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The 8 Rules of Tweeting

Monday, 6 February, 2012

Last year, Paul André of Carnegie Mellon, Michael Bernstein of MIT and Kurt Luther of Georgia Tech created Who Gives a Tweet? for the purpose of analyzing those 140-character messages. The 43,000 responses they collected led to “Who Gives A Tweet? Evaluating Microblog Content Value” (PDF).

Academic prose is not everyone’s thing, so Megan Garber of The Atlantic has filtered the research findings into “Be Better at Twitter: The Definitive, Data-Driven Guide“. The result is distilled down into what we might call “Garber’s Eight Rules for Tweeting”: Old news is no news, Contribute to the story, Keep it short, Limit Twitter-specific syntax, Keep it to yourself, Provide context, Don’t whine and Be a tease.

Will these stand the test of time as well as George Orwell’s Six Rules of Writing have done? The author of Nineteen Eighty-Four was ahead of the game in 1948 when he advised “Never use a long word where a short one will do” & “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out”. Orwell rules.


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