Sunday, October 04, 2009


Now that Twitter is taking off in Jordan, and across the Arab World, it may be a good time to establish some form of Twitter etiquette, regarding what to tweet and how many times!

Twitter is a tool that means different things to different people.
Teenagers create an account, follow their friends, get followed by them, and then report every minute detail of there lives so everyone knows what’s happening.
Young adults do a bit of that, but mostly Twitter about something they saw, or read or that happened to them. Many of them use it to congratulate one another on occasions and so on.

Users in the 21+ range do a bit of both of the above, but add in ‘marketing Tweets’ which are about their achievements, careers, products and services they offer. In that sense, Twitter is mainly a self promotion tool for them. They also look at it as a ‘networking’ and ‘introduction’ tool to show others that they are interested in knowing more about them- by following them.

So, with all of these different motives behind Tweeting, it’s no surprise my Tweet Deck applications keeps buzzing with incoming tweets.

Accordingly, I wish people stuck to a general guideline of Twitter etiquette, which won’t only be a relief for people tried of their countless, meaningless messages but will also help them maintain their public image.

For starters, don't say something that makes you look like an idiot. Only Tweet about topic you understand, and conduct yourself on Twitter as you would socially in the real world. After all, it’s a ‘social network’.

Don't overly criticize someone or something which will go on public record as your position, making you look like a total hypocrite when you change your position about that person or thing.

For example, government employees in the US are advised not to Tweet, or re-Tweet, news or analysis that may reflect their political position.
Journalists of the Washington Post have received clear instructions from management to “refrain from writing, tweeting or posting anything that could be perceived as reflecting racial, sexist, religious or other bias or favoritism. Because that would tarnish the newspapers journalistic credibility."

And, be careful who you follow because it reflects your interests and general principles.

So, as you can see, Twitter is not all fun and games.

It’s a communication tool which could cause serious damage to your image or that of the organization you represent. To sum up, think before you Tweet. It does not take the fun out of it, it just takes out the potential damage!


At 2:48 AM , Anonymous Firas Steitiyeh said...

Hello Zeid,

I think that Twitter's etiquette is a universal issue not regional or cultural based, since you are free to choose whom update to see and whom not to! And if you're worried about your TweetDeck Alerts ;) it is easy to filter the Tweets your interested in and have them placed in a specific columns either per User or per phrase.

I really believe that it is a free area for everyone to express their opinions, what may be stupid to one might be beneficial to another and so on!

The last thing which I have to say that I 100% agree with you is that everyone should watch who they follow and what they RT!



At 11:54 AM , Anonymous Laith Zraikat said...

I agree with ur point: .."Twitter is mainly a self promotion tool for them.."

The Arab World has a long way to go for Twitter to reach mass, and the solution is not to go an offer an Arab alternative.

Because Twitter is mainly used as a PR/self promotion platform, the Arab masses are less likely to appreciate that to the point of investing so much of their time into it, as opposed to chat, games, dating, ..etc :)

In my opinion, Twitter will remain limited to the very small group of tech savvy, young business community in the Arab World.


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