David Kirkpatrick

February 13, 2009

Twitter etiquette

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:03 am

Five tips from CIO.com. Man, this feels like Twitter week to me. There’s an unusual amount of Twitter news going on with the awards program and everything else, and I’m much more in tune with all the news because my tweets started being syndicated through Newstex’s NewsTwits.

I used Twitter first during the presidential debates after C-Span invited me to join in their new media coverage of the event and tweets were a major part of audience reactions. 

After that I didn’t do much with the app before this week when my NewsTwit feed went into effect and I’m sorry I’ve held out so long. In a short few days I’ve really learned to appreciate the utility of Twitter. Just a couple of days ago I blogged I couldn’t see the business use of Twitter, and now I do. The old proverbial light-bulb and all that.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/davidkonline

From the CIO.com link:

2. Be Up Front About Your Twitter Aspirations


As the divide between our consumer and professional lives blurs at the hands of social technologies, the content of your tweets can take on a whole new meaning, especially if you work at a traditional corporation that doesn’t acknowledge this reality.

As such, you might want to make it clear who you represent and why you’re on Twitter. Some people put messages on their Twitter background (which can be customized under the “settings” tab), noting that the opinions expressed in their tweets don’t necessarily reflect those of their employers. They also might provide a link that explains with greater detail why they’re on Twitter. While this can allow you some leeway, it doesn’t necessarily mean your employer or your followers won’t call you out on some tweets.

“There’s a real difficulty there,” Boyd says. “For people who are employed by companies, to some extent, they’re always a representative of the company. It’s almost impossible to divorce yourself from that. They need to figure out where they can draw line, and for some people where that line is is different.”

In the end, the more up front you are in your profile description about who you represent and what you plan to talk about, the more you’ll allow yourself some cover, says Kirsten Dixson ( @kirstendixson), a reputation management and online identity expert. But that also means you shouldn’t get upset with people if they tweet something that’s in line with their stated Twitter goals.

“They might have things that are off-putting, that are overtly religious or political and not in your own views,” she says. “But if they’re up front about that, they’ve been fair.”

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