Why ‘Live Twittering’ is a Horrible Idea

Greetings Readers!

I have another rant again today.  Hopefully I will have some more upbeat things to write about after this but today’s topic really irritated me this morning so after gathering my thoughts, I decided that I should address the idea of “live twittering” here.

‘Live Twittering’ is likely a new term to most people as thankfully it hasn’t really caught on at this point.  Live Twittering is much like live blogging except it takes place on Twitter.  It can also take place on other micro-blogging services but since Twitter is the biggest, I will be talking about it today.  Live blogging and live Twittering are similar in that they are a live reporting of something as it happens.  Whether its a tv show or a press event, it is relaying information in near real time primarily for those who cant experience the event themselves or wish to share the experience with others.

Although similar, there is one major difference that I see to be a major problem.  Live blogging is attended by people who specifically seek to be apart of the live blog whereas with live Twittering, followers don’t really have a choice without completely unfollowing the person.  Often times, live blogs contain material that people consider to be spoilers but that is something that is acknowledged and accepted by those who intentionally go and read or participate in the live blog.  This presents a major issue for live Twittering.  When live Twittering something such as a TV show (for example, the Battlestar Galactica finale), the live tweeter’s followers will be inundated with information they either don’t care about or don’t want to know because they are unable to watch at that time and don’t want to have the episode spoiled for them before they get a chance to watch.  Live twittering essentially takes away that choice for the user and leaves them with the only real option of unfollowing you either permanently or temporarily until they know you have stopped.

Its clear that the major difference is user choice.  The user can choose whether or not to be apart of their live blog, but the choice becomes much more difficult when you force the experience on them by live Twittering.   I have even had people threaten to unfollow me if I took that choice away from them, which is why I only do a live blog.  It all comes down to choice, something that should never be taken away from your potential audience.

New Twitter Etiquette (part 2) Rule:  Thou shalt not live Twitter!

If you want to see how I handle this issue, you are invited to watch and participate in my Battlestar Galactica live blog tonight on Pcnerd37.com.  I will be Twittering out the exact link when I go live (So follow me!).  The show starts at 10pm EST but I typically get things going around 9:30pm EST.

Programming Note:  I put up two Global Geek News Podcasts this week so check them out.  Wesley is busy with SXSW so I will likely do a solo show over the weekend and put it up as soon as its ready.


4 responses to “Why ‘Live Twittering’ is a Horrible Idea”

  1. Nina Avatar

    I see your point about putting out posts most of your followers might not care about; however, you run the risk of posting tweets that some followers might not care about every time you tweet!

    My friends and I tweet about BSG every Friday night, and so far I haven’t encountered any negativity. We are careful to keep our tweets spoiler-free. If anything, I’ve managed to get some of my readers/followers interested in the show.

  2. MontanaOne Avatar

    I agree with Nina, there are many tweets I don’t care about, but it’s the one once in awhile that grabs my attention and encourages me to tweet back, or DM the person. I don’t want to unfollow someone just because they are reporting on a TV show, unless they do that 24/7 and then I might have a problem with reading the tweets, ha! It’s just a matter of time until Twitter comes up with a button you can click to temporarily shut off messages from individual people, similar to the Direct Message button now.

  3. Dede Avatar

    Ok.. I am lost. I thought that Twittering was about reporting what is going on. Then why do people Twitter. I get just as tired of seeing someone spamming my page with the same self promotions. What is your recommendation of a proper Twitter post. Especially, if you are trying to promote your latest blog. Could you perhaps post info for us!!

  4. pcnerd37 Avatar

    Twitter can be used to report what is going on and it is great for that, but there are some things such as television shows that it is a bad idea to live tweet about because many people don’t want spoilers and your followers have no real choice but to get your tweets and will be subjected to spoiler information they may not want. That is why live blogs are great. With live blogs, it gives the power back to the reader. If they want to read about the show or whatever, they can, but with live twittering, that choice is taken away from them because your tweets will be in their feed whether they like it or not. As far as how to use twitter to promote something like blog posts without becoming spammy, I will write a post on that in the very near future.

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