If you follow the talk over on Twitter you’ll see that there are some unwritten “rules” and that I am breaking lots of those rules and pissing lots of people off.
I break the rules so you don’t have to.
So, what are they?
1. Never send more than 140 characters. I break this rule all the time because what I have to say simply doesn’t fit into 140 characters. So, why not just say it on my blog? Easy. I’m reacting to something someone said to me on Twitter. What happens on Twitter should stay in Twitter.
2. Never Tweet more than five times a day. First, a “Tweet” is a Twitter message. So, why no more than five times a day? Because if you post more than that you are in danger of pushing other people’s messages off of the home page of your follower’s Twitter. Last night one guy complained that all he saw on his Twitter account was my messages.
3. Never follow more than 300 people. Why is this a rule? Because if you follow 5,700 people, like I do, then you’ll be tempted to answer lots of those Tweets, which will put you in danger of breaking #2. See next rule.
4. Never follow anyone who isn’t your “real” friend. This will help you keep your friends’ list down to less than 300, which will keep you from breaking rule #2.
5. Don’t assume other people are having the same experience you are. My experience with Twitter? I get 20 new Tweets inbound EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY. It’s like a 24/7 chat room for me. But for you? Most of you only follow 30 people, so to you it’s more akin to instant messaging with just your friends. If you subscribe to a noisy jerk, like me, you’ll get overrun. Me? I just tell my friends who complain that they don’t have enough friends.
6. Don’t post thoughts across multiple Tweets (see #1). I do this often and it pisses people off. They think that the 140 character limit was there for a reason. The real reason is that SMS can’t handle more than 140 characters.
7. The Twitter question is “what are we doing?” It’s NOT “what do you think about XXXX?” I break this rule all the time cause, well, I have opinions and Twitter is my way of sharing short opinions with the world. Sue me.
8. Follow one person for every 10 who follows you. Me? I follow EVERY person who follows me, as Dave Winer points out. Why? Cause I believe that anyone who follows me is a friend and is someone I should listen to. Other people think it’s just a publishing mechanism for posting their URLs and other stuff to the world.
9. If other people are telling you you’re spamming, you should listen to them. Me? I tell them to screw off. Why? Because if I’m being too noisy then there’s a little button called “unfollow.” Why should I change my behavior to suit others? Many other people tell me they like my noisy behavior. One thing I like about Twitter is that you don’t need to follow people you think are jerks.
10. Don’t put things into Twitter that aren’t designed for Twitter like photos, audio, etc. Me? I use TwitterGram and am playing with Flickr embeds too. Why not push it around?
Anyway, are there other rules I don’t know about? I’d like to break those, too.