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Thinking about Twittering? Read This.

June 16, 2009



I don’t use Twitter to follow people I know, except for a couple of brave souls who were also exploring Twitter at the same time I started. We don’t write to each other often, but I’m interested to see what they’re up to when they post. Mostly, I am the fly on the wall with Twitter; it allows me to to listen in on fascinating conversations and poke around and follow strands of thought and discover affiliations on many levels.

The choices I’ve made so far when selecting individuals or groups to follow show a few discrete categories. Politics, news, technology, humor, the arts, NPR, and a few individual bloggers. Who knew that blogs would eventually gain true respect? Not I–not for a long time. I had friends and acquaintances treating blogs more like personal diaries and wondered when they would become embarrassed about the things they were posting for the world to read. But they have evolved, and it’s like anything you undertake to do well–they become what you make of them. Be accurate, responsible, smart, and thoughtful, and you have something there.

If I took the time to to bookmark everything that I find interesting, my bookmarks would soon be a huge tangle of old links I would never get around to revisiting. Consequently, I bookmark rarely. I sometimes use the old fashioned “print page” option if I really want to save something, but today, I’ll write a blog entry. This entry from Mashable is about a site page that not only gives a good idea of what Twitter can be, it is a cautionary note about what it can become:

Twitter Spam: 3 Ways Scammers are Filling Twitter with Junk

    Spam is an ever-growing concern. Currently, over 90% of all emails sent worldwide are spam. When I left South Korea in 2004, a hotbed of SMS activity, over 25% of my SMS messages were spam. However, spam is a unique and special concern for Twitter (Twitter). This is because Twitter is a broadcast system and you can easily accumulate contacts beyond your circle of close friends.Last May when I predicted that Twitter would go mainstream, I warned about appearance of spam as its popularity became widespread. Now spammers are becoming more prevalent on Twitter and the “scammer” subset seems to be increasing the fastest.In order to better understand how these unwanted entities are filling Twitter with their junk, I have categorized Twitter scammers into three buckets: Twitomercials, Straight Cons, and Clueless Cons.

The first paragraph of a very long but very interesting article. If you’re into Twitter and wonder about all of those followers you’ve accumulated, you may want to give them the once over and see if they need the boot.

The spare, pithy entries I’ve read on Twitter have lately lulled me into blogs of all sorts, where ideas are fleshed out, where evidence is presented, and where philosophies of people and organizations reside. And sometimes they’re just about taking a hike or building an arbor. I read news items anyway, but the Google News page I have used has some oddly weighted items. I like the feed from NPR and McClatchy, and the pointed but not statistically large items that specialized Twitter users offer. Things with too few readers to make it to Google News.

This post is in place for me as a place to park a link to this interesting article. It’s a place where I can point new or prospective Twitter users so I don’t need to keep spelling out the charm of the place, or the pitfalls. Here’s hoping Mashable provides a durable link!

12-24-09 Here’s an article with some interesting insight on followers and cheating:

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 13, 2009 5:05 am

    I’m sure glad you follow my on Twitter, Maggie. Sometimes it seems you are the only one out there in the lonely universe :)

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