Saturday, May 23, 2009

Humor: The 10 (Actually, 11) Commandments of Twitter

As someone into cool insights, I take them wherever I find them. They come in great books, out of the mouths of babes, and sometimes scrawled in the oddest places, like the graffiti on the bathroom stall.

Lately, one of my best sources of wisdom is the social networking site,
Twitter. Quotes, articles, shared learning—fun! Read my post on The Radical Virgo, “How the Signs Tweet,” if you’re a Twitter virgo/virgin for definitions and a few laughs that will catch you up on this bird lingo in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, an almost true story:

I was sitting in my computer chair, minding my own business, when I felt a big whoosh of air. A large voice that sounded like James Earl Jones said, “This is the Spirit of Twitter. Write this down.”

Being open both to channeling and to wisdom where ever I find it, I obeyed immediately. Here’s what he said:

1. I am thy social network, not thy god. If thou want to Facebook, LinkIn, MySpace, StumbleUpon—or whatever—have at it. Even if I were a god, I would not be a jealous one.

2. If thee tweet more than an hour a day, thou art worshiping a false idol. If you can’t cut down on your own, seek help. Suggestion: Someone out there, please invent Twitcorette gum.

3. Thou shalt not drop the name of Twitter in vain. Don’t be a show-off, dropping Twit terms outside the tweet stream like—well, a twit. Makes non-Twitterers feel out of it and unlikely to join the party. Be inclusive.

4. Take a day off from the Twitosphere at least once a week. Honor thy social networking Sabbath. See #2.

5. Honor thy mentors on Twitter. RT* and thank them often. Be a mentor to newbies. Help each other. (*Return tweet or forward their post.)

6. Thou shalt not killjoy. Rants, bummers, and other bursts of negativity do not belong here. Keep thy stream safe from destructive tidal waves.

7. Thou shalt not cheat on each other’s original ideas. Credit sources, whether quotes, forwards, or tweeps who gave you good advice or links.

8. Thou shalt not steal (hog) the tweet stream with 10-12 tweets in a row. Tweeple, please. Let’s do 3 max except in unusual circumstances. Serial tweeters on a daily basis are subject to unfollowing. This medium is meant for short-but-sweet. Put long posts on your blog or website and link.

9. Don’t badmouth tweeple. Leave twarma to higher powers. Unfollow and move on.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s clevers. You will learn in this global, anything-goes forum that many people are smarter, funnier, and wittier than thou. Instead of turning green, work your gray matter and discover another layer of your own creativity. Be inspired, not envious. Thou have it in you, too.

Finally, while 10 is usually the magic number, I’ve got one extra for you:

11. Judge ye not how thy neighbor uses Twitter. Everyone has different motivations. Quit complaining if not everyone you follow follows back. (See #9) Some tweeple actually want to read what their individual tweeps have to say, impossible when they number in the thousands. They prefer tweeps with ideas or issues in common. Conversely, selective followers: Live and let live when it comes to those who like to acquire followers in the tens of thousands, usually for business development purposes. There is room for everyone.

Just a few simple rules for playing nice and keeping the playground safe and wholesome.

The Word from On High from the All-Knowing Bird in the Sky.



No comments: