Do you Converse or Broadcast? How to Build (or Kill) Relationships on Twitter

Broadcasting or Conversing on Twitter? Sonny Gill shares with us some tips on how to have Conversations rather than be a Broadcaster.

So you want to join the Twitter. You think of a cool username, sign up and get excited at the thought that you have complete freedom (140 characters worth) to tweet about whatever you want. You seek out the most popular Twitterers and start following them along with hundreds of others. How simple, you think. Now, the time has come for your first tweet:

“Hey all! Check out my blog www.pleasereadmyblognow.com!”

Hmm, no responses and not many people following you back. Let’s try that again:

“Glad to finally be on Twitter all. Leave some love on my latest post!”

Ok, we get it – it’s about you. Unfortunately, other people aren’t as accepting to your philosophy and won’t listen to you. Why, you ask? It’s because you’ve become a broadcaster – someone who constantly tweets about themselves and their blog/site. You fail to get involved with the community and end up providing little to no value to your network.

broadcasting-conversation1.png

Wait – don’t give up on Twitter already because no one is listening to the broadcaster in you. As with any network, group or forum, there are always basic cultural mores to understand that’ll help you become a better communicator. Twitter has a few of its own that will help your experience:

1. Do NOT link/friend Whore

Sending out tweets and DMs (direct messages) to tell people to check out your blog or sign up for your RSS feed (trust me, I’ve gotten this numerous times) is not proper Twitter etiquette and is considered spamming.

The same goes for mass following people. Clicking ‘follow’ on several hundred people at a time is not building your network. Profiles with skewed following to follower ratios (e.g. 2,000 following – 57 followers) will typically be looked at as spam.

Continually doing these activities will put a huge ding on your online reputation before it even takes off.

2. Two-way Street

Be human and actually talk to people and not at them. Follow those you find interesting but make sure you communicate and make it a two-way conversation. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing against about talking about something you worked on and getting other’s opinions on it, but maintain a proper balance of that. No one likes a friend who talks about themselves all the time. Keep the dialogue free and open for both sides.

3. It’s a Marathon

With any circle of friends, online or offline, time and effort are keys to building positive relationships. There’s no need to rush in and follow a thousand people to try to gain attention; instead, steadily increase your network while communicating and building relationships with your current Twitter friends. Show that you truly care and spend time getting to know them. Focusing on the amount of effort you put into these relationships will give you more credibility within the community and help grow your network.

Twitter is often mistaken as a broadcasting platform for people to spit out anything and everything. In the end, adhering to the Twitter culture and being respectful of the tips listed above will influence your experience on Twitter and whether you’re looked at as a conversation starter or a broadcaster.

Let’s get the conversation started and hear from you. What do you personally do to better communicate with your network? What other tips can we add to the list?

PS from Darren: Thanks for this post Sonny. It’s actually been a topic I’ve been wanting to write about for a while and one that I want to post a follow up post on tomorrow where I’ll ask – ‘when is it ok to ‘broadcast’ rather than ‘converse’?’ Subscribe to our RSS feed to make sure you get notified when this next post goes live.

Comments

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post Sonny! I must admit, my first impression of Twitterers, before I started getting into it, was as a bunch of broadcasters. And there are a ton of those, but I don’t follow them.

    I do admit to linking to my own stuff, but only the content I’m especially proud of. And I also post about different aspects of my day, but that’s because I myself enjoy reading behind-the-scenes stuff from writers I admire.

    Aside from that, I use Twitter to ask for advice or help; I respond to others as a means of getting a conversation going; and I post links to some of the interesting or hilarious things I’ve seen online.

  • November 7, 2008

    I think twitter is still coming into it’s own as a social networking tool. For me, I’ve been trying to find like-minded individuals to learn about what they offer. Generally, I don’t talk much (unless I’m teaching when I talk even less) but it’s nice to get feedback and discuss similar issues.

    Good article with some nice ideas. :)

  • November 7, 2008

    I have separate accounts for different purposes.

