Hidden Dangers of Automating Twitter


What else have I been noticing while I slog around on Twitter trying to figure things out? 


I will just call it automation. 

What most experts say is don't do automated direct messages. I have read it so often and experienced it enough, I have begun to say it myself. I am not even an expert.

I just checked my Twitter messages, everyone in view is hitting me up. 15 messages, Two of them are True Twit validation, I went back and unfollowed them immediately. What kind of nonsense is that anyhow? 11 want me to go to their site, like their Facebook etc... 1 is a robot "thanks for the follow" (I did that in my take me to your leader alien voice) And one was a message saying thanks and how they are looking forward to my tweets. Every one of them feels like a commercial, even the well crafted one. I will call him Mr. Android because he seems more like a robot with lifelike skin and two glass eyes which give him a personal look.


Robots are really cool especially that R2D2, but what was he ever even saying? I think I would rather get him to mow the lawn while I converse with a human. Mr. Android, close one here, I think I met you one time, you walked clear across the room to introduce yourself before you unloaded a sales pitch on me. You were selling some pyramid scam or something, doesn't really matter, it was a one sided conversation. It was a total turn off. Good luck building your empire though. Some folks enjoy being talked at. I know a guy who likes getting hit with folding chairs too, its just not me.


Another piece of automation I have been noticing is the tool which retweets for you like crazy. This is not a bad idea. You can send the robot out to see what you might be interested in and he (my robot is a male) scours the Twitter-verse finding articles you may like and retweets them. Its kind of cool. I am the beneficiary of many of these. I have several folks who retweet tons of things for me. Thank you, that is great and I appreciate it. I have found two hidden dangers with doing this.

Hidden Dangers

The first is this. If you retweet something of mine, instead of a thank you or a re-retweet, I go to your profile and find something of interest and share it. If you look really interesting I go to your blog and share something directly. That is me saying thank you. This takes a minute, but I usually find some interesting things.

When you leave your robot home alone, he totally fills your feed with other peoples stuff. I will scroll down for a little bit, but this feed isn't about you, there is nothing personal, nothing of yours. You can pin one of your tweets at a minimum, and I think you should. At least I have some idea of what you are about.



Having a robot answer the door is cool but if he just tells me you are not home, I kind of wasted a trip to a scary part of town for no reason. I'm not trying to knock your neighborhood, you should see where I live. Training your robot to hand me a cookie while he shows me that picture of you makes the trip seem more worthwhile. Maybe sometime when you are home we could actually talk.

Now here is another hidden danger.

Lets say you take an interest in something I have written and take the time to share it with your friends. I really appreciate this, and I mean really. So my robot retweets your effort. You read another article which I wrote and you are so excited you really push it out to thousands of people, you rent the billboard by the highway, get a promotional tattoo, tell your neighbors, rename your cat and even take a note to my mom. My robot retweets it. You have just paid me the highest compliment I could ask for. You liked something I did, you appreciated it. In your case you REALLY appreciated it. I mean seriously how many cats named Gordon are there? Lets talk about the tattoo later.



This is a big deal. In return my robot just snubbed you. Hopefully my mom was alright, but if you delivered the note during Judge Judy you got what you had coming. Back to the robot. He is just a robot after all but damn it, in this case he is just being a rude robot. I think he meant well, but left without supervision it kind of reminds me of the snow day as a kid when my friend and I drank all his dads whiskey. It may be a good idea, but one that can easily get out of control. In the case of the Canadian Club it definitely got out of control and I am not sure now it was even a good idea.

So what do you think? Automation could be a great idea. Can it be a time saver and lead to some missed opportunities. I am fairly confident that answer is yes. Is it worth it? I can only answer that for myself but its worth talking about.

6 comments :

Andrea Luhman said...

I completely agree. I'm just starting to poke around Twitter myself and it is a scary weird place. Great article.

Gordon A. Wilson said...

Thanks so much for the comment Andrea, its like the wild frontier isnt it? A little bit of everything out there and plenty to learn and people to meet.

Nida Peabadly said...

Great analogy, Gordon. I've been on Twitter for over a year now and I've done my own tweeting and retweeting. I value the real engagement and endeavor to keep it that way!!

It's so true what you say about going to someone's account and trying to find something to RT to 'return the favor.' It is often a challenge when there's nothing their own.

Haunting TV said...

The tweet bots are terrible. I tend to actually take the time to respond to DMs but now real people are lost in the never ending, "I'd eat my left arm for you to like my Facebook page" messages. I'm on Twitter to talk to people.

Susie said...

I like people to interact. What's the point if everyone's using bots and has no interest in what their followers are saying? No-one logs onto twitter just to see self-promotions and ads. I just blocked an auto-tweeter who was thanking me for my interaction, twice every day for weeks. I'd asked him to stop, and he didn't seem to have any control over it. I only interacted with him once... except for the occasion when I asked him to stop thanking me for it - two weeks later. Auto-tweets just get on my nerves.

Gordon A. Wilson said...

Its definitely one of those thing where if you are too busy to deal with it, you are going to miss out on interaction. If you send your robot to do the job you will totally miss out. Thank you so much for getting in on the conversation. Gordon