Just like the colander you have in the drawer below the kitchen knives, strainers filter out stuff we don’t want. We filter what we say to our friends, spouses and colleagues. Some of us filter too much and some too little. Our mothers have told us “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” you know the rest.
These same filters apply to social media and especially Twitter. Since writing my first tweet a year ago, I have had many moments where I knew I could not post what I had just written. My finger hesitated over the delete key and then, from those internal filters, a decision arose, and I blasted the 140 characters into oblivion. So what are these filters, and how should we use them?
I write for myself here at Flurry Creations, as well as for Soma Games, and Conservation Biology Institute. My filters are different for each account. In general I think they apply to most situations. Below are a few filters that I rely on:
- Is this useful to anyone and am I promoting something I really think is remarkable? I have to remember this one most of all when friends ask me to retweet something. It is so tempting to publish it because they are friends. Would you send hundreds of friends to a bad mechanic or a lousy restaurant? No. So visit the link and make sure. Don’t be afraid to pass. Also be honest and let them know why you won’t be furthering the promotion. By all means, pass it on if you agree that their new found product, post, or service is truly remarkable.
- Am I being a sleestak? This term comes from a post I think everyone using Social Media should read. A sleestak will post constantly to their own benefit and glean the popularity of others, while benefiting no one. If you have not read it you really should. (Really, go read it and then come back here and finish my post.) If you have that horrible feeling in your stomach because you know that you have been a sleestak in the past, don’t worry, we have all gone there. Just try not to do it again.
- Am I willing to make a mistake? This is big. We need to be willing to take risks and make mistakes. Two of Chris Brogan’s posts on mistakes and apologizing come to mind. We need to be willing to make them as well as apologize for them. Just don’t let this filter stall you from posting all together.
Use these or come up with your own.
What are your filters? Please share them here.