    On one of them I largely broadcast but I think that’s OK because I’m using it like a traditional feed RSS to announce events. If you see the page you know that’s what you’re going to get and so expecting that makes the information useful. It’s “instant RSS” I guess.

    I keep my personal, more conversation tweets limited to a separate account.

    I’ve seen other companies do this. E.g. Wordpress broadcast the occasional announcement and follow no one. I think this is perfectly OK.

  • November 7, 2008

    I agree regarding you should converse over broadcast but it’s very difficult to follow up with everyone on twitter. That’s where Plurk really shines IMO. If you have many friends and try and reply to everyone you will flood your friends that also follow the person you are replying to with short a-b conversation replies that have no bearing on their lives.

    When you ask a question on twitter it’s really hard to decided who to reply to if anyone at all as you don’t want to offend some but can’t possibly reply to all without filling an entire page of @ replies on the same topic. Quite the predicament really.

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post. I think Twitter works best when it’s a conversation. I don’t mind a twitterfeed form a newspaper or CNN because I know going in that that’s what it will be, and I signed up for it. But from regular people I want a mix of conversation and stuff from their blog.

    I don’t mind if someone links to his or her blog, as long as that’s not all he or she does. I find out about some great blogs I wouldn’t have found otherwise that way. (For example this one. :)

  • November 7, 2008

    I think I’ve been broadcasting more than building relationships on Twitter. The ones that I normally use the @ sign to or send direct messages are those that I’ve already have a connection established prior to being on Twitter.

    Like @stephanerd I too occasionally send direct messages to others for help and advice. And of course the blatant “help me out with a…” type of tweets. :)

  • November 7, 2008

    Hey Great post ! Well for me twitter has been such amazing discovery since l started using it about 3 – 4 months ago, networking with people l would of only dreamed of been able to find on google or another search engine, fantastic opportunity to share approximate 80% of your expertise on twitter grow and develop strategic alliance is the key secret with twitter l feel

  • November 7, 2008

    Great Tips Darren,

    Really applies to all Social Media too. First Impressions are Lasting ones too.

    Appreciate the post.

    My Best Regards to You,
    David

  • November 7, 2008

    This post is so appropriate! I see so many ‘tweets’ just broadcasting their businesses or their blogs without any regard to establishing real and valuable relationships with their followers.

    It REALLY annoys me when I get a DM from someone who followed me, then I follow back and all they say is, ‘Check out my store and buy today at http://www.abcd.com !!!’ That immediately leads me to un-follow because they have clearly shown they have no real interest in getting to me and how we can really network together.

    I like to mix it up when I tweet. I will converse, post links to things I think would be interesting or valuable to others, retweet others interesting info & links and I also let my followers know when I’ve updated my blog for anyone who would like to read it. I don’t believe in the ‘hard sell’ approach towards my business or social networking online. In my opinion, it’s just not the proper etiquette. We’re all selling something but there’s a right way AND a wrong way to go about it.

    Thanks for this post!

  • November 7, 2008

    Thank you for this post; I’m saving it to my social media knowledge library so I can share it with folks at work. Just helped a coworker sign up so she could twitter as she volunteered at the polls on election day. The info you shared is going to help me explain twitter culture to new users much easier–thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • November 7, 2008

    I don’t mind some broadcasting. I’d say once every 8 hours or so (to compensate for different time zones), post a blog or a sale or something. I’ve noticed that I don’t really care for the same exact tweet several times in a row.

    I agree with stephanerd, I love reading what people are doing behind the scenes.

    I tend to read a lot more than I tweet… at least I think I do.

  • November 7, 2008

    To me, Twitter is all about reaching out to others, whether it’s in conversation, or good comments or retweeting. For this reason, I seldom broadcast my posts unless I feel like my twitter friends would be interested.

    I have more followers than people followed because I am looking for community rather than raw popularity. With this philosophy, I find that those broadcasts I do make are read more often, and my home page visited more often than if I cast a broader net.

  • November 7, 2008

    When I first joined Twitter, I started following several big names, hoping for an occasional pearl of wisdom. Instead it was “broadcast” torment, as all they did was put link after link after link to the latest posts on their blog in their quests for self-promotion, affiliate dollars or Adsense money.

