Several months back I posted here on Fortean Squirrel about people using their Twitter wrong. I basically explained that I had been noticing a lot of folks trying to tweet updates to their followers about a person or company, but were actually making @replies instead. This time I’d like to draw attention to another common problem I’ve noticed for a while. This one doesn’t so much involve using Twitter incorrectly, it’s just about people being annoying.
Twitter is for tweeting. Tweeting is all about posting messages, 140 characters or less, to your followers or other users you would like to communicate with. You can share links and photos, or even participate in an occasional hashtag meme that is going around. It’s all fine and good as long as you tweet in moderation. But what I can’t stand is when people tell a long story on Twitter by posting several or more tweets in a row, or are habitually aggravating re-tweeters. It clogs up our feed, and is often unpleasant to look at. I call this behavior “squawking.”
Here is normally the point in the blog where I might put up a few screenshots of people squawking so you can see exactly what I mean. But, in this case, I’m going to trust you know what I mean, and may even have a friend or two on Twitter who is guilty of this behavior.
Now, I understand that occasionally one tweet just won’t do. Everyone is entitled to post two tweets in a row every now and then. Even I have done that. Two, maybe even three tweets in a row aren’t that big of a problem, as long as they are done in moderation, or have pertinent information that your followers would like to have. But if you have to tell a longer story and just can’t help yourself, don’t post it 140 characters at a time over 7 or 8 tweets. Get a blog or something. Sign up for free at WordPress, or even on Blogger. Write your story there, then post the link on your Twitter page. It’s easier, cleaner, and much more pleasing to the eye. Your followers will thank you.
There. I suppose I’ve said my piece. So if you are reading this and engage in squawking, stop immediately. You are ruining Twitter for me and all your friends. Do the right thing and either stop using Twitter or get a blog.
Thank you for your time. I’m glad we’ve had this talk.