I thought I would write a quick post dissecting simple Twitter etiquette for the newbies. I fear that many heavy users forget that not everyone speaks the ‘language’ and I find that I often get questions querying certain acronyms and so forth. (I also quickly discovered that I could go on for a while about this, so this might end up being part one of a series.)
- @reply = how you converse with someone
- RT = retweet (directly quoting someone else’s tweet)
- HT = hat tip (subtle recognition to another)
- via = how you found something (brought to you by)
- cc = alert an individual or a group’s attention to (as per email)
- Ping = like the cc but more energetic/focused
- bcc = don’t try this because it won’t work!
- DM = direct message (private)
- # = tag to collate tweets or to micro-reference your thoughts/consciousness stream
- :-) = happy, genuine
- ;-) = smartarse
- :-P = taking the piss
- Haz = fanboi excuse for have/has
- Nom/noms = don’t even drop this n-bomb
- LOL = 90’s version of internet laughing
- Hehe = funny but not laughing
- Haha = funny and smiling
- Bahahaha = funny and laughing obnoxiously
- All others – ROFLCOPTOR etc. = too much time spent thinking about laughing, so not actually that funny
How to attribute:
If you see something cool in your Twitter feed and you want to share it to your followers – attribute it! It is better to reference as many people as possible back to the original source, as sharing and watching things spread is the very essence of the web.
When/when not to respond to DMs:
Not replying to DMs is just plain rude, unless:
- It is an auto-DM/spambot
- It is promoting something and you don’t know the person well
- It seems like someone has mistaken Twitter for RSVP and you don’t know the person well/at all
- It is far too general and has absolutely no call to action that you quickly forget you even received it – “Hi, how are you?”
- It is sent at a weird hour and you forget you even read it after you emerge from your sleepy/tipsy haze
- It is regarding something that you have recently tweeted the answer to publicly
And, last but not least:
- Don’t repeat yourself… perhaps once or twice at different hours to capture international audiences but that’s it – don’t be a parrot!
- Don’t ‘tw’ the crap out of everything e.g. “Twoday some tweeps and I twent to see Twavatar”
- Don’t shout unless there’s good reason e.g. “I JUST GOT FRICKEN’ FIRED”
- Don’t swear (okay, this is just conservative Kate advice – so many other words to choose from)
- Don’t ignore (not listen to) other followers’ tweets and then post exactly the same link, thought, etc.
- Don’t tweet a quote without using quotation marks and attributing the author (yes, I thought they were really your words and not Confucius, Godin, Twain, Einstein, Waldo Emerson, etc.)
- Don’t DM someone when you don’t follow them back. They can’t reply… it may not be too PC but it’s basically ‘DM rape’
- And, don’t forget to get yourself an avatar and a bio… it will take you two seconds! People will appreciate having context around your tweets
That’s all for now. What are you Twitter pet hates or etiquette tips for new users?