Blog: The absolute latest random thoughts
Kari Byron news
09.2002 10.2002 11.2002 12.2002 01.2003 02.2003 03.2003 04.2003 05.2003 06.2003 07.2003 08.2003 09.2003 10.2003 11.2003 12.2003 01.2004 02.2004 03.2004 04.2004 05.2004 06.2004 07.2004 08.2004 09.2004 10.2004 11.2004 12.2004 01.2005 02.2005 03.2005 04.2005 05.2005 06.2005 07.2005 08.2005 09.2005 10.2005 11.2005 12.2005 01.2006 02.2006 03.2006 04.2006 05.2006 06.2006 07.2006 08.2006 09.2006 10.2006 11.2006 12.2006 04.2007 05.2007 06.2007 07.2007 08.2007 12.2007 01.2008 02.2008 05.2008 06.2008 07.2008 08.2008 12.2008 01.2009 02.2009 03.2009 04.2009 05.2009 06.2009 07.2009 09.2009 10.2009 11.2009 12.2009 01.2010 02.2010 03.2010 04.2010 05.2010 06.2010 07.2010 08.2010 09.2010 10.2010 11.2010 12.2010 01.2011 02.2011 03.2011 04.2011 05.2011 06.2011 07.2011 09.2011 10.2011 11.2011 12.2011 01.2012 02.2012 04.2012 07.2012 10.2012 11.2012 01.2013 02.2013 03.2013 05.2013 05.2014 06.2014 07.2014 12.2014 01.2015 02.2015 03.2015 06.2015 11.2015 02.2016 03.2016 04.2016 05.2016 06.2016 11.2016 04.2017 10.2017
11.02.2016In the world of social media management, sometimes you encounter people who don't quite get it. And that's OK. But sometimes you encounter the "collateral damage" that those people do. So, here's a brief Public Service Announcement on how Twitter blocking works, and might have unintended consequences for you and the people who rely on you.
Here's the background: I had seen an interesting exchange between two Ed Tech personalities: Shelly Terrell publicly complained that someone had @-messaged her (a public "nod" or "head's up" on Twitter and other social media platforms). She asked that they direct-message her instead.
That's a really odd thing to say.
Sure, you can use Twitter however you want to, but that's really not what it was designed for. Or, at least, it's unusual to complain that someone is using a key notification feature of it; @-messages were really early innovation and were quickly folded into the platform.
Since Twitter is a public forum, and is designed to be public, and this was a strange conversation to be having in public, I thought it was worth a mention:
Eric M. Larson (@emlarson)
It was just a throwaway Tweet, I didn't give a second thought.
This morning, I encountered a tweet about a conference. Actually, it was a retweet about a conference, thanks to SimpleK12. And the strange thing was that the tweet content showed up as "This Tweet is unavailable."
That stands out as unusual.
So I clicked through, and it turns out that Tarrell blocked me.
"Blocking" on Twitter is much more aggressive than "Muting". If you got tired of seeing my tweets related to Richard Marx, for totally-not-quite hypothetical example, you could "mute" me and I simply wouldn't show up in your feed. It controls what you see. But a "block" actually prevents any contact, including the fact that the blocked person can't see anything that you post.
But there are two problems with that.
The first is that a blocked person can totally see everything that you post, simply by not being logged in to Twitter. Unless you have a private Twitter feed, which means you're using Twitter in a sanctioned but totally different way than the public stream it was built to be, blocking doesn't make any sense. It's a placebo against bullying and harassment, but there are plenty of other options to engage in bullying and harassing if someone's stream is public.
The bigger issue in this case is that the block will follow down a re-tweet path, and people who retweet you might not even have their tweets displayed to people they intend.
Let me explain.
Terrell is keynoting a conference. SimpleK12 mentioned that in their Tweet and linked to it, but Twitter couldn't display Terrell's content to me (because she blocked me, and that's what blocks do), so I got the "This Tweet is unavailable."
But what the conference host might not realize is that their re-Tweets of Terrell aren't even visible to those in their target audience (me) if Terrell has blocked them.
"Really? No way!" Yup.
Here's an example. Here's what they are recent tweets look like to those who haven't offended or antagonized Terrell:
That's since looking Tweet! Good headline, promotes Routledge, tells me Shelley Sanchez is the keynote speaker. Well done!
But that's not what I see. What I see is:
Without knowing enough about Twitter to know how its Blocking feature works, that just looks... Broken? Incompetent? Expired? Cancelled?
It certainly doesn't get my attention or encourage me to spread the word about the conference.
This doesn't affect me in the least (if it weren't for scheduling conflict, I still couldn't attend this particular conference in Ontario because I don't have a current passport), but most conference organizers wouldn't opt to hire a keynote speaker who has a propensity for running around trying to throw hoods over potential attendees' heads.
So, how do you fix this? Two things:
1) Choose keynote speakers with a social media persona that works for your goals, not against them.
2) Screenshot valuable content and include as a photo, not merely as a retweet, so that your post has a visual element that carries through to your readers regardless of other users' account settings.
emlarson.com: Home | Blog| Work | Tech | Life | Lord | Play | Mail
Entire site contents Copyright © 2000-2005 Eric M. Larson
All rights reserved, please don't steal my stuff, etc. etc. etc.