Spamming – Don’t Do It

The continuing etymology of the word “spam” is of interest to people with an interest in how words can develop, change meanings and take on additional, new ones. Originally used as a brand name for a tinned, processed meat, it was picked up and used in a Monty Python sketch and from there was adopted to refer to e-mail which was unsolicited, unwelcome and used to aggressively drive a message (usually commercial) regardless of audience. As time has passed, it has come to be used in terms of any unwelcome proliferation of information or advice.

Spamming on Twitter does not only refer to commercial promotion, but still includes it. More than that, though, it has come to refer to anyone posting persistently with information that is either incorrect, irrelevant or just plain annoying. If you are accused – justifiably or otherwise – of spamming will inevitably result in you losing followers. For such reasons it is essential that you consider seriously what you are going to post before you post it. If you strongly feel that it is relevant to your followers, then tweet it. If you are not concerned by the prospect of losing followers, then posting things that may be considered irrelevant should not concern you.

Bear in mind too that when it comes to relevance, telling people what they already know constitutes irrelevance. If you constantly posted that grass tends to be green, you would be spamming, and if you post well-worn political arguments in a feed mostly read by political experts, they may well accuse you of doing the same.

Where Does Twitter Fit In?

The Internet may seem to be a behemoth of unconnected sites united simply by the fact that they are all online and accessible by anyone with the correct equipment. But if you look closer it is easy to see that there is a lot of connectivity between certain sites, not least in the use of hyperlinks which allow you to navigate between sites which have a common interest. But where this becomes fascinating is with the rise of the super website, the one which is by far and away the leader in its field. Prime examples of this in recent times are not hard to identify.

We have Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia which is seen as an immediate resource for collated information. Then there is YouTube, a video hosting site which allows one to view footage collected from numerous different places. How hard it would be to find the sites you need if it were not for the ultimate search engine, Google. And recently, Twitter has become a site which everyone knows about, even if they only know that everyone else is talking about it.

One of the things that makes Twitter so popular is that it is an excellent way to spread links. This allows it an instant affinity with other sites. If you find a video on YouTube which you believe that everyone should see, you post a link to it on your Twitter account, and people can view it and then pass on the link. This connectivity is also very useful for bloggers who can install a “widget” on their blog which automatically posts a link on their Twitter feed whenever they put up a new blog post.

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