Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What do your Tweets say about you?

A handful of the people I follow on Twitter are real-life friends. A larger group are friends I've made through blogging (but haven't actually met). Probably the largest portion I follow on Twitter are acquaintances - people I know very little about. I follow them and they follow me perhaps because of some vague connection or common interest. The only thing I really know about these people are what they say on Twitter.

And when all you know of a person are their tweets, you begin to build a mental picture in your mind, based on the kinds of things they post and their tone of voice. And because of this, I've come to notice several personality types.  

Moany Mervin.
Mervin is a moaner. He uses Twitter as an outlet for all his worldly grievances. He lists off all the reasons the universe has dealt him a crappy hand. Everything sucks for Mervin: love, life, money, you name it. After a while you begin to associate Merlin's profile picture with his moaning and general gloom. Later, you start to avoid his tweets, for fear he might drag you down into his den of self-pity, too.

Gushy Gloria. 
No one likes Moany Merlin, but on the other side of the coin, Gushy Gloria can be equally infuriating. Gushy Gloria brags about her perfect life in direct or indirect ways. She boasts endlessly about her well-behaved children and touts her amazing super-woman-esque accomplishments. According to her, Martha Stewart comes to her for advice. Gushy Gloria is not just positive by nature, she's pathological. 

Market-Hard Mandy.
Most bloggers tweet to let their followers know when they've just published a new blog post, if they're doing a giveaway, or if they're helping promote a brand as part of a Twitter party for instance. A certain amount of marketing for one's personal or business brand is expected - so long as those promotional tweets are balanced with some more persona tweets and interactions fellow Tweeps. But Marketing Mandy only has one thing on her mind: sell HARD. She pushes her marketing message relentlessly, shamelessly. In the end, it becomes boring. You know she's only out the to profit herself, and you begin to consider erasing her pushy tweets from your feed. 

Cliquey Clarissa. 
Everyone has Twitter buddies - people we tweet with more than others. But Cliquey Clara only ever seems to talk to one or two people. The message she's sending is: it's a private party and you're not invited. Eventually her followers will get the message that they're not welcome into the conversation, and will leave her well alone. 

Vera Variety
Vera is the most common type of Tweep. She writes a variety of tweets: some interesting, some not so much, some funny, some bitchy, some embarrassing, some happy, some sour, some drunk. She talks to everyone and isn't afraid to share that she's having a bad day or just burned the dinner and is feeding her kids peanut butter from the jar. She gets involved and engages in conversation.

That's my take on it - I'm sure there are many other types out there, that I haven't touched on.

But don't listen to me, because I just looked at some of my recent tweets, and it seems I'm another type: Completely Random Rachel.

Stumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To Reddit Bookmark Twitter


annacdotes said...

Love this post. So spot on with different Twitter personalities. I hope I'm a Vera Variety :-).

Loukia said...

Ha! Loved this! I am totally a Vera Variety. At least, I hope I am, as the others you've listed (except for Completely Random Rachel) don't sound like anyone I'd want to be!

diney said...

I'm more like shy susan or frightened frances as I sometimes tweet but never hang around to engage in banter in case I'm interrupting an 'in'crowd's tweet-ersation. I think the tweets I do are of the Vera variety though!!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I am afraid I fall under the Gushy Gloria, what with my well behaved kids, perfectly made meals and all!! Fine. I am a liar then too.

Christy said...

Such a great post! I love it! And I wish I'd read it before I'd starting tweeting recently. I haven't gotten the hang out of it yet, and am honestly not loving it yet. But I'm about to look you up, and then I'll have one more blog-friend to tweet with! :)

blueviolet said...

I love this! I think you captured twitter personalities perfectly. I'm hoping that I'm Vera Variety, but I do have some marketing thrown in. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Plus, I JUST followed you on twitter. Yippee!

Christine Macdonald said...

I love your tweets! Mine are just as random... :)


Elaine A. said...

I'm TOTALLY Vera Variety, with a side of Random Rachel. P.S. I think your tweets rock. :)

Heather said...

I am more like techo twerp. I don't know how to tweet. Sigh.

Yours are funny though. And I am super glad you got that inch back!

Captain Dumbass said...

Guess I'm a Vera. I've started weedy the Market-Hard's out, I'm tired of having to weed through their crap to find somebody who actually has something to say.

James (SeattleDad) said...

I think I am Beery Brian, talking about beer. Or Maybe Coffee Charlie, talking about Joe. Or Just an overproud Dad talking too much about his kid.

Great post.

Mwa said...

I am still afraid of Twitter. Just can't get into it. Maybe I go on at the wrong time or just not often enough. I'm considering giving up on it. (I suppose I have. I go on every few weeks just now, but that's not really showing any commitment.)

ModernMom said...

Oh My Gosh I love this post. I hope that I am a Vera a Sassy one:) I know there are a couple there that you have listed that don't last too long on my follow list. If all you can do is brag about how wonderful you are and don't engage with the rest of us "normal" tweets I unfollow!

Metropolitan Mum said...

Random Rachel sounds about right. My tweets are more than random. I actually don't know why people follow me at all.

Stephanie Faris said...

Great summary! I'm not much of a Tweeter. I'm more into Facebook. I try to Tweet, but it ends up that most of the time when I'm Tweeting, I'm announcing a blog I just posted. I need to try to be better about life just isn't all that interesting!

WhisperingWriter said...

This made me laugh.

I'm random, I think.

Tweeting rocks.