Time for another Social Media rant. And it’s about the one thing that puts most Twitter users’ teeth on edge, the “retweet” (or “RT” for those in the know). I briefly covered this in a previous Social Media post, but I guess nobody paid attention to it or forgot.
Some of this rant will be directed to my tweet stream as a Washington Capitals fan in particular, but I’m sure it can apply to every Twitter user, as the majority of Tweeps usually follow a certain topic/theme/interest. So, let the ranting begin.
Please use RT’s with care. It is not necessary to RT everything tweeted by the @washcaps account. They are followed by almost 70,000 people, so you can be pretty much guaranteed that everyone who follows you has already seen the news they just tweeted. The same can be said of any tweets or blogs posted by @TedLeonsis (who may only have 20,000+ followers, but that’s enough to ensure that most fans are already seeing the original). Maybe you think you are providing a service to your followers by doing this? Yes, that is so very nice of you. But you aren’t paying attention, are you? I just told you, I can pretty much guarantee that all of your followers have already seen the news. So, as nice as that seems; in truth, it is very annoying to those of us that follow both you and the team. We follow you for your own personal musings, not to see the same information regurgitated over and over and over.
Which brings me to bloggers and media type Twitter users. I know it’s tough to compete. Some of you make your living by being actual sports journalists, and that’s why we follow you; for actual sports news. Bloggers, your job is to put your own spin on that sports news. But how many times have we seen the same thing tweeted by both? Too many. You might as well just RT them, but then you'd piss people off then too. We are on to you; you really want to be professional journalists, don’t you? Well, until such time as you get hired by an actual media outlet and make the big bucks, please stop posing. Put your own spin on your tweets, we’d rather see you than some clone of someone else. That is why we follow you after all. And, this seems to be a good place to thank all of the bloggers who do this correctly; you make me want to click your links.
And speaking of following, let’s talk about #FF’s while we are at it. A lot of Twitter users like to give shout outs to Tweeps by giving them an #FF every Friday. People who receive these are usually very honored to receive the recommendation, as they should be. But by RTing that #FF recommendation verbatim to your entire follower base makes you come off as either lazy or egotistical. Let me remind you, when you RT a #FF recommendation to your tweet stream, you are sending it to people who already follow you! Yes, it’s possible that someone in the original #FF tweet doesn’t follow you, but those people already saw the recommendation for you when they were @’d in the first place! The correct response to a #FF directed towards you is a simple thank you.
Which brings me to people who ask for RT’s. How many times have you seen people either tweet a blog post, some silly or inane idea/comment or announce it’s their birthday and ask someone else for a RT? Yes, fortunately for them, some people they ask will oblige them. But in essence, what you are doing when you ask for the RT is begging for attention and validation. I feel kind of sorry for people who do this, how sad their meaningless little lives must be. (That is snark, people; don’t get your panties in a wad.) On the flip side, if you have a certain piece of information that you think would be beneficial to have RT’d for the greater good, such as a charity or cause, go right ahead and ask for the RT. This circumstance seems appropriate, and I hope that the celebrity who gets these requests consider actually following through with a RT. Now, that’s the way to use your powers for good!
So, like the earlier thank you to bloggers, I’d like to say thank you to all my Tweeps who do the RT the right way. You make it a pleasure to follow you all. To those of you who can’t seem to be Social Media savvy, you may have already been unfollowed for the sake of irritation alone, but you probably have no idea why. As for me, I expect to be unfollowed in 5….4….3….2….
Authors Note: Minutes after posting this with no linking to Twitter or Facebook because it really is just a personal rant, I was sorta retweeted by the @CapsBlogsRT. Yes, I am kind of embarrassed right now.