If You Want REAL Conversation, What's Wrong With Twitter?

by Jeannie Walters

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In MY day, Twitter was fun

Seriously, it was! And it was unlike any other way to communicate. After joining Twitter early in 2008, I quickly began to enjoy meaningful conversations with people from all over the world. It was refreshing, exciting and energizing.

It didn’t take very long, though, for savvy marketers and business people begin exploiting the opportunity of this new world. My Twitter stream rapidly filled up with promotional links and nonsense. As the new marketing tactics took root in the network, my direct messages began filling up with spam links and random requests. The original conversational culture faded, then disappeared. What’s wrong with Twitter these days is that it has become a “what can you do for me” community.

What's Wrong With Twitter

Sadly, I decided to back away- not completely, but to a safe distance.  Twitter had become congested, noisy, and full of marketing speak. I started to push my own stuff and spend more time promoting my own brand. And I really missed the old days. I mostly missed the lasting connections borne of random conversation.

At conferences, some of us “old timers” have lamented about how we miss the original Twitter. What could we really do about it? Are we just too stubborn to accept the natural evolution of things? Maybe Twitter was destined to eventually become more like a billboard and less like a coffee house. We’ve done well to stay connected through well-run Twitter chats like #blogchat with Mack Collier and #CXO (Customer Experience Optimization) with Natasha Bishop. But those are limited to a specific hour every week when you may or may not be available.


A sanctuary away from the din

I’m really excited about the this brilliant idea author Tom Martin (The Invisible Sale) came up with and very glad he decided to share it with the world.

Tom has created a place where there is always a topic to discuss. It’s called #daychat, and Tom would like it to be seen as a sort of embassy on Twitter. But bear in mind- there are rules, which Tom outlines here.  These rules are designed specifically to deter spammers and professional Twitter nuisances. So anyone who truly wants to connect will be able to engage away from the usual din of self-promoting tweets.

Here are just a few of the rules that make #daychat unique:

  • No hashtag abuse – it’s not about using the hashtag to promote.
  • No links! Can you handle this one? Anyone who has seen a hashtag abused by an over-aggressive promoter will understand why this rule is in place.
  • No retweeting tweets. Yes, it could be challenging, but the idea is to keep the hashtag easy to follow and clean.

So won’t you join in the real conversation? The hashtag #daychat will serve as a guide. It’s a safe place to share ideas and make valuable connections. It’s spam free. And it’s what Twitter used to be all about.

What's Wrong With Twitter

I’m excited to see where #daychat goes, and plan on hopping in and out of some great conversations along the way. If you’re interested in joining or want to know more about it, check out Tom’s updated post about how #daychat has been working out, then set up your own search. I look forward to chatting with you there!

This post was written for, and a version originally appeared on the SocialMediaClub’s Clubhouse.

Photo credits: Yuya SekiguchiJames Cridlandatomicjeep via Creative Commons

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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