Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Twitter Is For Mental Defectives

A person would have to be a crazed psychopath to use Twitter. Users are dangerous and deranged and should be put away in a mental institution as soon as authorities can round up these sick and depraved individuals.

Okay, so I got in about two years late, but I'm on Twitter (or at least Snart is) if you haven't noticed. It took me that long to recognize the advantages; it's a great way to create a network of old and new fans, and it's a fun way to give Ralph Snart a voice. Since getting into this Twitter experience, I've noticed a few things.

When it comes to networking, getting targeted followers is paramount. Any follower that is not targeted is useless - there's no reason to acquire followers that have no interest in who they're following. It's also useless if these followers don't tweet. There are lots of Twitter users who have zero tweets - don't expect them to do any retweeting. Basically, it's better to have fewer targeted followers than to have a lot of non-targeted.

Twitter users really need to improve their bios.

When someone says they're a comic book artist, are they an established pro, an aspiring wannabe, amateur or doodler? It's like someone saying they're a baseball player - are they a major league pro, semi-pro, college, high school, little league or sand lot player? It makes a difference! You don't become something by saying that's what you are. It's not bad to simple say, "I like comics" or "Aspiring cartoonist". But to have a bio that says, "Acclaimed and award-winning cartoonist" and be some misguided, 12-year old nub drawing stick figures, stop wasting peoples' time!

Also, less is more. Short and to the point is best - just state the facts instead of making up crazy shit, which isn't even remotely funny. There's also the confusion between comic stores, publishers and artists. An example is a bio that says, "Purveyor of fine comic books since 2003". Is this a store? A publisher? Could be, however this turned out to be an amateur artist. If you're a store, just say something like "Comic book shop. Comics, games & more." Add your store hours if you want (don't add location since there's already a place for that).

If you're a publisher, say "Comic book publisher." and then list three of your biggest titles. If you're a self-publisher publishing your own work, don't confuse the issue; you're really not a publisher per se; you're a creator. Unless you publish other peoples' work and incur their expenses to publish, you're not a publisher. If you're not somehow incorporated as a publisher and filing the appropriate tax returns, you're not a publisher. So, if you're a creator, artist, writer, editor, penciler, inker, colorist, etc., then say it short and sweet, and again, save the crazy shit for your tweets.

Make it clear, folks.

Don't repeat yourself. Don't start a bio with, "Hey, my name is Jason...". Why say this when your name is mentioned after your user account name? Don't give your location in your bio because there's already a space for that. Don't say anything about whether you'll follow back or not (#teamfollow should be banished). If you say you're a writer or editor, you might want to spell your bio correctly. I haven't seen the point yet of writing nothing in your bio. Either you're a nobody, too stupid to come up with anything or just so darn famous and noteworthy that words pale in describing your magnificence. Twitter is not a popularity contest. It's a means of networking and of sharing content within that network. Yes, Twitter is, and can be, other things, but for the most part (the day-to-day usage), what I said I think is true.

Follow the right people

I made some ground rules when it came to following people. If someone follows me and I want them to keep following me, I follow back. Seems like a courteous thing to do also. This will result in my following a lot of people, but there are ways of getting around this from being an inconvenience (if you know PHP, the Twitter API can come in pretty handy).

I don't follow back any of the myriad of marketers on Twitter - none of the SEO jagoffs, life coaches, wealth growers, entrepreneurs, consultants, online dealers/shoppers, finance strategists, religious fanatics, etc. Avoid the "will follow back" users since they're not likely to be targeted. Again, what matters the most is the number of targeted users (people who care about you) and not the overall number of followers. Don't get me wrong, one of the goals is to create as large a network as possible, but it needs to be a quality network.

Get rid of those that are no longer with us. There's a large percentage (my guess is at least 20%) of Twitter users that have essentially abandoned their account. There's also another large percentage that either don't tweet, don't retweet, or who hardly tweet at all (another 20%). Sites like can help nix those users.


Mentioning is nice, but don't bother doing it if you only want them to mention you back. I refer to those that do tweets that list all of their new followers. If you're going to mention a user, do it within a relevant tweet. If other users are searching for another user's mentions, they're looking for relevant tweets with good content. The only time I mention is when I reply to another user. This game of "if you mention me, I'll mention you" is a waste of time.

Retweets and tweets

Retweets are great! Having your tweets retweeted means you are supplying good content in your tweets, and that's one of the main goals is supplying content worth following. Retweets also are means of enlarging your network by exposing your tweets to ever more non-followers.

The thing that bothered me the most (and still does) about Twitter is that users are tweeting about the stupidest crap. Who cares if you've just arrived at the airport, are shopping for socks or are taking a dump. Every tweet should be retweet-worthy, and a tweet like "In bed eating macaroni :)" is drivel in it's worst form, and someone idiot to retweet something like this.

And what's still worse is that these drivelers are the same users who are non stop tweeting all day long. I mean, like 50 to 200 tweets per day! At this time, I barely have 200 tweets, whereas other accounts, that started the same day as mine, have thousands of tweets already. I started out just tweeting once a week (to announce a new comic being posted), but after a couple of months I switched from tweeting as myself to tweeting as Ralph Snart. "Ralph" still announces the weekly comic posting, but now "he" tweets his ridiculous rants about 3-4 times per day. After switching, mentions, retweets and favoritings went way up. Let's face it, Ralph Snart is way more interesting than I am.

Update Check this out. A web host disguised as a Bieber fan. What assholes.


Blogger FJ said...

*hangs head in shame*

I'm one of those 20% that really don't use the account for much. But I will say I do log in to read RSA stuff & little else at the moment.

10/26/2011 9:42 AM  
Blogger Marc Hansen said...

The worst of that 20% are those that are manically cultivating followers but not contributing any tweets. If you're just out to follow and read tweets, that's not a big deal (I could've spelled this out better). If you do have some followers, then at least the occasional retweet would help (spread the word of The Snart).

10/26/2011 9:47 AM  

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