    I understand that they were leveraging the power of their names, based on a reputation that they had worked so hard to build. But they forgot the key reason that people were following them – to glean at least a trickle of the knowledge or insight upon which that reputation was built.

    One by one I quit following these people, and I noticed how much cleaner things became, and how other people I had also followed were starting to show up now that these twitter spammers no longer overwhelmed the results. It made Twitter fun again.

    One of these guys has changed his style, and I’m following him again. For the others, maybe you don’t care if you’re losing followers on a regular basis because you always gain more, but wouldn’t actually growing be better?

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post Sonny!!! Thanks!
    And Darren.. this blog is really a great idea!! Bravo!

    So.. how do you decide who to follow, and who not to follow?

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post!! LOVE the comparison of broadcast vs conversation!

    Well put!

    I try to mix it up — while in Twitter there are ‘no rules’ — I adhere to these:

    1) Character – be interesting, be clear on WHO you are

    2) Conversation – (see above post…not just broadcast, but interaction)

    3) Content – yes, send helpful resources, affirmation, quotes, ideas, etc (this gives you credibility)

    4) Consistent – irriating when someone is only in the conversation once a month which amazingly coincides with an affiliate promo, launch or tweetup — whether you are once-a-day or pop in and out – be consistent with your ‘followers’ and friends

    Thanks for the insight and affirmation!

    Carrie Wilkerson
    The Barefoot Executive
    http://BarefootExecutiveOnline.com

  • November 7, 2008

    I agree with Gil. I think there are several ways you can use Twitter so long as you are transparent about your purpose. It all depends on what your goal is for the account you have. If you want to engage people and build a good community with dialogue and discussion, then you absolutely need to follow the rules listed above. You have to engage and not automate.

    However, if like Gil points out, your goal is just to push out information and nothing else, then his implementation makes sense. I follow a few “RSS” Twitter accounts that only post news and updates because I know what I am getting with them and often it provides me with interesting information.

  • November 7, 2008

    Twitter is an incredibly powerful platform to put a more human face on the businesses, websites, and blogs. When somebody visits you on your Twitter page, they want to get to know YOU. They want to see the person behind the posts. I encourage all my clients who run websites to open a twitter account. If they have fans, then the fans want to meet the person behind the posts. To that end, it is so important to not be one of these “broadcasters.”

    Blogs are so powerful because they allow for interaction. In a world where increasingly we have less and less real human contact, Twitter provides a platform to fill the craving for personal contact. It gives a convenient and personal way for people (read:agoraphobes) to reach out and get to know you, when realistically there is no other way to do it.

    Thanks for the post! Great advice. I’ll direct my people here to learn how to use Twitter.

  • November 7, 2008

    I have been using Twitter (user: gushin) for a few months now and have not tweeted that much yet.

    I have broadcast a few recent posts that I thought my short list of followers might enjoy. My main reason for using it has been networking to find others in the web design field and I have established relationships with a few so far.

    I have not yet used it to try and get opionions on design issues, but I am going to try that.

    I have two “real life” friends that tweets each eBay auction they list and it gets kind of annoying to see all those. That is not how I plan to use Twitter.

  • November 7, 2008
    Susan Buckles

    I am having a hard time with Twitter technically. It won’t allow me to use the search/find people function, and it won’t allow me from my login page to set-up to follow someone. Can you give me any tips? Should I delete my account and start over? I also am not allowed to set up a Tweet Scan. When I tried, it said I never returned the registration email, but I never got it to begin with. I tried tech support for Twitter and never got any help.

  • November 7, 2008

    @stephanerd – That’s exactly it. It’s alright to post content you’re proud of and to get peoples feedback on it, but having that balance is the key to doing this right.

    @Linus T. – Learning from others is such a huge draw for me as well. You have like-minded and super smart people that you can connect with on an intellectual level and grow from.

    @Gil – Great point! That may be something Darren may note on his when it’s ok to broadcast vs. converse post. That’s the perfect example of how it can be done because ‘Tweeple’ know what they’re getting into when following basically an RSS feed vs. your personal account.

