Don’t be That “Recycling” Guy (or Gal)

<Rant starts>

I saw a whole boatload of them this morning. Maybe that was a “sign” that it was time to write this post….!

If you’re on Twitter just or primarily to regurgitate other peoples links and content – including semi-inspirational quotes – then, to be perfectly blunt, you’re adding a lot of noise but little value.

Re-tweeting good content or the occasional worthwhile bromide to our audience(s) is a normal and valued part of the Twittersphere. Intermingled with original thought and content, it’s signal and not noise (well, usually!) But if you’re seeking to build up an audience just by being a recycler – what are you contributing?

I don’t need to follow recyclers (and I don’t). I want to know who YOU are, what YOU’RE thinking – there’s gotta be some gold in them thar hills, right? So if you’re on Twitter, why not bring out your gold? Don’t just toss around other peoples’ coins.

It takes no talent to be a recycler. Be a producer instead!

</Rant ends – unless you want to add your own in the comments!>


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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

9 Responses to Don’t be That “Recycling” Guy (or Gal)

  1. Excellent point and here’s an exception: @Virtual_Abbey. We appreciate it when our followers RT prayers from the Daily Office being posted. Some tweeple post parts of some prayers and others post all prayers in their entirety. Others don’t RT at all but pray silently.

    We’re always in the process of figuring out what a best practice might be for building a virtual community of faith. Over the past six months especially, we’ve seen our community grow significantly and the direct messages we receive indicate that people find it more valuable than annoying.

    I guess you could say we produce great recycled products?

    • You bring up a good point, Meredith. My response: if a Twitter account (kind of a non-person) is an understood content fountain like this that people would subscribe to…that’s fine. It’s when a PERSON is acting like a non-person – just a recycler of other stuff – that I think it’s mere noise. Make sense?

      Guy Kawasaki tries to straddle the line here – it’s Guy’s ostensible identity (though he has others help generate the content) – the interesting thing about what he does, is that he surfaces and spreads new and interesting content. Still, lots of people dislike what he does as some kind of robotic recycling and near-SPAM. It’s a tough line to walk…

      • We’re in total agreement. Like the concept of “content fountain” and will talk to our team about installing one in our virtual courtyard!

  2. This is an important topic of debate that we should consider for an upcoming BDI conference. I would welcome the opportunity to moderator this panel as I think there would be some very passionate voices to be heard supporting both sides of this issue.

    As an aside, I would have but did not RT your tweet on this. I thought you would appreciate the gesture.

    • Oh, that would be a lively discussion. And one much needed!

      And thanks for not RTing – except I’m going to pull a John Kerry here. My rules are for everyone else, not for me -so you should ALWAYS forward my stellar observations! ;>}

  3. Anne Galivan says:

    One of my pet peeves about Twitter are the pithy quotes that people post that basically compress all of life into “think happy thoughts and you’ll be happy.” Life is a helluva lot more complicated than that. And frankly, I think it’s just a bunch of worthless hooey (keeping my language in check here!)

    So, I’m with you Steve. When people want to just post a bunch of “don’t worry, be happy” quotes, I hit the unfollow button. Can’t tolerate the cotton-candy. Give me real life, real inspiration, real knowledge.

  4. Karen Swim says:

    Steve, it’s an interesting discussion and I do not disagree but am seeing another side to it that makes finding the balance complex. As for the inspirational quotes, I’m with you. Once in a while they are fine, I have been inspired and tickled sometimes by a quote but if that’s all you tweet it begins to sound the same. As for the recycled, I do follow accounts that scout out news and info around a particular subject – it’s a nice way to keep up without reviewing all of the resources. I manage an account and we share a lot of OPC (other people’s content) too but I do mix in conversation. In the early years it was so much easier, we gathered and conversed but now we have metrics and scores and the whole thing has dramatically shifted. I will however remember to steer clear of fortune cookie quotes and to always retweet your stuff. 🙂

    • I put in a huge order with the biggest fortune cookie maker recently. All the fortunes simply say, RT @swoodruff’s stuff. Expecting a huge boost to my personal brand…! ;>}

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