A rant about some twitter usage

If you’re not on twitter and have no interest in being on twitter you can stop reading now.

Today I received a twitter follow from someone who wasn’t using their real name, didn’t have a real picture, no about information and no link to more information and had their tweets protected. I felt a beat cheated and proceeded to tweet:

Not a fan of people who don’t use their real names and then protect their tweets.

A couple of Retweets let me know I wasn’t alone, but one person responded wanting to know more, and we went back and forth. I know this person in real life and they have two different accounts, and everyone who knows this person knows that they use this specific twitter handle. It’s similar to a couple of years ago when I used to use Staples quite a bit as a handle on things like Flickr, twitter etc.

Anyway, I thought I should unpack my tweet and frustration a bit. It all comes down to how you use social media.

Although there’s a lot of overlap between how I use facebook, linkedin and twitter in my head they’re quite clear divisions. Facebook is people I’ve met in real life, people who might like to see the latest picture of my daughter, mostly people I’ve shared a drink or two or twenty with at some point in my life, or people who knew me when and wouldn’t mind staying in touch.

Linkedin is mostly used for people I’ve worked with or would like to work with. It’s people that I’ve exchanged professional emails with or met at a conference. I’ll accept requests from friends but won’t add friends unless there’s a likelihood that we’ll be able to help eachother out professionally in some circumstances.

Twitter is the hardest to explain, because it kind of falls between the two. I use twitter to share and distribute to and with people who I either have a connection with or might have some kind of connection with in some way either socially, personally or professionally. I use it to share a bit of my personal life (like what I’m watching and sharing opinions on the Apprentice or the X-factor) but mostly about professional stuff – like information sharing, data, interesting commentary and editorials. On occasion I’ll use it to broadcast what I’m doing or where I’m going, but that to me is a secondary use case.

This is why I get frustrated by people who don’t use their name, have a picture or any information about who they are, protecting their tweets and then following me. If I don’t know you and you’re not giving me any information on what you’re interests are / what kind of stuff you’re likely to be sharing, I can’t make a decision on whether it would be in my best interests to follow you. If you’re using your real name at least I can do a quick search and find out more about you and see the kind of stuff you’re likely to tweet.

Not sure if I’m right or wrong on this, just feel a bit annoyed when I don’t know anything about someone who’s following me and they don’t give me any information to find out. Thoughts?

  • Natasja

    Agree, it's (or should be) common courtesy to at least have your real name. It's tit for tat and it feels like an unfair exchange, why would I allow you to follow me if I have no idea who you are, why you are following me and you're not revealing anything about yourself?

  • http://blog.silentale.com/ Shannon Ferguson

    Feel your frustration, but frankly, i don't really care…some people just want to listen on twitter, and that's ok. Just because it's not necessarily our sole use case, doesn't mean we have to impose our behavior on everyone else. And sometimes, new users take awhile before feeling comfortable with the medium.

  • http://www.fiftybyfifty.com/lifeoffarhan/ Farhan Lalji

    Thanks for the comment Shannon, and while I totally get the new user onboarding/

    taking some time to figure it out, still think that a little bit of information

    would be nice – even if it's I like cats, or bacon, or pictures of cats and