The South African TWITTER ecosystem is one of the most interesting online communities I have ever observed and been part of. Just like anywhere else you will meet a lot of characters and learn a lot along the way. Friendships are made, friendships are broken, relationships are built and relationships are broken, careers are built and careers are lost. So much happens in-between with some regrets and sometimes so much to laugh about. Here are some things I have learnt :
People search every mention they are not tagged (Not TRUE)-There is this popular habit of sublimal tweeting, also known as #Subtweeting . In most cases, whenever a person chooses to #Subtweet, they will be saying negative stuff about the subject, usually a total stranger. Some take their subtweeting to the next level by actually adding a name to the tweet, but not tagging the person they are talking about. I think you are well aware of what I am talking about. The catch comes when the person who has been subtweeted responds, and then you will see comments like,” Oh Mang-Mang searches tweets” , “Mara this one always searches what we are saying about him/her!”.
The Truth is : There are free twitter monitoring tools online that help companies and individuals to monitor their online footprints . One of those is TWEETDECK, you can create a stream (Column) for any key word and if that word is mentioned, it appears on the stream. That is why you will see that, you can talk about Vodacom or CellC without tagging and they respond to you. It is actually a good thing to watch the conversation about you, especially if you have to maintain a reputation
Twitter Wars Make you POPULAR: Twitter wars ( cyber wars) or whatever you want to call them have negative side-effects. In most cases it is a case of someone seeking attention at the expense of someone. There are a few TWARS that can be really genuine, and in all that, there are always instigators. They use clever language and operatives like, “Tjo” “Popcorn” “Drama”. Many twitter newbies believe that picking a Twitter War will give them more followers and make them popular, but the sad truth is, not everyone loves foul language and fighting. Twitter is yet to VERIFY one account of anyone who became a TWAR champion. People will also forget about you as soon as the next TWAR happens, and be assured many conclusions can be drawn against you, both positive and negative. So next time you jump into one ask yourself,”WHO AM I DOING A FAVOUR HERE ?”
Getting RTs makes you POPULAR : Twitter has helped the growth of the ATTENTION ECONOMY. Everyone wants that attention so everyone sees value in their online footprint by the way they engage and get responses from peers or from those in their ecosystems. But for some people, they will go to the extremes just to get RETWEETS. The most common modus operandi is to attack PUBLIC FIGURES or those conceived popular, by the use of subtle yet demeaning words. Some will go as far as generalising everything, just to get an RT. Worst examples i have seen are, “S**** Booth and M****** Booth are the ugliest gay couple”, “Every girl who drinks Hansa is a HOE”, “RIP so and so” and “When does Dj Cleo die kanti”.
I mean really, you might need RTs but getting them by saying extreme things like this will get you nowhere. I also once tweeted that,” RTing is agreeing “and there was a lot of debate around that statement. But in a real life situation, if someone says, “Hey Joe, your mama is ugly”, would I expect my friend to repeat that to me?
It is just TWITTER – Twitter is not just twitter anymore. Twitter is a platform you use to engage with other people. The way you engage with those people is upto you, but those who follow you will be also observing! What you say partly reflects who you are, in other words it is an extension of your personality. I used to tweet mean stuff about a certain celeb (name reserved), for some unknown reasons my works got to an agency that managed the celeb and guess what! What I used to tweet in 2010 stuck and the celebrity was not happy about it. At the end we agreed we could not work together! And another happy ending. I used to tweet whatever rubbish came to my mind about a corporate. One day I asked them for sponsorship and they asked for my e-mail. Then the director told me they were interested in sponsoring the event, but would also be interested to know how they had wronged me! Talk of an embarrassing moment! It was a good lesson learnt and I will always watch what I say. Today me and the corporate are huge friends (Am a brand loyalist if I can say)
Twitter is about CELEBRITIES- I ask a lot of my Facebook friends why they are not on twitter and they always say, Twitter is for celebrities. Is that true?