I can’t help it. Everything sucks, I can’t stop doing it. Anyone who follows me has to deal with it.
That said, I try to read every tweet from every person I follow. I can’t do it, it’s too much, but I do still try. I am, after all, following them.
I figure, if I’m following someone, then I’m agreeing that what they are saying is important, or funny, or informative. The sheer number of folks I’m following makes it difficult to read everyone’s, but doggone it. I give it the old college try. It didn't take me long to start seeing different types of tweeters emerge. In fact, I've put them into one of three categories.
Now sometimes things can be mixed up some, almost no one is one thing alone. I count myself as a commenter, someone whose typical tweet might look like this:
“What’s the deal with street signs? I mean, they’re so angular. Why don’t we have more curvy ones?”
See? What I did there was make a comment on society, or people, or things, whatever. I’m a commenter. It’s what I do.
Linkers, on the other hand, have turned their twitter stream into a gateway into the internet. Like this.
“Hey, ever wonder why a wombat is neither a woman, nor a bat, yet shares its name with both? Learn more here http://www.wom/...:
Or, “What gives with politicians being jerks? http://www.politi/....
You have to watch for those folks that you do not know that mention your name and offer a link, nothing good ever comes of that. Ever.
Then we have the repeaters. Now, writers can get drawn into this because it can be seductive, very seductive. Repeaters offer up the same tweet, usually with a link (yes, I see the problem with my categories even as I write this), asking you to visit their blog, or amazon page, whatever. Generally the thought is that since so many people only check their feed intermittently that a single tweet will get lost in the noise.
I’ve come down on the side of not being a repeater, I’m on twitter a lot, and probably read further back than most people, but I will sometimes see the same tweet like, 8 or 9 times in a day from a single person. I think it’s probably a bit too much. It makes me tend to not read any of their tweets because I’m pretty sure I’ve read it before… Yes, a writer can cause folks to glaze over whenever their name comes up in the feed. Their very effort to avoid being passed by caused them to get ignored. Oh irony, you get us all in the end.
Now, I won’t argue that any one way is better, or worse, that the other. Much like people with a healthy diet will tell you, variety is the key. I know some folks that hate repeaters with a passion. Although I've also read ‘how to use twitter’ lists that cite those pithy commenters as the blight that ruins twitter for the rest of them (that’s an awful attitude, my pithy comments are all I have). And I’ve even heard folks complain about the linkers (beyond the scammers), as being shallow and not getting twitter’s point in existing.
Me, I don’t know. I’m probably doing it wrong, but when I signed on I spent my time entertaining only myself. I’m particularly proud of the time I got high at the dentist’s office and then forgotten. After that tweet-a-thon I picked up half a dozen new followers… all of them bots that sold dental supplies, but I found the whole thing fun, I decided that day that I wanted to use twitter to be a smart-aleck first, everything else second.
I won’t even comment about the whole, ‘follow me and I’ll follow you” thing, or other “how to gain followers” strategies that have filled the internet, that’s all stuff for a different day. Well, and probably from someone who actually knows something about it.
*Now, there is a sub category of tweeter that I didn’t mention that I like to call the conversers, those folks like to answer tweets, carry on conversations, that sort of thing. I didn’t include them as a category all their own however, because I wanted three, not four. It’s funny how arbitrary things can be. Although conversers can be part of any group, I think of them as a subset of commenters. Mostly because I think it’s funny to think someone might throw up a clever, biting tweet intended to be rhetorical, but then have the comment used as an opening for a conversation. However, sometimes they can be linkers to, as the aforementioned tricksters that try to suck you in to their evil plots.