Friday, November 13, 2009

Ill-equipped to act, with insufficient tact

This didn't last long. On the advice of one of my developers I deviated from the personalized tweeting and sent the same reply to 20 or so folks on Twitter yesterday. I searched for people tweeting about short selling and then suggested they might want to check out shortscreen for other short ideas. In fairness to my developer, he didn't suggest to do that, exactly: he suggested to tweet a handful of folks at once. In any case, my Twitter account has been suspended, which frankly surprised me.

Judging from 100% of the tweets I received from 30 individuals over my few days-long Twitter career, my tweets were better targeted and more relevant than pretty much any of them. For example, unlike the fellow who managed to send me -- someone hasn't golfed in maybe four years and has a set of Costco clubs gathering dust somewhere -- 20 links to golf tips in two days, I only contacted actual short sellers about a site geared to short selling. That's not to suggest that all of the tweets I received in the last few days were commercial in nature: some were just inane bits of trivia, e.g., the one from a woman in the Southwest who mentioned that she had moved that day and asked if anyone else liked moving.

I appealed for clemency to the powers that tweet, noting that after reading the TOS I understood my mistake. The form for contacting Twitter about stuff like this includes a field asking "how do you feel"1. I entered "chastened". But I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, the ratio of visits to Shortscreen from Twitter to my tweets was pretty high -- about 50%. On the other hand, the whole Twitter enterprise seems like a pointless time suck. So I leave it to the folks at Twitter to decide if my tweeting days are over. If they are, so be it.

1This question reminded me a little of that test the reincarnated Spock takes at his parents' house on Vulcan in Star Trek IV. He gets a series of questions, one of which goes like this, if memory serves, "Adjust the sine wave of the magnetic envelope so that anti-gravitons can enter and anti-protons cannot". And then he is stumped by the last question, "How do you feel?".

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