Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Watch your language on Twitter!

Here's a little tale of a lesson I've learned lately about using Twitter.

Over the last couple of months I've been getting to grips with this new medium, and I'd been thinking about whether or not I should follow people back when they follow me. Eventually I decided to take Ted Coine's advice about following everyone back, looking on it as a social courtesy. But last week something a little unusual happened. My number of followers pretty much doubled over the space of a few days - all well and good, and I did the 'good thing' in return and followed them back.

So what's the problem?

They were all from South Korea, and quite naturally their tweets were in Korean.

Now as much as I like the idea of having a truly international audience for my tweets, logging in to my Twitter feed and not being able to understand a large portion of it is a little alarming! Sure, there are tools to channel your feed, which I'm going to start looking in to, but should they be the first port of call for making any sense of what's on there? And am I going to start learning different languages just to understand it all anyway? Probably not!

So to any folks in South Korea who are reading this, don't take it personally if I do unfollow you. You'll still be able to hear what I have to say, and my extension of courtesy will be to make sure I'm talking about something that has value.