Legal blogger, Charon QC has stated on a number of occasions that 'there are no rules on Twitter'.
That's the long and short of it, and here at LexRex, we tend to agree. However, we have created our own good conduct rules, which we try follow as a matter of course.
So these are our rules:
- Be nice at all times. You wouldn't be mean face-to-face, so why do it in cyber-space?
- Be yourself. As in real life, tweeps can spot a fake a mile off.
- Spell correctly and sort out your grammar, but don't be afraid to throw in a few silly made-up words and emoticons. Why? Like with email, it can be difficult to read humour into 140 characters. A little silliness never goes amiss.
- Don't shout, or rather, don't broadcast (excessively - see point 5). You wouldn't walk into a networking event and start shouting at the room. Don't do it on Twitter – people will think you're weird and rude. Not good.
- OK, a little broadcasting is ok - for example, if you want people to read your latest blog post. We try and stick to the 80:20 rule of 80% conversational and/or interesting content tweets, to a maximum of 20% promotional tweets.
- Don't engage in arguments. If you disagree with something posted on Twitter, not a problem, but think long and hard before you enter into this sort of dialogue with a fellow user. Why? Everybody can see the argument, and it is easy to enter into a virtual slanging match. Uncool.
- Don't pester people. If you @ mention them, and they don't reply, that's ok. Don't challenge them about it - they may have put their phone or laptop down to make a cup of tea, or go to a meeting. Or they may have chosen not to reply. Respect their right to ignore you.
We're not suggesting that these are hard and fast rules, or that everyone should follow them, but we like them. All thoughts welcome as ever...
If you are interested in Twitter, you may like to read this related post:
LexRex founder, Victoria Moffatt, recently wrote about etiquette around 'following back' when you gain new followers: http://www.vicmoffatt.com/2013/01/tweet-tweet-to-follow-or-not.html
By Victoria Moffatt