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Posts Tagged ‘dm’

Direct Message 101: Understanding DMs On Twitter

If you’ve been using Twitter for any length of time, you’ve likely discovered that the there’s an art to using its direct messages (DMs).

No? Well, there is. And we’re going to share some tips with you. And in the hopes of one day having a spam-free DM folder, please pass these tips along.

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NBA Star Fined $50,000 For A Direct Message On Twitter

We’ve heard before about NBA and other sports stars being fined for bad behavior on Twitter, but this is a first: Amar’e Stoudemire has been fined $50,000 for something he sent in a private direct message to a fan.
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3 Reasons Why Your Direct Message Didn’t Get A Response

I’m not quite sure what I think of Twitter’s Direct Messages (DMs). Are they annoying? Sometimes. Do I let them sit unread? Quite often. But I’ve also received great tips for articles on AllTwitter and insights into things that I often tweet about in my DM inbox.

The DM is an enigma on Twitter. It can be a useful way to reach out to someone on a more personal, private level and connect with them in a more meaningful way. Or it can be used to promote yourself, annoy your new followers, and otherwise poison a potentially great relationship on Twitter.

If you’re using DMs as a way of reaching out to new followers, great. But if these DMs aren’t getting any responses, chances are you’re doing it wrong. Here are 3 reason why your DM didn’t get a response.
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Fox’s “The X Factor” Is First-Ever TV Show To Open Up Voting To Twitter

It seems like every month there’s another indication that Twitter is moving closer and closer to the mainstream.

This week, Fox and Twitter announced that Fox’s “The X Factor” would allow viewers to cast their votes for their favorite contestants using Twitter.
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WARNING: “Lost Weight In This Video” DM Scam Hits Twitter

There is as new Direct Message (DM) scam going around Twitter, which will try to steal your password. If you have received a DM today commenting on your weight, do not click the link.

We have more details on how to avoid the scam – and how to prevent it from happening to you in the future – below.
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Twitter Is Resetting Passwords For Hijacked Accounts

Now is as good a time as any to double check your Twitter security. The Twitter safety team is going around resetting the passwords of any account that has been affected by a phishing scam.
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Learn A Lesson From Weiner: Get To Know The Difference Between DMs And Replies… Fast

Wow… I don’t know of many other scandals that could have been prevented with a simple one-character change on a text message, but that’s exactly how Anthony Weiner got caught with his pants down (sorry, that’s my freebie, I’ll keep it above the belt from now on). The embattled representative accidentally shared a picture of his nether-regions on Twitter for all the world to see, and all because he didn’t understand the difference between a DM and a mention or reply.
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You’ve Got Twittermail

The direct message system on Twitter is a mess. The more people you follow, especially in any kind of automated fashion, the more spam, mass marketing messages, irrelevant junk and good, old-fashioned weirdness you attract to your inbox. And while it’s admirable to follow others on Twitter so they can contact you via this method, the work involved in managing all that noise to find any signal of worth verges on a full-time job.

For some, especially those who follow thousands of users, the alternative is to simply ignore everything that is sent to them via DM. That’s not a positive outcome for anybody.

Ideally, Twitter would scrap the direct message feature and start over, building something that worked a lot more like email. Facebook’s private messaging system isn’t world-class, but it’s significantly better than what we have on Twitter. Being able to group more than one person into private Twitter conversations would be worth the price of admission alone. It would also be nice if we weren’t limited to 160 characters.

Alternatively, this is a fantastic opportunity for a really creative app coder. I’d love to see somebody port all that direct message API over to a standalone Twittermail website that worked a bit like Gmail, and gave us labels, starring, threading and – vitally – a spam filter, then I think they’d be sitting on a product that was valuable enough to warrant a (modest) price tag.

An intelligent spam filter (that came with its own folder) would be huge. Like Gmail (or Akismet), the filter would have built-in knowledge, and learn from the Twitter collective about repeat offenders, bots and trolls. You’d also be able to tailor the filter to your own liking. You’d switch off your DM notifications from Twitter, and manage everything at your new favourite website.

Hey, maybe this could even be ported into Gmail, and we’d let that do all the work.

