Perfect Tweets, The Twitter Below, Road House, TweetRank & Malcolm Gladwell (Best Of Twittercism 2010)

When I first started writing this article I had originally planned to list my ten favourite articles on Twittercism in 2010. As I started to put the post together I found that ten wasn’t enough. I know this statement has ‘monster ego’ written all over it, and to some extent that’s 100 per cent accurate, but if you’re a fellow blogger or a writer then you’ll know how it feels when you’re asked to edit or be selective about your own content, even if it’s an instruction from yourself. It’s hard.

Yes, I wrote all of these pieces. But they feel like my babies.

So, I compromised, and kept in everything I thought was pretty good, and separated all the posts into categories.

  • Get Better At Twitter
  • The Business Of Twitter
  • Twitter Etiquette
  • Your Twitter Identity
  • Followers & Following
  • Twitter Improvements (aka, Whinging & Moaning)
  • Twitter Security
  • Twitter Clients
  • Opinion (And Everything Else)

Let’s get started.

Get Better At Twitter

How To Write The Perfect Tweet

I believe this was my most retweeted post of 2010 – it’s probably my favourite, too. Always nice when that happens.

5 Mistakes You’re (Still) Making On Twitter

Not that anyone is counting, but here’s five more, too.

You Already Know How To Use It

You already know how to use Twitter. It just takes a little application, a little perseverance, and a little work. You have to want to learn – nobody can do it for you.

Twitter – Know Your Limits

The first and (so far) only infographic I ever made.

Can’t Spare The Time? Get The Most Out Of Twitter In Just 30 Minutes A Day (Or Less)

Advice for Twitter users, new and old.

How To Dramatically Improve Twitter In Five Minutes (Or Less)

Five minutes. What have you got to lose?

An iPad Won’t Make You Better At Twitter (Or Anything Else That Requires Work And Engagement)

And if an iPad won’t help, then a Dell Streak has absolutely no chance.

The Business Of Twitter

The Itty Bitty Twitter Committee

This, of course, still takes place all the time, notably on Facebook pages.

Is Twitter’s Trending Topics Out Of Reach For Most Marketers?

I think so – which of course explains why promoted trends and tweets are actually a very good idea.

What Is The Real Cost Of Trying To Make Money Online With Twitter?

Pay-per-tweet, affiliate programs, paid reviews? It might end up costing you a lot more than you think.

Twitter Etiquette

On Twitter, Be Nice. Until It’s Time To Not Be Nice

Road House is one of the all-time great action movies, and this is one of my all-time favourite posts.

When The Going Gets Weird

Be a pro. And when in doubt, block first, and ask questions later.

Is This Retweetable?

Not everything is. In fact, relatively few things are.

Shooting The Messenger

If you have a problem with the content, take it up with the author, not the linker.

Taking It Personally / “I Find This Offensive.”

Two sides of the same coin.

It’s Okay – You Don’t Have To Agree With Us. (Just Don’t Be An Ass About It)

Be polite.

Your Twitter Identity

Who Are You?

Are you a different person on Twitter than you are in ‘real life’? Why? And what does that mean?


Everybody has secrets behind closed doors, but if the internet you is being painted with a very different brush to the ‘real’ you then you’re playing a very dangerous game.

Followers & Following

“Twitter makes me like people I’ve never met and Facebook makes me hate people I know in real life.”

AKA: “Facebook is for the friends I have but don’t want; Twitter is for the friends I want but don’t have.”

Targeted Following (Because Twitter Simply Doesn’t Work If You Follow Everybody Back)

This post was interesting because while the content is of value, it led to a fairly public spat between myself and Dan Zarrella (which you can read here – it’s worth checking out the comments in both posts as well.) I still look back at these interactions with some disbelief.

Follow Count DOES Matter (Just Not In The Way You Think)

If you have 100,000 followers it certainly appears that you’re popular, but virtually everybody can reach that number – all you have to do is follow 101,000 people yourself. The actual value of building a community via reciprocal following is often very low – the network and its members are not (and likely never will be) engaged.

Why I Think @TheOnion Has Unfollowed A Record 485,000 People On Twitter

Because it was the only rational thing they could have done. Others quickly followed.

Twitter Can Be As Much About Letting Go As It Is About Connecting

Thoughts on how your Twitter network is – and should be – constantly morphing and evolving.

I’d Rather Go Naked Than FUR

Follow, unfollow, repeat. Amazingly, not only are these people still out there, they get incredibly paranoid and defensive when you start to question them about these decidedly unsavoury network-accumulation habits.

Give People A Reason To Miss You

Everybody gets busy, and once in a while we all get too busy for Twitter.

