The Sheriff of Twitterham

20 Nov

Once upon a time, there was a small town on the edge of the known cyberworld called Twitterham. It was a jolly town, filled with splendid things and good, friendly people.

Nary a nasty word was to be heard in its streets.

Word spread of this agreeable online hamlet, and soon folk of all sort came to dwell there: some drawn to its air of neighbourly contentment, but others with an eye to profiting in the midst of this trusting community.

Laws were few and far between in a land that relied on common sense and consequence. Nonetheless, a very few in Twitterham, those who had the ear of more of their neighbours than others, began policing the conduct of their fellow tweeters:

> Thou shalt not FollowFriday multiple people!

> Thou shalt not double tweet the same post!

> Thou shalt not auto-tweet!

> Those shalt use no foul language!

Transgressions of these unwritten codes of conduct began appearing in the public timeline, often cloaked in light tones and accompanied by sideways happy faces and winks to lessen their schoolmarmish tenor.

But the intent was clear. These self-appointed Sheriffs of Twitterham felt that having greater followers and higher Klout scores entitled them to publicly reprimand those who crossed these arbitrary lines.

Soon, Twitterham began to lose its air of neighbourly contentment.

So the townfolk gathered and issued a joint proclamation:

Let the Rule of Consequence determine conduct in our town. Tweet and let tweet.

And they all lived happily ever after.



5 Responses to “The Sheriff of Twitterham”

  1. variedthinking November 20, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    That was a shot over someones bow on the tweetersea, but who’s I don’t know since the only rule I use is my own and if you don’t like me “Thou shalt not FollowFriday multiple people!” what ever that bloody well means, take a ffl off of the blue bridge and into the Gorge.

    Jesus I hate people trying to tell me what the frick I can and can not do. It’s bad enough we have some real useless laws that were made by some bored polictians but if your on twitter and you see the word “fuck” on it, grab your bible and got to church since I DON’T like you imposing your will on what I can and can not say on it.

    • dougbrowncreative November 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

      > Variedthinking, it’s more machine gun fire peppered over a larger terrain. It’s a trend I observed rather than a single incident. These things invariably happen in new environments. Think Lord of the Flies.

      > Renee, FollowFriday is when you recommend someone you follow to your followers. You only do this on Friday and you use the #FF or #FollowFriday tags. Double-tweeting refers to tweeting the same link more than once. Auto-tweeting is scheduling pre-written tweets to appear so you have presence on Twitter even when you’re all snug in your bed.

  2. Renee November 20, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    I’m pretty new to twitter…apologies for my newbie-ness, but I’m unclear on the first three transgressions. What do they mean? I’d hate to do those things out of ignorance.

  3. moe November 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Some folk…gosh, did I start off with that? We are all of us *some folk* at some point in our lives…anyway, there are some who live to tut-tut and others who bring out the flame throwers at the wiff of a newbie.

    It’s the nature of anonymity bestowed by life on the interweeb. We sit in our basements, bedrooms or, in some cases, places of business with the boss wandering at the other end of the gopher farm and forget just how public the medium really is. (Pardon my dangling participle.)

    The thoughts go directly from inside my wee head, through my fingers and out into the ether where they stay in digital eternity. It’s forever and ephemeral at the same time…kinda like the mint flavour of Macdonald’s Shamrock Shake…And then when I see someone make one of my pet grammatical peeves or a statement that is so egregious I just gotta shoot the bastard down once and for all…

    Rather than Lord of the Flies I tend to see it more of a Mel Brooks-Andy Warhol fugue state where everyone is world famous in their own minds for 15 minutes…

  4. dougbrowncreative November 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    Moe there is something about the cult of celeb in these spaces that feels wrong. Inclusive but hierarchical. Still I like the fact that anyone can be exceptional here. We are free to choose our influencers. But it can go to your head, as you point out. Great comment.

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