The Twitter commandments

(via Alan Levine) Phillie Casablanca issues some Twitter commandments, which are worth looking at. Some people have objected to the term ‘commandments’ – it’s a stylistic device folks! He doesn’t really mean them to be obeyed absolutely, it’s just that it’s meant to be a bit of fun and calling it ‘Some practical suggestions on Twitter behaviour’ doesn’t allow for the same punch really.
Anyway, I particularly like:

1. Thou shalt not tweet more than 20 times a day. This has a detrimental
effect on everyone else’s ambient intimacy with their group.

3.Thou shalt not tweet more than 10 times in an hour*. That’s what blogging is for.


9. Thou shalt type people’s usernames correctly (e.g. @Casablanca); otherwise the ‘replies’ function doesn’t work.

I’m not so keen on:

6. Thou shalt not forget that the question being asked is "What are you doing?".

I think this is the way in to Twitter, but its use has evolved beyond this. For instance, Ewan Macintosh was giving a presentation to some people at Oxford yesterday and put a call out on Twitter to a) say hello and b) give suggestions for use of Twitter in learning a foreign language. This was during his live presentation I gather. This was a very good use of Twitter, but isn’t really answering the question ‘What are you doing?’

I’d also add these two commandments:

11. Thou shalt not follow more than 1,000 people (unless thou art Scoble)

12. Thou shalt not use Twitter as a broadcast medium for your website or business – it’s about conversation (yes that means you Guy Kawasaki)


  • Sue Waters

    Interesting this conversation about the 10 commandmants. Beth Kanter wrote a post about it on 5 January ( and Phil dropped past and responded to my comment. This is his response to The sixth commandment “(“Thou shalt not forget that the question being asked is “What are you doing?”) was really aimed at the people making long statements across multiple tweets. I break this one all the time, I often just write what I’m thinking, or write something funny….perhaps I should drop that one? ” Worth checking out Beth’s post to read the comments from her readers.

  • Martin

    Thanks Sue – I do subscribe to Beth’s blog but had missed that post. Re. Phil’s classification, I think I’m both a twit and a bit of a twerp – I do tweet about some new blog posts (I was really reluctant to do this initially), but I saw others doing it, and figure they may be of interest. I think this is okay as long it’s not _all_ you do on Twitter.

  • Sue Waters

    The unfortunate thing with twitter is that there is a lot of people now that don’t use the Feed Readers and are only accessing posts through links in Twitter. So my thoughts are we have to put our links in twitter. Hope the bug has gone from your house and you are all feeling better?

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