Communicating on Twitter

There seems to still be a lot of confusion on how to properly communicate on Twitter.

I’m not talking about social norms or how to be a Twitter guru/rock star/enlightened individual; this is more specific than that.

Not a day goes by where I don’t see people misunderstand how to tweet directly at someone versus how to publicly reply.

Exhibit A – The Direct Tweet:

In the above example, the only people who can see those tweets are people who follow both me and the person I am tweeting at. Anyone who only follows me will not see that tweet in their public stream. They can click on my profile and see the tweet in my personal stream, but it will not stream publicly.  DO NOT CONFUSE THIS FOR BEING A PRIVATE MESSAGE!!! Many a political career has been ruined by various dick pics being sent via this method thought to be private.

If you’re sending pics of your junk, please send them only via “DM.” But even then, it’s probably best to avoid altogether.

Exhibit B – The Public Tweet:

You might be looking at example B and are thinking… “But Rob, that looks almost identical to exhibit A! What could possibly be different?”

That teeny little “.” before the @username makes all the difference in the world.

This tweet is now visible to anyone that follows me in the public stream. It doesn’t matter what symbol you choose, but the period is most common.

Common uses for this:

  • Giving someone public attention
  • Shaming someone publicly


This compliment to @stentontoledo, while always welcome, will not complete it’s intended purpose! Clearly this person wants to direct more people toward my amazing Twitter account, but alas has failed because the only people who will see that are already following both of us.

This tweet will do the trick! Note the small period that allows the tweet to stream to all of your followers who will flock like the salmon of Capistrano to my Twitter account.

Looking for some practice? Feel free to shoot some tweets my way and I will critique them rigorously.




This entry was posted in Rants. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>