Image by Pasakuru76

Image by Pasakuru76

People milling around, conversation flowing and anecdotes being swapped. Twitter sounds a lot like a dinner party. But like any social gathering, there’s a bunch of people hanging around who perhaps shouldn’t have been invited.

You think you’re a popular Tweeter – and your follower list is a testament to that assumption. But are you right? Or are you one of the people that dinner party guests clamber over each other to avoid?

The Seven Types of Twitter Guests

Chances are that you’re going to fit into at least one of these pigeonholes. Not all will ruin your chances of making everyone’s dinner party list, but they will limit the number of people who want to follow you.

The Ego

You’ll know if you’re following the Ego. They tweet often, and it’s generally about themselves. You’ll see dozens of tweets plugging blog posts, masses of personal opinion, and no retweets.

If you think your ego is getting the best of you, try retweeting a little more and broadcasting a little less. But don’t roll it back too much, or you run the risk of turning into our next guest.

The Wallflower

You probably won’t notice the Wallflower in your follow list. But if you stumble across their homepage, you’ll notice how sparse it is. They’ll be following a handful of people, and being followed by even less. The reason why is clear to see. They’ve tweeted twice. Once to announce that they’ve joined the site, and once at four in the morning a month later.

If that sounds a little like you, open up a little. Join the conversation. Start communicating, networking and chatting. Otherwise nobody will even notice that you’re there.

The Whip

#leadersdebate, #cashgordon, #nickcleggsfault – political debate is flavour of the month on Twitter. But some people take it a little too far. The Whip’s every tweet is barracking the opposition or hassling their followers into toeing the party line.

It’s fine if you’re talking about politics, but the whole point of a free election is that you don’t cajole, threaten and nag every person on your follower list into voting the same way you do. Relax a bit. Talk about something else for once!

The Heat Reader

What’s more boring than politics? Celebrities. Your average Heat Reader is probably the only on your list who can explain why Justin Bieber is trending, but they’ll be too busy tweeting at Steven Fry to explain why. You’ll only notice them if you follow the same personalities as they do, but what you do see might bring the words “obsessed” and “stalker” to mind.

If you think you might be displaying textbook Heat Reader behaviour, try reading  a book. Or watching the news. Or talking to normal people.

The Gossip

On the face of it, the gossip seems to be a jovial sort, always quick to pass on the latest tidbits of information. But look a little deeper. When was the last time they posted something that didn’t start with the letters RT? The Gossip’s never managed to post 140 characters of their own views, as they’re limited to quick addenda,” – so true!”

If you’re turning into a Gossip, your only real alternative is to have your own opinions. Try starting a discussion for once, instead of indulging in a spot of “he said she said”.

The Jobsworth

Eugh. Nobody wants to hear from the Jobsworth. If they’re not talking about the work they’re doing, they’re retweeting from the official company account. And if they’re not doing that, it’s because they’re just too snowed under to tweet – but don’t worry! There’s a brand new product being rolled out that you just can’t live without. Please? They’re on commission…

If you’re a Jobsworth, you need a hobby. Tell people about your teapot collection, or your favourite gig. Just stop telling them how great your company is!

The Genial Guest

Ahh, the Genial Guest. She’s the Twitter user we all aspire to be. Balancing the positive aspects of the above, she’s switched on about the latest trends, will share her views on any subject, and isn’t shy with a quick RT. You might recieve the odd blog update, or genuinely interesting company news, but you won’t be snowed under.

In fact, she’s just the sort of person I’d like to invite to my next dinner party.

Can I say the same for you?

When Andy’s not being an egotistical jobsworth on Twitter, he’s boring the masses with his political views. But don’t worry, because he’s trying to find a healthy balance. Share your Twitter foibles in the comments section below.


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