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Posts Tagged ‘replies’

The Importance of Being Intelligent – Even on Twitter

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on June 19, 2009

Today I saw this tweet from @YBAC: It’s easy to know y libs hate fox news: they hate facts,abore truth,their so idealistic they run from reality,& r intimidated by intellect

Given the 140 character limit on Twitter I can understand the need to shorten words, but this tweet was simply misspelled. Wanting to help this person make his partisan message more impactful, I sent the following: umm…it’s abhor* truth…they’re* so idealistic…i’m just saying..it’s tough to make a call on intellect with misspellings.

In my opinion I was not implying that the tweeter lacked intellect. I was stating that it is difficult to suggest an entire segment of people are intimidated by intellect when this tweet was misspelled. Now, I am not perfect. I have sent a tweet or two containing a misspelled word, but I immediately tweet the correction. I would not have been so quick to suggest this correction had I not also received the following from this same person: I think your talented and want to know if you find interest in our organization. What do u think of our mission and our service?

This is clearly a repeat offender.

Let’s dive further into this story. This person contacted me after reading through my bio on LinkedIn. I let it go when they misspelled my name in the reply to me. I passed on correcting the afore-mentioned tweet. I could not let the typos continue, though, in a message that was clearly seeking support. Logging back in after work (key point), I see this: U want to question MY intellect over some typos on twitter? You couldn’t finish college & cant find a job. lets call a trus.

Now, if I were someone who hadn’t talked myself through the struggles of not being able to finish paying for school, I would have been offended and hurt by this suggestive statement. My inability to finish college had nothing to do with lack of intellect. Further, if this person had actually paid attention to my bio on LinkedIn, they would have seen that I am, indeed, presently employed.

Here’s the ground up meat of this tale. This is someone who wants to develop a support network for their political organization: Young, Black and Conservative. In the offending tweet this person stated that liberals are intimidated by intellect. I won’t go into how that generalization cannot possibly be the foundation for any useful argument. I will, however, state that one cannot underestimate the importance of being intelligent in a forum as public as Twitter. If you are tweeting your own personal thoughts that have no association with any professional organization, make as many typos as you choose. Doing so, however, makes you appear as though you do not care about your personal brand. When you make these statements in representation of your professional organization, though, you had better be as close to perfect as possible. Not only are you representing your organization, but you are representing the people who work within that organization. Further, as an organization entitled young and black, you are representing two additional segments of society; and, I, for one, am tired of the stigma of ignorance that is placed onto both young people and black people.

Someone’s character is not judged solely by their time in the spotlight, it is judged by their time in the shadows, as well. I would hope that you would want yourself and your organization to be judged as professional and worthy of support based on well-researched arguments and intellectual discourse. My correction was only to help. Your response validates a notion written about in the Miseducation of the Negro: black people refuse to be led by black people for fear of one upstaging the other. I apologize if you think that I was trying to upstage you when I was only trying to help. In the future I hope your political statements are better researched than your attempt at an attack on me.

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Posted in Advice, RandomThoughtOftheDay | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

RandomThoughtOftheDay #1

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on May 14, 2009

RTOD: If the fix exists, what’s the problem? 

In light of the hailstorm surrounding the fix replies issue on Twitter, I thought it necessary to bring focus back to the real issue: customer service. All of Twitterville is upset because a decision was made for them based on an assumption. Replying to followers and hiding replies from non-followers is confusing, so let us make it easier. Fail. Users complain about the issue and the response is less than helpful. Fail again. Twitter may have failed on the service side of things, but the customers are failing, too.

 Multiple Twitter users have found an easy way to fix this problem by the addition of a character ahead of the “@” symbol in a reply. Instead of this fix becoming a trend, the “#fixreplies” hashtag is still trending. In an age when social media makes it almost impossible for companies to have a bad day, users must recognize their own responsibility in the proliferation of the problem. If the solution is out there, why not use it? Why continue to tweet about a problem that isn’t really there? 

Calling @biz and @ev names won’t get you what you want, either. As many customers of Twitter like to tout their higher level of sophistication, it is appalling to see these people reduce themselves to childish behavior. When a child throws a tantrum, calls people names, or pouts for not getting their way, they’re either ignored or punished. Maybe the response is not pleasing to the customers, but who says customers have to get their way all the time?

UPDATE: Twitter founder, Biz Stone, admits to “screwing up”, but this change has been in the works for a while http://mashable.com/2009/05/14/twitter-screwed-up/

Posted in RandomThoughtOftheDay | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »