Auto-Twittering is Ridiculous

There are all these plugins and services and whatnot for “Automatically tweeting posts you publish to your blog!“. Ridiculous. Nobody wants to follow people who use Twitter exclusively for this kind of self promotion. Am I against using Twitter for self promotion? Absolutely not, only when it’s lifelessly “automated.”

Random thoughts:

  • Twitter is pretty big, but it’s still pretty much hip tech folks. Chances are if someone is following you on Twitter, they are aware if you have a blog as well and if they want instant updates of your new content, they will subscribe via RSS.
  • If you want to promote a particular post, how hard is it to tweet a quick personal message along with the link? If you actually a part of the Twitter community and are tweeting all the time, why do you need an automated system?
  • Before I came to this realization, I tried a few of these systems only to find them unreliable and in some cases overzealous (would post same post more than once). Your followers will drop like flies if they see some crazy automated blunder where you post a self-promotional link 10 times in a row. Why risk it?

10 responses to “Auto-Twittering is Ridiculous”

  1. Damien says:

    I was thinking about setting something like that up… now I’m not so sure anymore. I already had my doubts and you make some good arguments.

    Twitter is about something you want to say at a certain moment, not about getting as much exposure as you can.

  2. Edwin says:

    Totally agree with you Chris. I think automatic messages will make it less personal and really stupid. I won’t follow a robot, I’m interested in real people :)

  3. Alexis says:

    Hi Chris,
    I would love to know what plugin you use for your twitter updates…I’m trying to put up a website now and I don’t know how to sort through the junk!!! Do you use the same one on this site and on the CSS tricks site?

  4. Chris Coyier says:

    @Alexis: Actually I use different things on both sites =P. I think the simplest way to do it probably to just use the javascript snippet that twitter provides you. I did a screencast on it one time:

    http://css-tricks.com/new-screencast-designing-a-unique-page-for-twitter-updates/

  5. Alexis says:

    thanks Chris, I will check out the screencast now!

  6. SumYungGuy says:

    I would probably respect your opinion more if you could style links in comment boxes…

  7. I don’t agree with any of your arguments. I auto-twitter using twitterfeed and my own custom written systems to post a quick tweet each time i publish a blog post and each time i love a last.fm track.

    In both these cases i’m making a conscious decision to ‘publish’ something to my ‘followers’, why would i waste my time doing these things manually throughout the day? If i were do take a manual approach i’d still be tweeting “I Love track XYZ by ABC” or “I just blogged about XYZ”

    Lots of auto-twittering services do suck, but if they don’t work as you’d like your free to write your own. The twitter API is childsplay compared to most other social networks.

    I guess what i’m really saying is don’t present opinion as fact.

  8. Nina says:

    I’m with you Jaime… I use Twitter Feed to hit my Twitter with my Last.fm listens every hour and my Wakoopa Profile every 4 hours. Other than that, I manually “Tweet” and make sure it’s not overkill.

  9. Tim Wright says:

    I put auto-tweeters in the say category as people who use segways (http://www.segway.com/).

    I’ve been seeing people who do the reverse too. They post a weeks worth of tweets in their blog as one big post. Frankly, that just creeps me out…

  10. Fernandus says:

    I got the auto-tweeters problem solved by reading this post and comments. Thanks for this to all of you.

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