It has been a good long time since I’ve done any real ranting. I don’t air dirty laundry on the internet, but I’m finding myself highly annoyed as of late from a few things I have been seeing. These things aren’t anything major, but they do tend to tug at my nerves.
I won’t be calling anyone out in this little rant, simply because I’m seeing these things from a variety of people and there isn’t any one particular source of annoyance. While these topics of discussion are not hard and fast rules, they fall under the netiquette guide that I have tucked neatly away in my head.
I was very late in getting in on the Facebook game. The service just didn’t seem all that appealing to me and I felt my time was better spend on forums rather than the newer social media sites. It wasn’t until my wife signed up and started talking to old friends that I had any interest in checking it out.
After playing with my wifes Blackberry to get a feel for Facebook, I decided to go ahead and sign up. Within minutes I had an account and was on my way to friending people. After finding a couple of old friends that I grew up with, the swarm of cigar folks came.
These new cigar friends turned my rather slow Facebook account into one that was far more lively. I was connecting with new people and had an incredible pool of cigar related links to pull from when I was bored. The service turned out to be far more interesting than I expected it to be and I kind of regret not signing up sooner.
Even though I enjoy the service, it does have its annoyances. These annoyances don’t come directly from the service, but rather from people using it. On a daily basis I get Fan Requests from people looking to promote their site. The easy thing to do would be to blindly click the Accept button, but that is not my style.
I don’t like to blindly endorse a product or service without having tried it. Sure, I’ve seen many of these sites before but I wouldn’t consider myself a Fan of some of these sites. Unless I really am a fan of the site and would spread the word about it, I click the ignore button.
Sure enough, a few days after ignoring the request I get another one. Once again I click the ignore button and a few days later receive the same notice once again. I begin to wonder just how many times I have to ignore the request before the hint becomes apparent, but I would guess these requests are done en mass and the sender isn’t even aware of who is getting them.
I really don’t see this as anything other than spam. I don’t want your request, yet you send it to me several times per week. Some of these sites have gotten so annoying that I’ve began to loath them. Not only will I not become a fan, but I refuse to talk about your site to others because I don’t want to promote it.
The next item on my list of annoyances is the friend suggestions. Some people seem to think its a good idea to refer every single person they friend to you. At first this isn’t bad, you connect with new people and all is well. When this particular friend goes into a frenzy making new friends, he can bury you in suggestions in no time at all. While the intentions are good, it can still become annoying. When I suggest a friend, I make a point of suggesting only people that others might know, not a Facebook account for a store in a state that I don’t live in.
Twitter is a service that I have been using for some time now. I signed up when it was fairly young as a means of conversing with Jerry Cruz, from Stogie Review, on the fly. It quickly grew into much more than quick notes about Stogie Review and became a chat room filled with cigar enthusiasts.
Before long, I found myself checking the site numerous times each day and spending a fair amount of time on it during the evening, participating in active conversation. Since I’ve gotten my iTouch and Blackberry, I am essentially always connected and checking periodically.
Because of the frequency in which I use Twitter, I find it my largest source of Social Media annoyance. Just like Facebook, there are a couple of things that are a big no-no in my book of nettiquette.
Just like Fan Requests on Facebook, I frown upon begging people to support your site by asking for re-tweets. Isn’t the idea of a website to write compelling content that makes people want to share your content or have them come to your site to get it? If you were doing a good job or passing on information or entertainment, wouldn’t people be inclined to pass along the information without you begging them to do it?
Any time I see “← RT Appreciated”, “Please RT”, or anything similar, you just ensured that I will not re-tweet your link. In addition, just like Fan Requests on Facebook, I won’t be talking about your site because I don’t want to promote your behavior. Getting a re-tweet out of me couldn’t be simpler, write compelling content and when I see it I’ll pass it along.
Closely following the re-tweet begging on my list of annoyances are the groups of people that work together to effectively spam my time line. This occurs when a website or blog has a Twitter account that auto-posts links. This account is its own entity and doesn’t do much aside from post things from an RSS feed as they are published.
Since I probably follow this sites RSS feed, there really is no need to follow their Twitter account. But since I am friendly with the authors of the site, I follow them. My blood begins to boil when the sites Twitter account makes a tweet and said tweet is then re-tweeted by all authors of said site. This effectively blankets my time line with tweet after tweet of the same link.
To make matters worse, you sometimes see re-tweets of re-tweets among the authors to effectively get the link out. Plain and simple, I just see this as well structured spam disguised as innocent re-tweets. This gets annoying fast and results in my ignoring your site. I’m funny about who I actively promote and these grey practices do nothing but ensure that I ignore you.
To Sum things Up
I know what your thinking, why am I complaining about this and not doing something about it? Thats kind of tricky because a solution is simple. I could un-friend or un-follow these people, but I engage many of them in daily conversation. Its like having a good friend with an annoying habit that you have to accept.
While I have made it know in the past how I feel about the practices outlined above, maybe this post will help lighten my load of requests and tweets.