Dear Oprah, Please Don’t Ruin Twitter

In the past week I’ve been bombarded with crap and celebrities and overall garbage content on Twitter. I guess I should preface all this by saying that I use Twitter to network, find a job, get new blog post ideas, keep up with friends from conferences, find mentors and the like. I don’t use Twitter to follow celebrities (okay, there are a couple that I do, but not a lot). In an attempt to keep the content great and the atmosphere nerdy, I’m writing to Oprah.

Dear Oprah,

Please don’t ruin Twitter. I appreciate that you are the almighty talk-show goddess that you are. I admire your drive, your spirit, and the fact that your income could feed a handful of third-world countries until the day the earth stands still. That being said, please don’t ruin Twitter.

Being as high-profile as you are, I’d like to give you a quick tutorial of how to be an all-star on Twitter. How to contribute to the conversation – how to help it grow, not kill it slowly. This is a new world for you, and I’m here to hold your hand.

Turn off your caps. Shaq said it, and judging by your feed, you get it. In case you weren’t aware – caps = screaming. We’re glad you’re here, but keep it down. And if you aren’t familiar with Internet shorthand already, get used to it. You only have 140 characters to tell us something – so start abbreviating.

Follow people back. We don’t expect you to sift through your million followers’ feeds and talk to everyone. But we do expect you to follow more than your super-celeb friends. Follow me. Follow these people:

  • Brian Solis, @briansolis, the man behind PR 2.0
  • Guy Kawasaki, @guykawasaki, the man behind AllTop
  • Chris Brogan, @chrisbrogan
  • Pete Cashmore, @mashable, the man behind Mashable
  • Peter Shankman, @skydiver, the man behind Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
  • Aaron Strout, @aaronstrout, VP of Marketing at Powered, Inc.
  • Penelope Trunk, @penelopetrunk, author of Brazen Careerist, CEO/Founder of BrazenCareerist.com – a blog network
  • Nisha Chittal, @nishachittal, the brilliant mind behind Politicoholic
  • Elysa Rice, @elysa, author of Gen-Pink
  • Ryan Paugh, @paughginney, co-founder and Community Manager at Brazen Careerist
  • Ben Smithee, @spychresearch, Senior Brand Manager at Spych Research
  • Joel Comm, @joelcomm, author of Twitter Power.

All 0f those people are a part of my network and they are “getting” this Twitterverse and using it for good.

Be real. Tell us what’s going on in your life. You’re important – we get that – but make us understand why we should like you off-camera. What are you doing today? What is your routine like? Do you have a dog that poops in the house? We want to know details that we don’t read in inTouch or Us Weekly.

If you don’t get it, say something. If you get into this and you aren’t understanding, say something. The best thing about Twitter is the response rate. Ask a question and in seconds you’ll have a ton of answers. But if you don’t follow anyone back, your answers will be limited to your famous friends. And they probably don’t know the answer.

I’m here for you. So are my friends. Keep it real, keep it current and keep the caps off and I give you a big, fat Twitter welcome.

Sincerely,
Sydney Owen

What do you think of celebs joining Twitter? Are there any that you think are using it well? What about celebs that are killing the service?