Back in the day, I taught HR professionals how to be on social media.

Bill Kutik once asked to do a live demo of Twitter at the HR Technology Conference & Expo. It must have been 2010, and in retrospect, it wasn’t a very good idea. I was elevated on a platform with a big screen right behind me — in a tight skirt, no less, and some heavy-duty make-up — looking very much like an eager beaver.

And it didn’t endear me to the old analysts in the room when my friends kept coming into the auditorium and taking my picture to post on Facebook, either.

(Ah! The good old days when I had friends!)

The conference set up some laptops for people to use if they wanted to learn how to tweet while I was on the stage. Most of the analysts and attendees sat back — crackberries in hand — looking at me with a mix of shock and horror.

In my mind, we had about 200 people in the room. In retrospect, probably not so much. Many of the people in the room decided to sign up for the Twitter for the first time — all at the same time. Twitter thought it was a spam attack from an IP address and locked us all out.

(The good old days, indeed!)

Anyway, I’ve embraced Twitter as my platform-of-choice to communicate with friends, family members and readers who enjoy my work. I don’t reply to many people, and I tend to tweet to the same six users, but I always read everything that comes my way.

But about a month ago, I caught myself favoriting (aka “liking”) every tweet or reply that had my name on it. It was a lot of work, and it was dumb. I had over 6,000 favorites — and god knows I don’t like 6,000 of anything, let alone tweets.

So I found a script on GitHub — yes, GitHub! — and erased my favorites. They are gone.

Just this weekend, I began a staged removal of all the people I follow on Twitter via ManageFlitter. It took two seconds. So easy. I am sick of following bankrupt HR vendors, politicians and weather personalities from cities that I visited back in 2007. So I just erased the whole lot of followers. I’m slowly rebuilding my list.

But the whole point of this is just to remind you something that I’ve learned about social networking: nobody cares what you do.

And as I’ve written before, the only rules that exist are the ones that you make up in your head. There is no such thing as social media etiquette. There is no such thing as a guide to Twitter or Facebook manners. You use the tools the way you want to use them. The market will tell you if you are doing it right. And if you’re ready to change things up, just do it.

Don’t explain it. Don’t justify it. Just change it.

Good luck!


  1. Laurie,

    I love the directness of your language and the positions you take, which is why I love reading your blog and keep coming back.

    I know what you mean about followers and am going to use ManageFlitter to see what I can do with it.

    I use favourites differently. I’ve rarely (if ever) favourited a tweet that had my name on it. Instead I find myself favouriting articles I spot but want to read later, which I then access on Flipboard. I keep a few which I want to reference back. But even so, my favourites list has bloated somewhat! Maybe I need to find an ITTT script that sends them straight to flipboard or something.

    Enjoyed this post.


  2. You didn’t demo Twitter, Heer Professor, you taught it, and did a terrific job. Took bad it resulted in tons more crap being on it.

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