Twitter Jitters


NEW YORK Are you feeling any Twitter guilt? What about Twitter remorse? Some agency CEOs are feeling both.

But the execs say their guilt -- which comes in the form of the nagging feeling that they're not posting frequently enough -- and their remorse-an opposite "syndrome," if you will, that comes with having said too much-are not stopping them from Twittering as often as they can.

Twittering is increasingly part of mainstream culture and some ad world CEOs have dived right in, including JWT's Bob Jeffrey, AKQA's Tom Bedecarre, EVB's Daniel Stein, Deep Focus' Ian Schafer and Big Spaceship's Michael Lebowitz. Beyond the chance to promote themselves and their agencies (and show clients that they "get" new media), such CEOs -- much like the general public -- find Twittering just plain fun.

"I can lose myself in it," said Lebowitz, whose "bigspaceship" account has nearly 3,000 followers.

But when asked last week about the negatives of posting stream-of-conscious thoughts in 140 characters or less, some acknowledged there were downsides to Twittering-not least of which is that their words become part of the public domain-a fact that makes them proceed, mostly, with caution.

"Basically, I treat every Tweet as if there was a flattering or unflattering photo of me broadcast on CNN and the words that I'm typing are right beneath it," said Schafer, who joined Twitter about a year ago and has almost 2,000 followers. "I've probably deleted more Tweets than I've written."

So what territory does he think twice about? "Just general industry complaints, for example," he said. "I have to be careful not to appear like a 'whiner.' So, in that sense, I want to make sure what I'm doing is forwarding the industry and not complaining about it." Rather than criticize another agency's work, Schafer said he might post something along the lines of, "I also would have done this..."

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