Twitter Improvements (aka, Whinging & Moaning)

5 Holes That Twitter Needs To Fill (And Soon)

The retweet opt-out button is back, but a lack of privacy controls and the lousy direct message system are still major flaws.

Does Twitter Need ‘Fat Tweets’?

A temporary glitch in Twitter’s internal URL-shortener meant that tweets of longer than 140 characters were suddenly possible. Is this something that should become a permanent feature?

“Baseball, Baseball, Baseball!” (AKA, Twitter, Please Give Me A Frickin’ Filter)

I don’t care about baseball. I don’t care about the World Series, and I don’t care about the San Francisco Giants. But lots of people I care about do, which means we all have a problem.

TweetRank – Does Twitter Need To Start Penalising Users Who Consistently Break The Rules?

Yes. Yes they do.

Twitter Processes One Billion SMS Tweets Per Month (And This Is Why We Can’t Have Proper Hyperlinks)

While I can perfectly understand the need to offer an SMS service to less-developed countries, it should be an alternative – not something that directly impacts (and, yes, drags down) the main network.

If Our Twitter Networks Could Be Rated, We Could End This Obsession With Who Has The Most Followers

Tools like Klout have tried to tackle this but it needs to be something that comes directly from Twitter so it appears official. Moreover, if you logged on to and it had a big number rating your network as an F, you might actually take the steps to improve it.

You’ve Got Twittermail

In light of Facebook’s recent ‘Gmail killer’, I still think a Twitter email product would have been not only a winner, but would also have one-upped Facebook.


Why Twitter should give everybody the opportunity to legitimise their profile by simple credit or bank card verification. And if you don’t want to be verified, you can opt out – but this feature would eliminate 99% of all the bots, spammers, trolls, stalkers and good, old-fashioned weirdos.

I Want To Buy Your Twitter Username, But It Breaches Their TOS. What Happened To Capitalism?

Twitter’s incredibly lax attitude to dormant and inactive usernames is still a major problem – and with half a million people signing up each and every day, it’s a mounting one.

Justin Bieber Has Been Trending On Twitter All Week. Please, Somebody, Make It Stop

Not too long afterwards, Twitter changed their algorithm to ensure the likes of Justin Bieber didn’t rank so heavily in their trending topics. The feature is still far from flawless, but it’s a lot better than it was.

Twitter Needs Trusted Links

Why a Reddit-style markup system could really improve the way we all use Twitter.

Twitter Security

Are You Being Bullied On Twitter?

Advice on how to tackle the inevitable bullies and trolls we are all forced to endure on the internet.

Protect Yourself From Being Phished On Twitter By Unfollowing Repeat Offenders

This might seem a little harsh, but the reality is that some people never learn.

Check Your Connections Tab On Twitter (Because You’ve Only Got Yourself To Blame If It’s Full Of Crap)

I was on Twitter when news broke on that Oprah Winfrey had died. I read the article, shared the link, and then went out. Read about why this never happened, but how I could have prevented the fallout if it did.

Twitter Clients

What Do I Want From My Ideal Twitter Client? Plugins

To their credit, Seesmic have tried to do this, but I’m holding out for a WordPress-like platform and community where we, the end user, have thousands of plugins at our disposal. Fingers remain crossed.

Maybe @HootSuite Pro Is The Answer?

And it was.

Opinion (And Everything Else)

Why Do Dinosaurs Persist On Giving Lifestyle Advice To Mammals?

Why Malcolm Gladwell et al need to stop giving advice about products and services they don’t even use themselves.

The Twitter Below

There are two Twitters – the one we all know, and another, very different Twitter, and this one takes place entirely in dark alleyways and shadowed corners, with denizens who have abandoned the openness of the medium in favour of a preferred, entirely secretive, one-to-one communication.

Has Twitter Become Part Of 21st Century Courtship?

And is that a good thing?

Google Buzz Is A Twitter Killer? Don’t Make Me Laugh

I don’t blow my own horn enough – this was a great call.

Twitter Announces ‘Pay As You Tweet’ Subscription Plan For All Users (And Will Backdate Your Invoice)

I’m already planning 2011’s April Fool.

When You Die In ‘Real’ Life, Who Will Keep You Alive On Twitter?

What happens to your virtual presence when the real one passes on?

Twitter People – Matt Scutt (@mattscutt)

I want this to be the start of a series of profiles of individuals who are successfully using Twitter as a business tool, and plan to continue this in 2011.


That’s your lot. A pretty good year, I think. I’m proud of this body of work. I’ve made a few wayward calls and been a little bit preachy at times, but overall I think Twittercism has had an okay 2010.

And hopefully, offered something for everyone, or at least most Twitter users. If you’ve particularly enjoyed an article I’ve written – or take strong objection with something I’ve said – please hit the comments and let me know.

Onwards and upwards to a better 2011!