How to annoy friends and alienate people

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Ok, so I got a little bit carried away with my Twittering last week when I was in California. Actually, I don’t think it was the Twittering, it was the feeding the tweets into Facebook as status updates. The latter are updated fairly infrequently, maybe one or twice a day, while tweets are created as soon as you think of something clever or at least move a couple of inches from your previous position.

My wife told me it was too much, and she told me about people (nameless so far, but I have ways of finding out) who told her it was too much. My daughter told me it was too much. My son asked me is I had leveled my mage in World of Warcraft. He neither Twitters not Facebooks, and that’s just fine.

This angst came about because of a mismatch between the accepted social networking update frequencies of the two services. Since there is no one service that does everything for everybody, it is tempting to link them together so that some updates from one go into the other. That way you don’t have to run around and put the information into all of them. The problem with this particular link-up, as well as using services like FriendFeed, is that while your original text goes into one place and then gets distributed, the comments can appear in one or more places. So while you insert the message once, you have to keep running around seeing if anyone said anything about it on the various sites to which it was delivered.

What to do?

Option 1: Tweet less frequently. I tweet at an irregular pace, and this could work, but it seems counter to the basic idea of Twitter.

Option 2: Cut the link between Twitter and Facebook. That way I won’t annoy my Facebook friends but I still have to update my status there if I care to.

Option 3: Cut off Facebook wall updates to people who complain. Drastic, but doable.

Options 4: Use the Selective Twitter Status application for Facebook. With this, Twitter and Facebook are still connected, but only tweets that end in #fb get copied in as Facebook updates. Thanks to Eric Newcomer for suggesting this to me.

I went with the final choice and so far so good. I’ve sometimes forgotten to add the #fb, but I can get used to it.

The experience has left me somewhat reticent to Twitter much, but I think I can work my way back. Of course, my Facebook friends might never find out. (grin)


  1. I like Twitter and find it useful, but I had a similar experience last summer when I had enabled my tweets to post to my blog. Those little micro-blogs were probably confusing to say the least to anyone else.

  2. Ahh. #4 is perfect. I’ve had the SAME experience… there’s definitely a different level of acceptable frequency in Twitter and Facebook and I’ve been battling with the same. I wanted a tool that could selectively publish to one or both… #4 looks like the perfect match. Thanks for sharing…

  3. I don’t really get it. Why do frequent Facebook status updates cause a problem? It’s not like somebody gets spammed, right?

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