The Bar Brawl of The Swedish Twittersphere

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It all started when the fashion brand Acne started following Fredrik Wass of Bisonblog fame on Twitter. Fredrik felt spammed and wrote a heated post on his blog. Jesper Åström responded at his Online PR-blog. In essence he made very good points i think, but his angle was all crooked. Instead of heading into a discussion about the asymmetry of Twitter (which could have made a good angle) he heads into critique of Fredriks attitude which he describes as “shit, I’m so popular”. This is where I blow my offside whistle.

Because really. I think that Fredrik is off the mark in his analysis, but Jesper is off the mark in his attitude. There is nothing wrong with Fredrik’s general attitude (as far as I can tell). I don’t think he sounds too cool for school. So drop the bar stools guys. Let’s discuss the topic in question instead.

In my lectures my first slide in the strategy section has one word written on it in super large type – “Listen”. And I think that this is precisely what Acne is doing when they are adding Fredrik. They are listening to, among others, Fredrik Wass. Perhaps to have him reciprocate in following them, but I think rather to learn from him. He is after all one of the authorities in social media in Sweden. I think that this is a very sound thing to do.

While blogging has the drawback of not knowing exactly who listens to you (setting aside future endevours of Facebook Connect and Friend Connect), Twitter has that feature inherently. When it comes to Facebook, the adding of friends is a symmetric affair. You can’t just follow without being followed. This is a very important difference, and also what lowers the barriers of saying hello in the Twitterspere.

Where I DO think that Fredrik has a point is where he talks about brand names being anonymous. We all know that there is a person on the other end, but we don’t know who. And this is not cool. We don’t want to talk to a sign on the wall. But to me these are at least two different uses of Twitter. Both valid. For example I follow Jung on twitter, but I also follow people at Jung. For two different reasons.

The point that everybody seems to be missing is that of clarity. I think that every Twitter account (especially the professional ones) need a policy.

1. Be transparent about your intentions. What is this account for?
2. Never exceed 140 character in your policy description.
3. Be honest.
4. Follow your own policy.

And I know that this post is way to long. Perhaps I should keep my opinions to 140 characters.

About the Blog

This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.
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