  • November 7, 2008

    @Bloggeries – Great thought there. I enjoy Plurk as well and agree that threaded conversations is such a great feature. I’m sure it’s something Twitter has been made aware of as it would be a great addition to the service. Only time will tell if it’s something they will (or even can) implement – would definitely increase the amount of conversation going on, IMO.

    @Mike Nichols – Quality over quantity :) Definitely a good rule to adhere to if you’re looking to get the most value out of your community and the conversations within.

    Appreciate all the comments and thanks Darren! Loved writing this post as it’s something that’s at the forefront of Twitter and how many people use (or abuse) it.

  • November 7, 2008

    I find that certain broadcast-like tweets actually engage my followers the most. Perhaps it’s because I design those for a reaction (I’ll write them to be funny, or to make a subtle—or sometimes totally garish—statement). I also find I’m compelled to reply to tweets that make a strong statement, not necessarily only to those that ask questions. I agree that it can be difficult to carry on a good rapport when inundated by @replies, though. I often choose not to reply individually, but rather to make a blanket, “thanks, here’s an update” tweet instead.

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post!
    Good thing I have been doing this for a while. I am both a broadcaster and part of the community. When I surf the net I find interesting links and share them with people and I just twitterfeed to broadcast my new blog posts so I don’t have to. Follow me on twitter @swimuniversity

  • November 7, 2008

    I started as a broadcaster. Then I started interacting a little bit and following different people. Now, my network is still under 20, but I have had decent interactions with several of the people in it, and from that I pick up new followers and find new followers….but it is slow right now. Honestly, I would rather have a slow network build and have it be quality rather than build 1500 followers and have no quality and little interaction.

  • November 7, 2008

    Good post, but isn’t it sad that this has to be said. I’ve seen lots of people follow me, so I check out their profile only to see it filled with spam tweets and a spam ratio of followers / following. I don’t understand how they can think this will work on Twitter, or how anybody will ever follow them.

  • November 7, 2008

    When I get a new follower, I will go to their twitter page and see what their most recent updates are about, and if they are all links to themselves I will not follow back. I also do not follow back if they are ALL @replies. Another really important thing is having a link in your profile, this will allow people to find out more about you and it really helps when trying to built up your follower count.
    Thanks for another great post Darren

  • November 7, 2008

    Great tips over here. I believe new bloggers definitely make some of the mistakes before. Thanks for the great article

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post, Sonny. One of the thing coming out in the comments is the necessity of deciding on your own friend/follower policy when starting out. It makes your Twitter experience much more enjoyable.

    When people ask me what the greatest benefit of Twitter is, I point to people like you — those I’ve gotten to know through Twitter (and Plurk) and then had the opportunity to meet in person and strengthen the relationship. There is no greater ROI in my book.

  • November 7, 2008

    Thanks for the great article. As more and more people are discovering twitter for the first time, I have found that it is really easy for them to make some mistakes in the beginning. One of the first things that I recommend is to join a conversation. Once you have selected some followers, if you engage them in a conversation, you have a good chance of them following you back if they haven’t already. It’s okay to send links if you put out about 10 other tweets that are either promoting someone else, or conversing with others. I love twitter! You can follow me at http://twitter.com/nancymk

  • November 7, 2008

    Twitter is a fascinating and confusing creature. I am very new and right as I joined people started following me.. I thought.. WOW.. they must like me.. (dummy optimist that I am) when in fact all they wanted to do was shout at me. SOME of them connected because I am an SEO person, but definitely not all. I think you also wrote a post about not having it be a one-sided conversation and using direct tweets when the whole world could care less about your response. I’m going right now to stop following so many people that are shouting at me…. Thanks for the twitter-pation lessons! ;)

    Great posts Darre/Sonny… I DO follow your posts because they are helpful to me and I pass them on to other who aren’t “with it” enough to know to follow you! lol Have a great day!

  • November 7, 2008

    Well i was juts the same at the beganing i juts fallow fallow, and fallo, perosn that for real i dont know, but from time ago i juts fallow juts that i know in way or other and that i allrady talk to them tru twitter.

