Friday, May 13, 2011

How (not) to tweet like a chatterbot

I'm still getting my feet wet with social media. I've been blogging about my professional experience as well as my thoughts on computers, technology, education and anything else that catches my fancy.

In an attempt to spread the word about my blog, I've been shortening the URLs (despite my reservations about URL shorteners, particularly ones with a .ly extension - I'll talk more in later posts about that) and tweeting them out to my social network. My first ham handed tweets were in the format:Note the self-consciously self promoting style. Starting my tweet with 'My latest tweet...' is like starting a sentence in a persuasive essay with 'In my opinion...' or 'I think...' - it's undermining my position and weakening my statement (not to mention wasting valuable characters).

After examining how Bruce Schneier tweets his blog posts, I decided to make some changes.

I realized that rather than letting you know that he was pointing at his own post, he merely gave a brief synopsis of his post and let you hover over or click through to see what he was citing. I decided to take a stab at it, which resulted in this.
Since my Twitter feed also rolls over to Facebook, I almost immediately recieved this message.

Clearly something was wrong.

Mistake #1: Too terse. I didn't give enough detail.

Mistake #2: No hash tags. I didn't provide any context.

Ultimately, my clumsy attempt resulted in me coming across as a chattebot trying to linkbait my friends into some ill advised web browsing.

I've cleaned it up and provided this Tweet.

After consulting with the management (my wife), I realize that I need to direct all of my tweets to her. If she wouldn't understand my tweet or follow my link, then it's no good.

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