We need Twittermail. You need it. Competent and manageable private messaging is a must for any network. Legitimate connections have immense value, but if you have to work too hard to find them many people will simply give up trying altogether.

Here’s A Radical Suggestion: If You DM Me, I Should Be Able To DM You

(I’m pretty sure this isn’t my idea. I’m confident somebody else suggested it to me, possibly within the comments on this very blog, but I can’t locate the source. If it was you, let me know and I’ll gladly give credit.)

I’ve written previously about the inequity of the direct message system on Twitter.

If I’m following you, the system gives you permission to direct message me. However, unless you’re also following me back, I cannot direct message you.
That’s right – I can’t even reply. I’m not afforded the same level of privacy as you. So, I have to reply openly, exposing your secrets, which makes the private messaging system a bit of a farce.

Here’s an idea: keep things as they are, but if I receive a direct message from somebody who I follow but who is not following me, I can reply to that direct message.

And only that direct message. Just the one.

You DM me, I can DM you back. You DM me again, I can DM you back again. And so on.

You get one shot – once you’ve clicked send on that direct message reply, the system ticks a box and you’re done.

(Of course, if we’re both following each other there would be no limits on when and how often we can send a private message. This is for folks who haven’t been followed back.)

I like this for three reasons:

  1. It removes the one-way advantage the Twitter elite have over everybody else
  2. There would be no need to respond publically to a private message
  3. It can’t be abused

This would also get around the ‘I wanted to send you a direct message, but you’re not following me‘ dilemma. When this happens, you could open a private conversation by initiating the discourse from your end. This provides further security.

I can’t see any major negatives. Can you?

Why Send A Dozen Direct Messages (Or Tweets) When One Email Will Do?

Things are beginning to change, but for a long time – and I still hear this from certain quarters – one of the main reasons given as to why you should always follow everybody back who follows you is because it allows them to contact you privately via direct message (DM).

To this I say: poppycock. (And I don’t use that term lightly.)

As if that’s ever been any kind of perk. The DM feature on Twitter is and always has been broken. There’s no way to search or filter messages, it’s awkward to delete (certainly in bulk) and it doesn’t come with any kind of spam guard.

Why, then, would we encourage the use of a system that is so clearly flawed?

Moreover, while Twitter is fantastic for quick, punchy exchanges of information and thoughts, it doesn’t stand up too well when you want to have a long, detailed, drawn-out conversation with one or more people. It becomes a little awkward sharing all those words in bite-sized, 140-character chunks. People speak out of turn, it’s easy to get confused, and it quickly becomes messy and problematic.

When I find myself in any kind of extended dialogue on Twitter, I always rapidly come to the same conclusion, which I readily propose to the other user(s) – can we continue this via email?

Email is really good at the things at which Twitter is bad. It excels in long, detailed, drawn-out conversations. (And conversely, it isn’t so hot at real-time exchanges of information). Email allows YOU to write a longer, more thorough message, and lets ME quote from your message and respond accordingly.

There’s no real reason why direct messages should be limited to the same number of characters as a standard tweet, but they are. If and when Twitter decides to completely revamp the private message system and opens it up to a fully-featured experience that allows for broader conversations, then the argument that follows should be reciprocated (assuming, of course, that they are still relevant) will have a lot more weight.

Until that happens, direct messages are essentially just a private way to share a tweet. And unless that tweet absolutely needs to be private – and your latest get rich quick scheme doesn’t really qualify, as you’ve already sent it to 10,000 other people – then just contact me using a standard reply.

And for those times when your message is for my attention only and/or requires a lot more breathing space than that provided by the 140-characters of a standard tweet, then please: contact me by email.

I’m very happy to look at (and maybe review) your Twitter client. I’d be thrilled to test-drive your Twitter app. Absolutely I’d be interested in speaking at your conference. And I’ll certainly help you or your brand find a better way to do business on Twitter.

Go ahead, send me an email. I promise you I do read and (where required) reply to every single one.

(Unless, that is, it’s spam or contains the ranting and ravings of a disturbed person. That kind of stuff is far better suited, and significantly more prevalent, within the direct message system. Especially if you follow everybody back.)