When I started on twitter four years ago it was a safe place for information consumption.  The people I followed respected my twitter stream and the stream was good.

A lot can change on twitter in just a short time.  I am starting to see disturbing trends.  I can no longer sit by and watch any more.

Before we review these trends lets take a walk down memory lane.

When you first got email, you learned quickly that there was this idea of “email etiquette”.  You learned who to email, how to email, when to cc, what to write and what not to write.

Over the years email has also become a horrific mess.  The days of email etiquette are gone and most people actually get paid handsomely to produce email as their primary job.

Social networks rose from the burning flesh of email’s victims to allow people to passively follow or engage in information collection and communication. 

I stole the idea of “Don’t be that Guy” from Scott Stratten’s tweet stream.   Scott has the ability to put things in a very easy to understand way and I love his advice.

 Let’s get a few ground rules out of the way. 

  1. Everyone uses twitter differently.  It is a tool.  There is no right or wrong way to use a tool if that tool works for you.
  2. I am guilty of many of the items below, but I try to NOT “BE THAT GUY” as often as I can.
  3. There are many sites where the behaviors below work GREAT!! Try Facebook, LinkedIn or a blog!
  4. Twitter is not a fan club, mutual admiration society or a professional network.  It’s adigital life giving information drip.  This means I have absolutely no respect for people who follow more people than Dunar states is possible.
  5. Twitter is how I consume information; I don’t read blogs, go to websites or ask for information.  If my social graph isn’t providing the information, then the information is irrelevant for me.

Don’t be “That Guy”;

Toxic Twitter Habits 2011

  1. Who ReTweets anything where their @name is listed.
    1. The daily X list might be out and now that you retweeted it with your name in it, so are you.
    2. Retweeting someone who is thanks you to show your followers that you are thank worthy shows you are not.
  2. Who thanks people for Retweets.
    1. You just messed up my timeline with a thank you, so can I now come to your house and leave the seat down?
  3. Who welcomes or thanks followers
    1. If Jesus had welcomed and thanked every new follower we would have had no miracles, sometimes you just have to lead.
  4. Who DM’s new followers.
    1. Direct messaging me after I follow you only shows me that your mom was probably overbearing and you have issues with your spouse.
  5. Who doesn't understand the difference between native and old style Retweets.
    1. There is a reason twitter doesn’t offer old style RT’s anymore.  If I look at my time line and see “RT blah blah blah” it shows me you have a misunderstanding of Retweets, the tool you are using or both.
  6. Who asks people to Retweet.
    1. Colonic irrigation is more pleasant to watch.
  7. Who uses hash tags to fill the void in your heart.
    1. You don’t have to fill 140 characters.  
  8. Who RTs your place of work ONLY after joining that company
    1. I know you just changed employers and your social prowess is the reason you are needed but you now have proved you were a bad hire based on your social ignorance.
  9. Who has conversations e.g. meaningless chatter on twitter.
    1. Get a room, works GREAT and you won’t make me hate you.
  10. Use tweet longer or any other service that perverts my information stream.
    1. If you don’t understand how to stay in 140 characters, get off twitter now.
  11. Who follows everyone who follows them.
    1. Yes you can achieve a LOT of followers this way.  Remember that you can talk to a room full of people but you can’t LISTEN to a room full of people.
  12. Who thinks you can do it all with one account.
    1. There is no shame into admitting to Multiple Avatar Disorder (MAD).  Use multiple accounts so I don’t have to hear about your kids on your work account.  Hootsuite, Tweetdeck make using multiple accounts a breeze.
  13. Who puts stock in peerindex, klout or empire ave.
    1. These systems are just like very early search engines.  The algorithms are weak and they don’t mean a lot now.  If you want TRUE social “Klout” don’t mention it.
  14. Who uses Trash tags.
    1. Use of a hash tag that has NOTHING to do with the topic at hand makes link bait look attractive.  #Microsoft #Unicorns, will get both groups attention, and both groups will now dislike you.
    2. Uses a hash tag from an event to get attention to something you’re working on. 
  15. Who won’t use lists.
    1. If you are not listing folks you aren’t taking the time to help me understand what’s important to you.
    2. Some people will use list to just follow their favorite people.  This way you can follow everyone who follows them and just watch their “REAL influencers” from a list.  This is like going to a party and using your cell phone the whole time.
  16. Who follow so many people that you don’t have time to check your stream before opening your mouth.
    1. While most think of you as the vicar of all digital information you are not.  So tweeting something that someone you follow posted two days ago is just lazy.
    1. Its good practice to review who you follow for good information.  If someone you follow goes quiet, starts ranting about things that are not of interest, you can unfollow.  The TV doesn’t get mad when you change the station.
  18. Who doesn’t  take the time to follow new people.
    1. It’s more important to kick people off your list than ever before.
  19. Who thinks twitter is a great place to promote your product.
    1. Your webinar isn’t important.
    2. Your survey only shows me you are horrible at understanding your market.
  20. Who tweets when you have time.
    1. Teenagers, jack rabbits and you all need to relax.  Just because you have a few minutes between projects doesn’t mean you can JAM, 41 tweets in a row down my throat.  
  21. Who gives API access to any suitor.
    1. Treat twitter like it's your daughter and API’s are 17 year old boys.
  22. Who think they are Madonna.
    1. While changing your profile picture on Facebook shows you have character on Twitter it just shows you suffer from a total lack of understanding of visual information best practices.
  23. Who thinks memes are cute.
    1. Just because you figured out what planking is doesn’t mean it is still in use by most upright vertebrates.
  24. Who uses +1.
    1. Using +1 works for first graders and Texas Instruments, not you.
  25. Who is a customer service leader.
    1. You don’t understand customer service.  How do I know you don’t understand customer service?  You don’t understand that your FOLLOWERS are YOUR CUSTOMERS.
    2. So taking time to have a “CHAT” in the middle of a Tuesday night and RUIN my information digestion just earned you an unfollow.
  26. Who loves acting like Consumer Reports.
    1. Using twitter to ONLY bash companies or services but never taking time to praise good companies and services only promotes unruly customers.  
  27. Who tweet this phrase:  “I tried to DM you but you don't follow me".
    1. If someone isn’t following you, THEY KNOW IT, get a clue.
  28. Who uses great power for trashy behavior?
    1. Taste Maker? Just because you don't like a product or service because of how they "don't see your visionary ways or give you the scoop, don't bash them to turn around and love them when you finally get your child like attention:  see @scobleizer
  29. Who doesn’t how to use my name.
    1. When referencing someone ALWAYS use their @name.  
  30. Who XXXXX…..
    1. You can keep the list going from here.  

Would you like to watch perfection?  @raesmaa, @jarodgreene @kevinrose @unmarketing@ScepticGeek