Friday, October 16, 2009
Twitter to Business Users: You are now on Double Secret Probation
But their Terms of Service revised on October 12 brings into question the long-term value of the service for legitimate business use (if the TOS stays as it is), ironically as Twitter claims to have an eye on offering premium corporate services. Here's a snip:
I think the real problem here, particularly for business, is with numbers 5 and 7.
- If you have followed a large amount of users in a short amount of time;
- If you have followed and unfollowed people in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive follower churn);
- If you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile;
- If you have a small number of followers compared to the amount of people you are following;
- If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates;
- If a large number of people are blocking you;
The number of spam complaints that have been filed against you;
- If you post duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account
- If you post multiple unrelated updates to a topic using #
- If you post multiple unrelated updates to a trending or popular topic
- If you send large numbers of duplicate @replies
- If you send large numbers of unsolicited @replies in an attempt to spam a service or link
- If you repost other user’s content without attribution.
- If you have attempted to "sell" followers, particularly through tactics considered aggressive following or follower churn.
"If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates"
I actually WANT businesses and Twitter users I follow to provide links. Aside from it being pretty much impossible to provide perspective in 140 characters, I think contributing links to tweets promotes the ideal of sharing and adds value to the service that keeps me coming back. Without them, Twitter is sure to return to the kind of vapid, navel-staring that initially hurt its credibility for business (and to some would say this is still the case. I don't know - I don't follow navel-watchers). Maybe they mean you can't post a tweet that consists ONLY of a link. If they do, the TOS should be more clear about it. As it stands, the wording is too vague.
"If you post duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account"
I don't spend 24/7 on Twitter scanning updates so it's easy to miss tweets that I might want to see but was not online at the time to catch. As both a sender and recipient of business tweets it's helpful to have some tweets rebroadcast once in a while. Provided it's not daily, I'm all for it. Maybe once a month or every two weeks. And if Twitter is able to spot these Tweets and punish people for posting them, why can't they give users an toggle to selectively block or allow them. Why the Draconian approach? Let the people decide!
It also makes sense to be able to post some of the same content across accounts. Many people and corporations manage multiple Twitter accounts and while it would be simpler if each was compartmentalized from the other, the truth is there are times when it makes sense to post the same tweet to multiple or all of your accounts if there is some overlap in the kind of tweets the followers of each account like to see. We should not be punished for trying to tailor content to fit our audiences. I've heard it rumored that so far only tweet text that is EXACTLY the same as recently tweeted text is being blocked and that duplicate links are so far unaffected, but haven't tested this myself.
"Rumors Abound as Tweet Scheduling Services are Targeted by Twitter" (Jesse Stay)
Twitter TERMS OF SERVICE: http://help.twitter.com/forums/26257/entries/18311
"Twitter Starts to Talk Up Corporate Account Plan"
"Twitter Confirms Paid Pro Accounts On The Way" (Silicon Alley Insider)
"Surveillance Cameras" image by Quevaal. Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Sideswiped by Sidewiki
Reading through posts to the Web 2.0 Marketing Group I belong to on LinkedIn recently, a question came up about the implications of Google's Sidewiki for pharmaceutical/medical device brands. In an industry as heavily regulated as pharma, I can understand just how nervous this is going to make the lawyers (once it's on their radar)
While dipping its toes tentatively into the social media waters more and more, by and large the industry sees all sorts of beasts and monsters lurking in it's uncharted depths. Rightly
As a social media user, I like the concept of Sidewiki and see significant value it can add to web sites. At the same time, with the current toolset (none) available to companies/brands/site owners, this is incredibly
Here's my comment (and recommendation) about the situation posted to the Web 2.0 Marketing Group:
Although I posted regarding pharma regulatory concerns specifically, there's no reason why any company in any industry can't be the first to set some expectations or policy outlines for those who view Sidewiki comments on their site. It might not be as good as comment moderation, but for those in highly regulated industries it might put a little more control back in the company's hands (and make the lawyers less nervous!)
For more about this topic as it relates to the pharma industry, John Mack has posted quite a bit on his Pharma Marketing Blog about it. And a related post by Magnus Nillson "Google Sidewiki-Power to the People" provides a little more background about Sidewiki.
Magnus Nillson. "Google Sidewiki-Power to the People." Sep 25, 2009.
John Mack. "3rd Party Dissemination of Altered Rx Drug Information on Social Media Sites. Survey says.."
John Mack. "Google's Wacky Wiki is Whack! Pharma Should Demand Ability to Block It!"
Public Domain Image "Colossal octopus" by Pierre Denys de Montfort. 1810. Via Wikimedia Commons.