Twitter Magic: the Unexpected Beauty of the 140 Character Limit. Please Get To The Point!

Twitter Magic: the Unexpected Beauty of the 140 Character Limit. Please Get To The Point!

the magic of 140 charactersYou know the rambling emails you get from some people. It’s okay if it’s family. But when it’s work related, you sometimes want to shout, “What’s the point? What are you asking of me? Please STFU, and tell me what you want!”

One lesson we are learning from Twitter is how to be concise, hopefully. Say what we want, provide the link. Good practice for all of us in all of our written communications.

This kind of update on Facebook or Twitter simply kills me.

“Funniest thing ever. Watch this: (link)”

Um, no. Not ever. Not even if you’re a trusted friend. I don’t have time to go down that distraction alley with you unless you give me a bit of context.

“Cats? Did you say cats playing piano?” Maybe. But about 90% of the “You’ve got to watch this…” links are crap and have little or no relevance to me or my interests. So why do people keep doing it? Can’t you tell us, in 140c or less, WHY we should watch it? Or WHAT makes it funny to you, and perhaps by extension us? That would be nice.

Occasionally I simple comment “No” on someone’s similar Facebook post. And this either illicites a conversation or gets me unfriended. I guess both are equally valuable. A conversation is what I’m after on social media. And an unfriending is probably better for folks who have a thin skin about being asked a “pointed” question. (Happens more often than you think. Use Social Fixer on FB to see who’s UNFRIENDED you in the last few weeks. You’ll be surprised. BUT, you’ll probably never miss them. They’re usually lurkers who don’t ever contribute to the conversation. See ya!)

Okay, so here’s the challenge.

In all of your communications (txts, tweets, emails, FB updates, blog posts) see if you can’t get to the point first. And if there’s background info, or additional context, the add that AFTER you’ve told me what you are asking for.

Here’s how that looks as a “best practice” post about a funny or cool or (better yet) important video.

Facebook: “Hey, found this video about a cat riding around on a roomba in a funny outfit. There’s a duck and a dog too. Just a time killer. If you need a break here’s the LINK.”

See how I give the context for WHAT you will see if you click the video link? And I let you know it’s CATS, so you know it’s important. Then I say WHY I think it’s important. “If you need a break.”

There is no question things are funnier when you share them. And getting a few LIKES or COMMENTS about the funny cat video you shared is a tiny bit of a social media rush. But please, please, please, make it easier on us.

I could go on, but in the spirit of brevity I will stop here. I was going to talk about meetings, agendas, and making good use of everyone’s time, but I’ll leave that for a future post.

Here is that cat on a roomba video you’ve been seeing. Go ahead, it’s pretty funny for about the first 30 seconds. You can kill it after that, unless you want to see the dog in the hammerhead shark outfit. (Wondering, “Who are these people who put their pets in funny outfits? Kinda odd, I think.”) Oh, and the picture below is the funniest part of the video.

viral cat video with dog and duck
click to watch on YouTube

Have an efficient and share-filled day. But please, do it with some thought and context. So I can click with knowledge of what I’m about to see. And the worst non sequitur tease, “This video will make you cry, for the love of humanity. CLICK HERE.”

Oh, and final thought, if there IS NO POINT, that’s okay too. Just tell us. “There is no point to this video or link or piece of information, but it’s funny as hell. Oh, and CATS.”

And in the famous words of Office Space, “Yeeaaahhh, that would be greeeeaaat, thanks.”

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)


Leave a Reply

Close Menu