Niala and I have found that not everyone agrees with our column this week. It's been interesting hearing different viewpoints from readers this morning, and please keep them coming! The topic came to us after we participated in an online chat via Twitter. A group that labels themselves as LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) started a chat about social network etiquette last week, so of course Niala and I couldn't resist jumping in.
The topic of streaming Twitter in your Facebook status came up. Niala and I hate it, but a few others couldn't see why we felt so strongly against mixing the networks -- or as Miami social media strategist Alex de Carvalho said over Twitter this morning -- "crossing the streams" -- haha!
Anyway, below is our column that ran today:
Last week, we took part in an online chat about social media etiquette. The discussion started off with a question: Is it poor etiquette to automatically feed all of your tweets into your Facebook status? (For those who don't know, Tweets are the short messages sent out from your Twitter account.)
We took a firm stand on this: Don't do it, for a couple of reasons. Facebook status updates and Twitter feeds were designed to be used in different ways. We think it's not only disrespectful, but confusing to the Facebook audience to put your Twitter feed in your status.
For starters, Facebook's status is designed to be written in the third person. (Example: ''Bridget is watching The Office.'') Twitter users write full sentences in the first person. (``BridgetCarey: I'm watching The Office''). Put your Twitter feed in your Facebook status, and it looks strange, and oddly repetitive (``Bridget I'm watching The Office'').
That's awkward; but it gets worse.
In Twitter, messages are sent off in short bursts and are typically part of a conversation. Twitter users also often use shorthand and codes that just don't translate in Facebook. So if you're seeing lots of @, #, and seemingly one-sided status updates on Facebook, odds are, you're seeing someone feeding from Twitter.
Before joining Twitter, we were confused and somewhat annoyed when people did this. And now that we're on Twitter, even though we understand, we still think it's wrong.
During the Tweetchat that started all of this, we were surprised that others didn't understand why we felt so strongly. We realized others don't distinguish between social networks like Facebook or Twitter. As one person said, why does it matter if it's all social networking? Another said they were so busy on both networks that they couldn't keep track of what was being said where, and wanted to cover all their bases.
We both found it enlightening to realize that some don't think of these networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) as separate environments with different audiences, and therefore, different purposes.
Are we being too harsh by defining it as bad etiquette to link between networks? Should people be more considerate of the different social network audiences? In other words, does it not matter where you put your content, as long as you put it out there?
Let us know by posting a comment below or e-mailing poked@MiamiHerald.com.
[UPDATE: Check out the comment posted below from Mike. Apparently the Facebook application "Tweeter" is somewhat of a solution to some of these awkward issues when crossing the streams. I just started testing it out now. (02/03 5:15 p.m.)]