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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter rules’

Running A Twitter Contest? 6 Things You Need To Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

Running A Twitter Contest? 6 Things You Need To Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

So you want to run a contest on Twitter?

Smart idea. Twitter contests are a cost-effective, efficient and (relatively) easy way to generate mass exposure for your brand, products and services. But before you go ahead and click “GO!”, there’s a few things that you need to remember.

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Twitter Bans Automated And Bulk Following In Controversial TOS Update

Yesterday Twitter published changes that have been made to their Developer Rules Of The Road, which outlines best policies, practices and philosophy for third party development and innovation on the Twitter platform.

One very notable update: automated following or bulk following through third-party apps is now prohibited.

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Jay Mohr’s Golden Rule of Twitter: Never Respond to Negativity

Jay Mohr, host of the eponymous show on Fox Sports Radio, is closing in on 250,000 followers for @jaymohr37. Besides having such a large following, his listeners on social media are engaged and find ways to creatively mention his sponsors in their tweets. In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? Mohr shared why people shouldn’t live in fear of Twitter.

“I would say the golden rule of Twitter is you cannot ever respond to somebody saying something negative to you,” he said. “It took me a good three years to learn that, and, even still, I’ll start to type something and be a sentence or two in before I realize, ‘What am I doing? Why am I answering this person?’ I’ve blocked about 3,000 people. I’ve made Twitter this ivory tower of Babel where people only say nice things about me.”

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Jay Mohr, Comedian and Fox Sports Radio Host?

Mona Zhang

Twitter Goes After Spammers – Hard

Twitter filed suit in federal court in San Francisco today against spammers. The suit goes after tool providers “that willfully encourage and enable the distribution of spam on Twitter.” Yay, Twitter!

Just as Facebook and Google, Twitter has had enough of the malicious links that clutter users’ streams and seems prepared to follow through and shut down the spammers that muck up the platform.
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Your Company Doesn’t Need A Social Media Rulebook (Just Some Common Sense)

The New York Times has impressed me not once, but twice this week.

First, they’ve decided to experiment with turning off their automated (and very robotic) @nytimes Twitter feed in favour of having the updates managed by (gasp) real people. Which means (as you can see here) actual engagement.

(Although, being frank, it’s pretty fleeting at the moment. But still, they’re trying.)

Second, Liz Heron, The New York Times social media editor (and one of the scribes behind the new-and-human @nytimes account) spoke at the BBC’s Social Media Summit earlier this week and revealed that the Times has a satisfyingly laid-back approach to the management of their social media program, too.

“We don’t really have any social media guidelines. We basically just tell people to use common sense and don’t be stupid.”

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Do You Know, Or Do You 'No'?

Nobody can tell you what to do. And for the record: that includes me.

My article yesterday triggered a lot of reaction. Mostly positive, but some people were upset and others reacted in a hostile manner.

The thing is, I’m not telling you what to do – I’m trying to help you not do the wrong things.

And yes: ‘wrong things’ is a relative term. And you may not care whether what your followers think about you on Twitter (several readers made that very clear). But for some people this stuff does matter (brands in particular), and they’re hurting themselves, and their prospects, when their behaviour isn’t optimal. Or at least consistent.

In all aspects of life there are better ways to perform specific functions. And there is nearly always a certain type of style or attitude that is more beneficial than another – or in some cases, everything else. It can never hurt to know these things. The information alone has tremendous value, as it then empowers you to make a decision. It’s fine if you decide you still don’t care, but there’s an important distinction between not caring and knowing, and not caring and being blissfully unaware.

On Twitter, Be Nice. Until It’s Time To Not Be Nice

For the most part, Twitter is a friendly place. There’s something about the connecting process between two strangers on a social network that encourages both of them to act in a polite and civil manner.

(As an aside, this can often contrast quite sharply with how our so-called real friends behave.)

However, from time-to-time, often regardless of how well you conduct yourself, things are going to get ugly. Indeed, it’s fair to say that the better you get at doing it right, the more likely it is that you’ll start to develop a sub-following of critics and haters, all of whom will gladly go out of their way to tell you that you’re actually doing it wrong. At least, in their opinion.

For you, this is actually a positive. It means you matter. As Colin Powell once said:

“Good leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which means that some people will get angry at your actions and decisions. It’s inevitable if you’re honourable. Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity. You’ll avoid the tough decisions, you’ll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted, and you’ll avoid offering differential rewards based on differential performance because some people might get upset.”

While it’s often true that haters are actually some of your biggest fans in disguise, a growing number of them will be unpleasant, often seemingly bitter people, arguing endlessly and clearly for the sake of it. It’s a trap, and no matter how hard you try, sometimes you’re going to get caught.

