the grass is greener on the internet

Dictating conversations, it’s stupid.
January 29, 2009, 10:03 am
Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , ,

“You wouldn’t tell someone how to eat.

You wouldn’t tell someone how to breathe.

You wouldn’t tell someone how to walk.

You wouldn’t tell someone how to have a conversation.

Dictating how we should converse is something we already know.

Telling us something we already know pretty pointless.

Dictating conversations. It’s stupid.”

I’m sick of ‘How to/not to Twitter’ lists.

Some of the lists I’ve seen are helpful – they’re about stimulating conversation and making sure you are making conversation, not spam.

But they’re starting to get out of hand.

Marketers latch on to a topic or technique and then get so into it that we can lose perspective.

Twitter is a platform for people to talk. It started with, ‘What are you doing?’ – so why are these lists now telling me I shouldn’t write about that at all?

No, they say, instead you should be linking and RT-ing and #-tagging and giving people stuff when they follow you.

And if you don’t Tweet enough (or heaven forbid, dare to talk about what you’re doing) it’s now grounds for an ‘unfollow’.

They’re telling us how to have a conversation. But wait, we already have those skills from real life…shouldn’t we be figuring out how to apply those to social media?

Sometimes it just feels like being back in high school – if you do these things and talk about these topics then we’ll talk to you. You can be part of the crowd or be an outcast.

I know at the moment I’m outside most of the blogging community, and in some ways it’s on purpose. To me the job of a marketer is to know how everyone thinks. Not just marketers. Not just the cool kids. To do that, you need to be interacting with a variety of people every day – which is something I wouldn’t have time for if I wanted to keep up with my RSS feeds.

Maybe if you have more conversations elsewhere you won’t need guidelines for conversations on Twitter.

[EDIT: For anyone interested, my only rules are; don’t follow anyone you’re not interested in, and if you do follow them talk to them every now and then.

I also wrote this just before reading Stan Lee’s post and now realise it looks like I’ve echoed him. Bah. Great minds, et cetera.]


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