The 9 commandments of Tweets that add no value

A fellow passionate social media user for professional connections pinged me a great blog post that made me think about the value of tweets and how we critically read them. Jan (@Janpcim)  and I have regularly talked about the value of social media for us as educators. We are both advocates of this way of working and openly share with others.

I was nodding my head upon reading the blog post in how Twitter is a resource for educators. There are numerous opportunities to focus on content and interactions that are professionally valuable. There are resources, ideas, research, literature, live Twitter chats, collaborations, question posing and responding, and opportunities to access innovative and current concept. Most importantly there is a global perspective.

Many of my face-to-face colleagues have been initial connections through Twitter. Through this link I have had the chance to meet them and we have had the chance to further grow our professional relationships. For me this has been so exciting as usually research opportunities have been presented that enable some exciting new findings in regards to learning and teaching across K-12 and higher education and for teacher professional development.

What I liked the most about the post was the comment that many don’t articulate –

“But then there are tweets that add little, if any, value…”

I’m going to call What Ed Said list (with slight embellishment and rewording) as The 9 commandments of Tweets that add no value.

  1. No one really wants to hear how fabulous you think you are (Self promotion) – I have to admit I do turn off when I read a tweet that tells me how great you are, especially when this dominates most of the original content you share. BUT a RT from someone else who has acknowledged an achievement is okay but don’t RT it too often!
  2. Don’t canvas for voters to showcase how great you are – this goes in partnership with commandment number 1. You can send the link but don’t tweet continuously as this is just another version of a door-to-door salesman trying to get me to change my electricity company.
  3. Please do not share your minute to minute life updates on your professional account – although interesting at times (and only some times), perhaps a different social medium will be better for this type of sharing. If you would like me to engage with you professionally the professional tweet content equals lots of engagement. If you send through too many photos of your dinner, your dogs dinner, your neighbours cat’s dinner, etc etc then an unfollow will come pretty soon after.
  4. Please do not share your children’s minute to minute life updates on your professional account – this equals an immediate unfollow on a professional account and an initial non connection when you follow me. If you have a professional account then there are certain expectations around content, perhaps set up another account to share this content.
  5. Popularity stats are for your eyes only – at times we are all interested in various stats that come with social media engagement for professional connections BUT they are for you and not for all your followers. There is no value at all in me seeing how many people followed, unfollowed or RTed your weekly tweets.
  6. Inspirational quotes about education and life can be overwhelming – the random quote is great to share but if you fill my Twitter stream up with RTs of inspirational quote posters and no other professional content that is original then I’m afraid this will equal disengagement. What is much more inspirational is hearing your voice and stories.
  7. Critically think about sharing someone else’s infographic – these can be “all colour and movement” as we would say in the arts world. Sometimes the sources and information is not accurate or contextually relevant so a good critical read is needed before an infographic with ace colour and icons is shared. Would you share this many infogrpahics in your classroom as posters on the wall?
  8. 100 best anything and everything is a turn off – Although it is great to share resources, links, fellow social media educators in a list, 100 is overwhelming and a list of between 3 to 5 with detail and context would be such a more stronger contribution to possible future professional connections.
  9. Negative Nancy tweeters are such a downer – energetic professional engagement with content, ideas, and possibilities offers much to the Twitter community, and your professional reputation.

What do you think?

Would you add or change any commandments?


2 thoughts on “The 9 commandments of Tweets that add no value

  1. Tseen Khoo says:

    Great list, Narelle! My pet hate are those un/follower tweets – WHO CARES? And also (automated) astrology tweets for that person – great for that person to know they are meeting someone very helpful and a potential life-mate that day but why isn’t it an email to them rather than a tweet out to us…?

    I have a lot of time for people’s personal hobbies/family quirks if I know them well IRL, or had convos in the past about things. 🙂

  2. Jonathan O'Donnell says:

    I’m thinking of having a day when I tweet nothing but “Me, too!” to people I don’t like on Twitter. I’m going to spend the whole day in bed, just going ‘Me, too!’, pretty much at random.

    Here is how it will work out in practice:

    Do you have royal blood?
    Your last name may be able to tell you. [promoted]

    Me, too!
    1. Boss wants your roadmap
    2. Panic
    3. Use Aha! and be happy [promoted]

    Me, too!
    Turns out I don’t like promoted tweets.

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