    I really dont feel good fallowing some on that dont fallow, me too, because its juts like if he dont care for me.

    Peace.

  • November 7, 2008

    Hi,

    I think that this happens because many people don’t think to use Twitter to create connections with others : they just heard that Twitter is a cool marketing tool so they log in and broadcast. I think that you should think of social networks like this : you are on a beer with your friends and you talk about things you like. From time to time you share something about you. If you would talk all the day only about you you’ll end up with no friends at all.

    Thank you

  • November 7, 2008

    Sonny and Darren – thank you for the sound advice. It can be tempting to tweet every little thing, drench our followers in a twillion updates, without keeping in mind that each update provides a microscopic piece of the perception puzzle. Our relationships, on and off Twitter, grow best through interaction and bidirectional listening, and suffer when one person dominates all conversation.
    @caseyfern

  • November 7, 2008

    twitter is a bit like broadcasting to me because of the limited 140 character message content. I am guilty of following businesses or people’s that I do not have conversations with but that I mainly follow to keep abreast of what is happening in social media, watch how social media is influencing our lives and in what capacity will it help me grow my business?

    To me, social media is an instrument in today’s economy that both influences people’s thinking and decisions for change that I want to experience empirically or at the bottom up approach if you will in growing my business. I have developed the habit of broadcasting specifice updates or messages that feed to my blog, but I do not publish my blog. My blog is currently for private use as I gather data and facts on “consciousness” in our society and how people change their thinking for better or worse.

    Since our minds are directed by motion and emotion it is important to be selective and in particular choose experts to follow like Darren Rowse because of their knowledge and experience as a “ProBlogger” who knows how social media works and what trips to take and what roads to avoid.

    For an example in this article I think I would be expose myself negatively but for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So if you say twitter is for conversation and not for broadcasting what you say is indeed true. But you could also say that twitter is for broadcasting and not for conversation and that would indeed be also true.

    For example if Darren did not broadcast his message “Should Twitter be used for Broadcasting? – interesting comments on http://lin.cr/7e4” I would not be here making a long winded comment about twitter and how it works for me in the social media network marketing context. It also proves that I have much more to learn and much more to experience all the more reason to stay and follow @problogger on twitter.

    Thanks for the broadcast and invitation for conversation Darren, with love your follower and friend Judith.

  • November 7, 2008

    When I first started using Twitter, I was following too many people and couldn’t really figure out what was going on. So I pared my follows way down. Once I had a feeling for each of the people I was following, got a concept of who they were and what they had to say, I slowly added more and more people. Now I’m following many again, but I have the sense I know who they are and what they’re bringing to my life.

  • November 7, 2008

    Twitter should be more about the others than about yourself. I have had a lot of trouble to understand that. In spite of having some good intentions and trying to help others sometimes, I hate myself sometimes for being so “I” without me knowing it. Now I see here that such behavior is already categorized as The Broadcaster. Great definition. Yes, the idea is that you are on the air, like a radio station and everybody is there ready to listen. You go to your cabin, put the earphones on, and start with the night show. No!!! Wrong. The more I twit the more I realize that. You can feel it. You drop a hint of self promotion and you can hear the echo while it falls into the abyss, no answer. And it is not about trying to fool people either, “yes give me your stuff” and now I shovel you mine. There is a lot of that too. Some days ago I was still suggesting my own posts. I got a couple of Qwitter messages “@so and so has stop following you after: this” and that this was my post. So the evidence here is that no matter how nice your intentions are, no matter how helpful you want to be, that is of no use if there is blatant self promotion next to it. It is better to be anonymous than to nag. As @bloggeries says you flood your followers with too many a-b conversations already, so I guess sometimes is better to remain quiet. I certainly believe now that the essence of it all is to really feel that you need to help somebody that day and expect nothing in return. It is difficult but if you achieve that, love will come your way too. I agree with Jill in the previous comment, better to get to know people first and grow little by little.

