What I'm Doing Wrong With Social Media

To celebrate my plateauing at not-quite 600 followers on Twitter, in the spirit of Don't Do What Donny Don't Does, I present to you an extensive list of mistakes I make with social media.


    • I don't blog anymore. Starting in 2000, my blog started out as a personal blog, then discussed outside world myself, then split up into topical blogs with their own domains, then discarded those and came back to short posts with just links.

    • Spent too much time tinkering with the software (first Blogger, then Movable Type, then WordPress, then Drupal). If were starting today, I'd go with WordPress and stick with it

    • In the rare case that I do blog, I never use the "Twitter title hack", that is, putting in the Twitter handle of someone who's attention you want to get in the title of a blog post so that when it's automatically pushed to Twitter, it appears in their mentions (or people following are made aware of the account being mentioned)

      • I probably did when I had a Posterous, which was to be my "writing about social media" blog that I wouldn't feel bad about discarding. I ended up discarding it.

    • I want what I write to be timeless. Big mistake in this medium.


    • I don't give people my opinion about the latest thing in the news or even talk about it, barely. I'm trying, and largely failing to avoid the news altogether, y'see.

    • I don't talk about computers as much as I think about them. People love following people who talk about computers. Trying, and largely failing, to exit the echo chamber on that.

      • I do talk about computers on my App.net account, which you have to pay for. (Not the reading, just replying: it's public, and there's an RSS feed.)

      • App.net is gone.

    • I often avoid mentioning key words about a subject, in the hopes that people who search for said subjects won't find me

    • I usually avoid using hashtags, unless it's a joke.

    • I hardly ever use the /via or /cc conventions. I have no data to support that people who use the /via or /cc conventions get more followers, but they must, because they haven't stopped doing it

    • Not a lot of people "/via" or "/cc" me. I must not be that important. I'm more of a branch than a node (I'm grateful that I have the ear of some nodal folks)

    • I evaluate whom to follow based on how many other people follow that person. If it's over 2 or 3 thousand, I figure it's OK not to follow them. Something about how if it's popular, I don't need to worry about it.

    • I "soft block" (force an unfollow) accounts that are pretty obviously bots or accounts that follow thousands of accounts

    • After a few months of Legacy Twitter Blue, in November 2022, as a joke, I signed up for the Twitter Blue with the verified check mark, couldn't decide whether it was "check mark or checkmark" (I could go both ways on that), and then immediately thought it wasn't funny anymore.


  • November 2022: After reading Home invasion: Mastodon's Eternal September begins, especially how "the tools, protocols and culture of the fediverse were built by trans and queer feminists," I decided that Mastodon wasn't for me.

Other "Social" Media

    • In part because I follow so few people on Twitter, preferring to dip into the rivers of my Twitter lists, using the "find friends" via Twitter doesn't always work out so well

    • because I post to a separate automated ephemera Twitter account (@justagwailo) and selectively retweet to my personal account, a lot of people don't see the many things I push to Twitter in a low-threshold way

    • I skipped on Quora. That will probably cost me in terms of foregone followers.

    • I've generally used an avatar from storTroopers. People seem to generally prefer avatars / profile pictures that are head shots, in part so that they can be recognized at conferences and other public places but also to put some emotional weight behind the online persona. I've only ever had a few great photos of me taken, since I'm camera shy. Being camera shy isn't a mistake (it's just a thing), but not using using the good photos of me in public profiles is a mistake.


    • I don't care what Robert Scoble thinks, even if I understand and, grudgingly, accept that he's at least somewhat influential

    • I don't care about Facebook. It's a big deal, and I'm missing out on a lot of conversations, but the site fills me with an overwhelming sense of meh.

    • Caring is at the heart of social media, and I care about some stuff, but not the right stuff?

    • Writing and publishing a bulleted list of things I'm doing wrong with social media