Questions (for you)

I dream of Tweetie


It’s not hard to find a service that will allow you to schedule updates around your social networks. If you’re like me and have followers spread across timezones, the idea of being able to provide an update in the middle of the night your time, tea-time their time, is pretty appealing.

But is it ethical?

Twitter, to me, is a real time conversation tool. When I read a Tweet from someone, I expect them to be on the other end of it (or at least near Twitter).

I expect that, if I reply to the Tweet with a request for more information or to follow on the conversation, that I’ll get an answer in the near-ish future.

But if the other person is asleep, swimming, or skipping through a field of daisies and using a Twitter scheduling service, they’re not on the other end of their Tweet. They won’t be replying anytime soon.

Isn’t that advertising pretending to be conversation?*

I don’t think that’s particularly ethical.

However, the flip side is that by not scheduling Tweets, you could be missing your target audience’s ‘sweet spot’ in their own timezone.

So what’s the answer? Is Twitter scheduling ethical, or not? Do the benefits of increased visibility outweigh making the audience wait for an answer?

Does it even matter? I’m fascinated to hear your opinion because I simply don’t know…

*(BTW Read this from Andrew Schiestal – as an adjunct to the above. I think that you’ll like it.)

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3 thoughts on “I dream of Tweetie

  1. Hey Neil,

    Good question and one I’ve pondered in the past.

    I think it’s fine. Scheduling is usually reserved for content creation (tweeting your blog article) or curation (retweeting someone else’s tweet).

    Neither harm anyone if they are pre-scheduled. What’s positive is there’s no way to auto-reply to a post and pretend to be authentic (ie. when someone DM’s you after you follow them, you know they are BS’ing you).

    Therefore, I’m ok if someone preschedules tweets to optimize reach.

    • Hey Andrew

      Thanks for your thoughts – really helpful 🙂

      Re the DM – is that a real no-no? I’ve DM’ed a few new followers (custom DM, using their real name esp if it isn’t their Twitter u/n) to say Hi and Thanks. is that best done in open stream?

      Cheers
      Neil

  2. Pingback: Are you wasting time on Twitter? «

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