Twitter Etiquette
Mar 19, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes
"If someone has 1000+ followers, but only follows 30+, are they 'misusing' Twitter?" This question of 'Twitter Ethics' is asked and answered here. My own perspective: I have Twitter followers (who get my Facebook status updates as Twits) but I follow nobody on Twitter. Is that a misuse? I have had people (sometimes rudely) suggest that it is. Because, I guess, reading 500 blogs isn't enough, I have to pay special personal attention to a select group of Twitters. The twitterati. The thing is - there is (and always has been) an asymmetry of communication. Which is simply this: it is easier to be heard by many people than it is to hear many people. It takes no effort at all to broadcast to 1000 Twitter users - the computer does it all. But following 1000 takes some commitment. We need to understand that the whole internet is like that. "It's a dip-in, take a scoop from the passing river kind of experience." See also Micro-Blogging Part Deux.
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