  • November 7, 2008

    Interestingly, Tim Ferriss from 4 hour work week http://www.twitter.com/tferriss uses it as a broadcast tool, his choice, he follows nobody, yet is followed by 1000’s. what do you make of that?

    Mike Ashworth
    Marketing Coach and Consultant
    Brighton and Hove, Sussex, UK
    Boosting Sales for Small and Medium Sized Businesses by
    helping them find, attract and keep Customers.

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeashworth
    http://MichaelAshworth.wordpress.com

  • November 7, 2008

    Thank you all for the fantastic comments! Love the feedback.

    Everyone definitely seems to understand the Twitter culture but you each do it with your own flair, which is what makes the community so unique.

    If any of you have specific questions for me, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

  • November 7, 2008

    First time visitor! I can’t believe it took this long for me to find you. Great post in a series of very informative posts. Great to see this topic come up in such force today. :)

  • November 7, 2008

    Twitter is not a significant source of traffic for me by any stretch of the imagination, and I basically just use it for networking with other bloggers and keeping my fingers on the pulse of the latest content produced in the blogosphere. I do broadcast latest posts along with conversations and random thoughts and didn’t realize that was spamming. lol–live and learn.

    I know what you are saying with the constant broadcasting but I like it when my friends tweet their latest blog post, it is usually going to grab my attention faster than my RSS. I have just recently started to understand the social networking power of Twitter and have decided to spend a bit of time every day to actually check out the people that want to follow and see what they are marketing.

    Before I felt like Twittering was more of a chore and would just quickly run through and accept the new follows. But, in just a day I met three health care providers that wanted to do guest posts. Which is fantastic for me as I’m focusing my time now on ebooks.

    I was a bit cold to Twitter at first but I’m warming up and starting to talk to people more instead of just using it as my personal broadcasting station. ;o lol When you know what to actually do with it –it really is a powerful marketing tool.

    So, I guess my question would be do most Twitter users see it as spamming to update about latest posts, or it considered spam if that is all you are seen doing. I like Tweeting my latest posts because it quickly gets my friends leaving comments so that email readers the following day will actually click off the emails and on to the comment thread to read people’s responses and opinions.

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post.

    – Outbrain allows to rate it w/o leaving a comment and rewrite what has been said several times :-) With time it would give you a direction of what we, readers, prefer. Keep it that’s a great way to have feedback from readers who usually as me don’t leave a comment.

  • November 7, 2008

    Guilty. I just deleted my twitterfeed link between my blog and twitter.

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post and tips. I’m pretty new to the twitter scene and my first encounters with twitter prompted the following ~
    Twitter me this, twitter me that.
    Added some follows, and did you know that,
    some will actually auto follow you back :)

  • November 7, 2008

    Sonny, I greatly appreciate your bringing these thoughts to everyone’s attention about the importance of creating and maintaining a balance between being a conversationalist vs a broadcaster. I love the image you used to exemplify a broadcaster.

    Building relationships that have any meaning or depth takes time and effort. If Twitter users are simply plastering the Twitter screen with their own post links repeatedly, other Twitter users will find that person to be rather annoying and selfishly seeking attention, which quickly leads to an Unfollow.

    Give to Get.

    Reach out and actually communicate with other Twitter users.

    Bring attention to interesting posts written by someone other than yourself.

    Be real and genuine. Care about those you are following and are following you.

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post.
    You are really full of resources.
    Thanks.

  • November 7, 2008

    You’ve pretty much got it covered, Darren.

    Building relationships on Twitter, as anywhere else in the social media infrastructure, takes time. It’s important to get to know people in your network (s) and to facilitate a two-way conversation with others.

    Great blog! I’m looking forward to all your Twitter tips!!

  • November 7, 2008

    Always be transparent and straight up on twitter. People can see through your nonsense. I do promote myself but very subtle ways.

  • November 7, 2008

    I’m a musician & writer and show my tweets on my websites, my MySpace accounts and my Facebook accounts.

    As such, I do a lot of broadcasting about my day – but I limit myself to news that might interest my fans so I don’t tell them about what I had for breakfast but I will tell them when I’ve started writing a new song, which song I am recording etc

    However, I don’t broadcast in the sense of telling people to go and check out my website ; most readers of my tweets are already on one of my websites/social media page anyway.

