-lived one, at that. You have made my life a living hell.
Sorry! Really! I hate to think that I’ve upset someone…that’s so not what I’m about! (You’ve seen my picture, right? The pastel little birds, and everything? I’m delightful! Tweet!) Listen, the last thing I want is for you to feel obliged to use me…it’s like I always say: if you don’t have something to tweet, don’t tweet anything at all. Tell your producers I said so. (And buck up, C, you’re doing a great job!)
I’m currently reading The Odyssey to my son in ancient Greek. My daughter is asleep next to us. She looks like a rumpled angel. Our house smells like cookies. It’s windy outside. I’m currently feeling sassy. I wonder what heaven looks like. Vampire Weekend rocks it out. Just thought you’d like to know!
OMG, I love you. No, seriously: I LOVE YOU. You have enriched my life in more ways than I can count, and in a manner I can’t quite fully express. You’ve made CNN’s 3pm time slot a multidimensional, multi-platform, multi-emotional experience, and that is something that enriches us all. You have made me a better anchor and a better man. I will never stop loving you.
I’m not quite sure how to say this…but you’re making me very uncomfortable. That letter you sent me last week was…disturbing. (I returned the lock of hair; I hope you’ve received it by now. Please don’t ever do that again.) Maybe you should think about extending your circle of friends? I heard Facebook is looking to meet people…you guys might really hit it off.
I run in your VIP circle—I’m friends only with @anamariecox, @davidgregory, @GStephanopoulos, other Twitter celebrities. But lately, I’ve been replying to my friends’ tweets, and they don’t respond. I’m confused, and a little hurt. Why are they ignoring me? Do you think I did something to offend them? What’s going on?
Here’s one thing it’s important to remember about me: following someone through me doesn’t make you their friend. It makes you their follower. Telling Ana Marie Cox that “In Gaelic, your name is Aine Maire Nic An Choiligh” does not mean you’re her pal. It means you’re her stalker.
Dear Twitter,Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.
I actually don’t need any advice at all. I just want to thank you for sending me all the love. 82,000 followers—and counting! Seriously. Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.
Right back atcha, babe.