It’s these folks I want to address in this article, and in doing so I’d like to pay homage to the words of the great philosopher James Dalton, whose guidance seems very appropriate here.

When push comes to shove, you'll need to ask yourself - what would Dalton do?

When push comes to shove, you’ll need to ask yourself – what would Dalton do?

All you have to do is follow three simple rules. Read more

Does Twitter Need An Ombudsman?

Dave Winer wrote an interesting piece this week concerning Twitter’s reaction to an account he had used for testing applications. The @bullmancuso profile was closed by Twitter in October, and when Winer questioned their reasoning he was told:

“Your account was suspended because our specialists found that your tweets were primarily links to other sites and not personal updates, a violation of Twitter Rules.”

(read the article in full here)

Ultimately, Twitter restored the account, but Winer observed that, once again, “we’re playing in somebody else’s ballpark, and they make the rules.” He’s quite right of course – it is Twitter’s ballpark, and we are very much at the mercy of their whims and fancies. They were absolutely within their rights, as per their terms of service, to suspend the @bullmancuso account.

But there are a couple of major problems here.

  1. Consistency, and
  2. Fairness


Twitter’s actions above might seem a little excessive or harsh, but if that’s their policy then that’s their policy. Except it really isn’t, as there are thousands and thousands of accounts, many of which are high-profile with a million or more followers (such as the New York Times, Mashable, TechCrunch, CNN and The Onion) that do nothing but link to other sites (predominately, of course, their own) and have nary a ‘personal’ update between them.

I’m reminded once again of Twitter’s decision back in March of this year to suspend the Christopher Walken parody account, even though many other parody accounts with equal numbers of followers existed at the same time, and continue to do so today.

More examples? Why is @mashable a verified account, and @techcrunch is not?

Why do some people who ask for help get it immediately, whilst others have to wait months or, with increasing frequency, get brushed off with the standardised response of a list of frequently asked questions whilst their support ticket is immediately closed?

We could live with all most some one or two of these things if we had a little consistency. It’s the randomness of the outcome that makes it all so maddening.


Sometimes, corporations make decisions that suck. And the bigger the corporate entity, the more sucky those decisions seem to be, especially for the little guy at the other end of the stick.

When Twitter suspends or deletes an account, most of the time it’s for the right reasons. Perhaps the individual was a spammer or crossed the line in some other severe fashion.

Occasionally, however, and I would say more often than most people would suspect, they make mistakes. Or they misunderstand a situation. Or they act in some totally irrational manner which goes against everything else they’ve done since day one.

It’s these instances that concern me. I’ve written many times about how and why it’s so important that we’re given a way to easily backup and (critically) be able to restore out Twitter accounts, because things do go wrong, and sometimes Twitter has a strop, picks up its ball and says that it – and more important you – are not playing any more.

But in all these examples, irrespective of where the fault actually lies, it ultimately comes down to your word against Twitter’s. Dave Winer has the clout and track record for the powers-that-be at Twitter to pay a little attention, but would they have been quite as forthcoming for somebody with a little less internet presence? Who was slightly less well-known, and perhaps not quite as persistent?

Or would that individual have been completely ignored?

And Then What Happens?

What options would that person have left? Sure, they could open another account and complain that way, but what’s that really going to accomplish? And who exactly is going to listen, or even care? It’s worth noting that several leading mathematicians recently calculated that your odds of winning the lottery are only slightly worse than those of you actually getting a reply on Twitter from Biz Stone.

Twitter is rapidly becoming a really big hairy deal. In less than a year it has firmly embedded itself, taken root and began to parasitically feed upon and nourish the minds of the public at large and the global media. It’s changed the game, and perhaps for the first time in our history, made it a level playing field.

And the thing is, they’re our tweets. As a collective, we own Twitter. Take away the tweets, and the company isn’t left with much more than a boardroom table and some ill-considered pieces of art. Shouldn’t we expect a little courtesy? A little fairness? Some consistency?

All of which leads me to ask this question: does Twitter need a trusted intermediary that can fairly and honestly investigate complaints against it? An appointed official or entity that would investigate complaints and issues raised by individuals who felt they had been unfairly treated by the social network?

More importantly: do we need it?

I think we do, and I think we need it now. Twitter is a big deal today – just what exactly is it going to be in two years from now, or five? Too big, perhaps, to do much about. Better to start setting precedents on both sides in these relatively early stages, than having them laid down upon us in the future to come.

After all, it was us that scorched the sky.