    I keep conversations private, because of the way I use twitter – I don’t think people visiting my website want to know my reply to a certain person.

    For me, twitter saves me having to write many blog posts saying “I’m working on a new song”, “I’m editing my novel”, “I’m mixing a new song” – now, my website is purely for announcing finished projects, and twitter is to give “in progress” information.

  • November 7, 2008

    Great post! Thanks Sonny. I’m just learning how to use Twitter effectively and found your post very useful. I’m taking your points onboard, to be a conversationalist not a broadcaster. Much appreciated. Thanks to Darren too, for a great blog ;-)

  • November 9, 2008

    I tend to broadcast my latest blog posts, photos, eBay auctions, news, etc. What I’ve been doing recently is writing some short insight about them that’s different than the title or just the first few words of the post. It makes my Twitter page different and more interesting (rather than being of no value to anyone who reads my blog), and it makes me think.

    Also, I’m talking more about what goes on in my life, tweeting interesting web pages I come across NOT created by me, following more people, and replying to their tweets. It’s good to be balanced between being a broadcaster or a conversationalist, but whatever it is you are not allowed to be boring.

  • November 9, 2008

    hmmm, wrote a guest post for chris brogan with almost the exact same title: “how to keep your conversations from turning into broadcasts”

    http://www.chrisbrogan.com/keep-your-conversations-from-turning-into-broadcast/

  • November 10, 2008

    That’s the one thing that I really hate about Twitter, is the self-promotion and the “me me me” approach.

    Read a great blog post on this topic – you could almost use it as an unspoken rulebook for Twitter:

    http://dannybrown.me/2008/11/09/5-ways-to-ruin-a-perfectly-good-twitter-relationship/

  • November 10, 2008

    A great post and presentation on an interesting topic. I personally try to make it a mix of broadcast and conversation between co-workers, friends, new friends and peers.

  • November 11, 2008

    I’m firmly in the camp that twitter is not for conversation. It’s, in general, what’s happening. Yes, you can respond to what is happening, but I believe it is rather rude to carry on a conversation (unless using IM apps).

    Think of it this way.

    If you are giving a speech to fifty people and you then decide to get off the stage and start chatting with one person in crowd for a half hour. The audience can hear you over the microphone, but they can’t hear the other half of the conversation.

    That is what you are doing to your followers.

    Rosh

  • November 12, 2008
    Kelli Schmith

    My web surfing has changed dramatically now that I follow folks on Twitter — for the better. I follow people who intrigue me or have an expertise or insight I don’t have. Thanks to Twitter, I spend less time on crap — more time on quality content. As a side benefit, I get some of my best chuckles from reading the “real life” tweets. It’s a reminder that everybody’s day can go in the toilet; we’re all human!

  • November 12, 2008

    I totally agree with you Rosh.. I wish I knew how to do that small url thing so I could post this to my twitter group again. ;)

  • November 12, 2008

    I think this piece gave some real good perspective on the extremes that can be had in Twitter both in personality & tweetage. I think the individuals that thrive on Twitter understand the community/networking/connecting relationshipping style through their tweets are the ones who become “influential”. Bringing value and personality to their tweets.

    I appreciate it that you took the time to share such great Twit-sdom! ;)

    Timothy Carter
    http://ICommitToFitness.com

  • November 23, 2008

    Chris Morin: Try this website, it should help you shorten that long URL.
    http://tinyurl.com/
    Have an excellent day.

  • December 31, 2008

    I’ll be the first to admit to being a broadcaster at times. However my audience, albeit small expects these irrational blips from me and interacts accordingly. The ones that don’t strike a conversation are usually the lurkers following you for spamtastic purposes.

    Unfortunately at times I can be very long winded so I will include a post to my blog, but usually when it provides value for my followers. In general I like to keep two way conversations/commentary flowing with all. Sometimes it’s a tad difficult to keep up with, but I love it nonetheless.

    -Jaems

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