Cross-Posting Etiquette: The Evils of and HelloTxt

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A little while ago, I did a post on using without spamming FriendFeed. This was followed up with a post by Andy DeSoto, where he talks about whether this cross-posting is saving time at the expense of others. Now, I know there are a lot of people in the social media community who are against etiquette and I totally understand where they are coming from. The problem is there are some things that you can do that make you look like a very bad and inconsiderate person.

There are people that I am really interested in following. I want to be aware of things going on with them. That’s why I follow them. I hate to see these people tarnish their image by abusing community technology tools. Social media is about being social. You have to listen as well as talk. Services like and HelloTxt are very powerful and can cause a lot of damage to this interaction in the wrong hands.

Using an ‘@’ symbol in

Are you serious? As Andy pointed out in his post, the ‘@’ is pretty specific to Twitter replies and doesn’t really translate to other services. Even in the rare case where you might be talking to a person who actually exists on two or more different services, why would you ‘@’ them on all of them? I don’t need to see your Twitter ‘@’ replies on The person you’re talking to don’t live here and nobody can piece together what you’re talking about.

Your follower count is 0, Zero, Zilch

Are you broadcasting to a service where you are following 0? Nobody? Nadie? Why would you do this? I know I’m new here and all, but having a large number of followers and a low (nonexistant?) number of people you’re following is the mark of a spammer. I understand that you may not be active on every service, but come on. You didn’t even try. People may be interested in what you broadcast and then totally reversed once they see you are not listening.

You Never Check Your Updates

Have you ever received a call from an automated message? Annoying, isn’t it? If you are not available to speak to me live, why the hell did you call? I figure that most of us use Social Media to connect with others, but how are you doing this effectively if you don’t even respond when people try to engage with you? When you broadcast to a service, people expect that you are actually there. You are available for discourse. When you don’t respond, that leaves people with a bad impression.

Step Your Game Up

We can’t all be on every service all the time. It’s just not possible unless you’re a robot or you have some slick software yet to be released (I can haz beta key, please?). You have to set realistic goals for interacting with the community. It’s fine if you want to jump on every new service that comes out. Go ahead, play around with it. That’s what we do, right? Here are some basic guidelines to help you out:

  • Do not plug every service you have an account with into or HelloTxt just because
  • Do not make your primary method for using Twitter or any other specific service
  • Do not ever use to send an @reply. Period.
  • If you are not going to check a specific site at least once or twice a day, don’t broadcast there

Think about a person you would just love to have a discussion with. You have followed there blog or maybe heard them speak on a podcast. You would really like to get into this person’s head and here they are right in front of you! The problem is, no matter what you do to get their attention, they ignore you. They have a megaphone in hand and they are shouting at someone you can’t even see. Other people nearby are looking at this person like they’re crazy. Now, turn things around. Are you the nut job with the megaphone?

Stay Tuned

This post is not aimed at anyone in particular. I just felt compelled to share because I really hate running into situations where very interesting and intelligent people are misusing these services and probably don’t even know it. I took Plurk out of because I never go there. I dislike it immensely, so it would be wrong to continuously post there. Be considerate of others. This is a community, after all.

Far be it from me to call someone ashy without being able to provide a little lotion. There are many ways that you can make your life easier in keeping track of all these different micro-blogging services. I plan to share them with you at a later date, but this post has become entirely too long and I got updates to check.

Get the next installment here: Being Everywhere At Once