Open Letter to my Twitter Friends

By kate on October 4th, 2008

Dear Twitter Friend,

I follow you because I know you and want to keep up with what’s going on in your life. I’m glad you’re on Twitter (especially if you joined in response to my arm-twisting). I have a problem, though. My friends’ tweets are getting to be too much for me to keep up with, and I need your help.

Please be judicious in your use of the @ reply. So many times, I see tweets like “@username yeah, me too!” which are of no interest to me or anyone other than the person you’re addressing. A direct (d) message is a much better choice for most messages addressed to a single person. If you’re going to write an @ message, please include enough context and/or information to make it interesting to all your followers. I beg you.

My only other option is to un-follow you, and I’d really hate to do that.

Many Thanks,
p.s. I’m aware that I have the option to globally turn off all @ messages that are addressed to someone I don’t follow. But many of my friends use the @ message properly and have interesting tweets that are @ someone I don’t know. I don’t want to miss those.

p.p.s.  Here are some good principles for writing an @ message:

  • include the link when you refer to a website
  • explicitly mention the subject you’re tweeting about
  • write complete sentences that could stand alone (without me having to read the tweet you’re responding to)

UPDATE: The debate about this post continues in the comments below…

Filed under: relationships, technology
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