Check out the other titles in the series:
- Twitter Chat Series Part 2: How to survive a Twitter chat
- Twitter Chat series Part 1: How to Participate in a Twitter Chat
In our last article, we covered the basics in surviving in a Twitter chat. However, there’s more to a chat than surviving. Like back in kindergarten, you gotta know your manners. There’s some unwritten rules about how to go about behaving in a Twitter chat. Here are some:
Lurk – It is always fine to lurk. In fact, you should do so for the first few chats so you get a feel of what’s going on. Once you feel comfortable, jump on in.
Never announce that you’re late – If you’ve just arrived late halfway into the discussion, the best thing to do is jump in. Do not apologize, do not say you were late. It’s rude, and it makes you look arrogant, as if the chat wasn’t important at all without you. Jumping on in makes it look like you were simply lurking and waiting for an opportunity to speak.
No Trolling - This should go without saying. Don’t be an asshole. People come to chats for advice, and while there are such things as stupid questions, people AREN’T stupid for asking them. Either be polite with others in the chat or shut up.
Stay on topic – If the topic is on branding blogs online, don’t start talking about using influence metrics like Klout, even if it partially relates to the topic at hand. If you need to continue a debate/commentary/discussion that’s off-topic, take it out of the chat (No Hashtag.)
Do not link to any content unless it’s relevant to the conversation – #blogchat’s Mack Collier put it best:
If we are going to discuss ways to get more comments on your blog, and you are promoting your post on ‘How to pick a great WordPress template’, and you add the #blogchat hashtag, then it comes across as ‘spam’ to the #blogchat community.
While good content can and should be given, as it helps everyone involved, don’t link crap willy-nilly. Furthermore, always follow the specific guidelines of the Twitter chat. For instance, #blogchat discourages any links being given during the actual chat. However, the time before and after #blogchat is fair game.
Don’t take stuff personally - Again, people are jerks. Sometimes they don’t mean to be jerks. I’ve blocked a few people for sounding like assholes when in reality, they were trying to help me. Then again, there’s just people who have a snarky edge to them (such as myself) but are genuinely nice underneath.
Follow up immediately – If you promise to do something for someone in chat (such as send a document or look at a form) do so as soon as you possibly can. Preferably right after the chat so it’s fresh in your mind.
If you mess up, apologize – We all make a social faux pas at one point or another, and we understand. If you act overly belligerent or you break a guideline, and someone calls you on it, apologize. Believe me, no matter how bad the fuck-up, it’s even worse if you don’t apologize.
Obviously, entire encyclopedias can be written on proper etiquette, but hopefully, these can serve as some ground rules.
What are some etiquette tips you have to share for Twitter chats? Anything I didn’t cover? What are some situations you have seen?
Next time: Creating your own Twitter chat!