Why You Shouldn’t Schedule Your Blog Post Tweets


Something to ponder over your morning coffee...

Picture the scene… it is late in the night on May 1st, 2011. You and a group of friends are sitting around, watching groundbreaking news unfold. Osama Bin Laden has been killed. It is a historic moment, most likely not to be forgotten during your lifetime.

Deep in conversation, you are all expressing your gratitude for our US Soldiers. Some are expressing concerns over the safety of our troops and the retaliation that is certain to come from Bin Laden’s death. Additionally, many are aghast at the celebrations taking place in the streets, remembering back to 9/11 when “they” were celebrating in the face of our tragedy. The conversations are deep, meaningful, thought provoking. Then, all of a sudden, one of the friends present says “Hey… look at these cookies I made for Mother’s Day. Pretty awesome aren’t they?”

Everyone looks at the person like they are insane. Did they just talk about Mother’s Day cookies in a time like this? Do they not know what just happened?

This is basically the scene last night. Twitter and Facebook were a buzz with the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death. Among the news, tweets that were previously scheduled (or at least I hope they were pre-scheduled tweets) were interrupting this historic moment in awkward abundance. Scheduled tweets, my friends, were seen as irreverent and completely out of place and frankly, a bit ridiculous. As Stefania tweeted “Beyond strange, it’s a social media fail.”

I know this type of event doesn’t happen everyday… it is a brief moment in history, but consider the moments your scheduled tweets might be interrupting and decide for yourself if it is truly worth that extra few seconds you gain by scheduling your blog post tweets.

Just something to think about… do you want to be talking about your latest unrelated blog post when groundbreaking history is made?

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  1. SthrnGirl says

    Remeber the brouhaha about a Ruthe Reichl tweet after the earthquake/tsunami? She later apologized, saying that she woke up, poured her coffee, sat down at the computer, checked emails, tweeted, then went to read the paper. When she wrote the tweet, she did know about the tsunami. remember, some people may not have had the tv on when the news was announced.

    Also, this is a job for many people. A private reflection may be enough for some, but continuing on with life is important too.

    • says

      @SthrnGrl: I missed the things about Ruth but her situation appears to be different. I’m talking about people who schedule the same promo link tweet to come up at all hours of the day.
      And yes, Twitter is a job for some but if they are using it professionally then I’d hope that the person behind the Twitter account is using twitter to engage their community… not just spew out links to promote themselves. :)

  2. says

    You’d think we’d have learned our lesson after the backlash Ruth Reichl got for her blithe “everything is wonderful” tweet on the morning of the Japan earthquake, huh?
    I know some of us aren’t comfortable with getting all political over Twitter (me included), but it seems to me that the polite thing to do is to wait until the big moment has passed before busting in with a self-promotional tweet. It makes you look out of tune, and considering it’ll disappear without a trace under the avalanche of reactions, it’s not like you’ll be getting any hits to your blog anyways.
    Me, I’m a control freak. :) I may schedule blog posts in advance, but I never auto-update Twitter and Facebook when a post is published.

  3. says

    I knew that we could schedule tweets, but I don’t do it. I’d rather tweet things at the moment… maybe that’s not the best way to do it either. Great insight and I also wondered what retaliation may come as a result of the news.

  4. says

    Kristen, I’m so low-tech I didn’t even know you could preschedule tweets! Now that I know about it (after about a year on twitter), I’m still not going to do it. I think it sort of misses the point of twitter somehow. While I agree with your thoughts about tweets not mentioning breaking news seeming out of place, they really don’t bother me. If a food blogger tweets about food in the midst of a tragic or monumental event, whether it is a regular tweet or a scheduled tweet, I don’t assume that the blogger is not feeling deeply about the breaking news. His or her depth of feeling may be such that s/he is rendered speechless–at least in 140 characters or less. It may be that the blogger is doing what many of us do, comforting herself with food (or in this case, with tweeting about food). It may be that the blogger has a strict policy of tweeting only about food-related things. Whether face-to-face or on the Internet, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.

    • says

      Jean –
      Thanks so much for your reply and I totally agree that we should give people the benefit of the doubt. Obviously no one knew what was going to happen last night, so to schedule a promo tweet felt very innocent. When those tweets were popping up in the streams, it just felt like there was a huge disconnect there.

      I think my thoughts are more towards how strange it is to be deeply involved in what is happening…engaged with the twitter community… and then to see tweets about the next money making scheme, or dessert or decorating idea. I doubt that most of the people I follow on Twitter would do that in real life. Maybe so, but I don’t think so.

      Anyway, just my two cents and my opinion :)

  5. says

    Words of wisdom. I considered scheduling tweets about 3 months ago, then decided that I prefer the control of being able to match tweets to what is really happening – in my life and in the world. I haven’t regretted the decision yet, and your reminder just makes me more firm in my decision.

  6. says

    I’m so glad you wrote this! I was feeling that same feeling of “huh”? when I saw tweets that just didn’t “fit” into the tweet fest.

  7. says

    I know exactly what you are saying. I signed in to twitter last night with the intent to put in a good word about another blogger’s recipe that I had just tried. But I’m glad I read the latest worldly happenings, as I found it completely inappropriate to talk about food at that time!!

  8. says

    I never schedule tweets, but I am not going to lie that I was annoyed with people discussing things like Real Housewives when the news was breaking. Come on! Important things are happening!

  9. samatha says

    I disagree. It’s not mandatory for everyone in the world to halt their lives to focus on a major event. I feel that focusing on a negative event fuels negativity, and thus a balance of something simpler can add balance. The news is also heavy and repetitive, and can often times be overwhelming in its relentless bombarding of information.

  10. says

    One of the downsides of what is considered “real time” communication!!! This is a great point that I am sure many haven’t considered and I am sure that those who do scheduled tweets will be re evaluating the practice.

  11. says

    Yes, I was there the same time as you and had that “what??” experience too. Me, I don’t schedule anything – I prefer the interaction. Yes, it’s not as efficient, and yes, it can be time consuming at times, but engaging and being in the moment is what social media is. Isn’t it?

  12. says

    I totally see your point. I know that my tweets for posts are generated by the feed burner- so I don’t even think about them going out. I know that I was far too wrapped up in what was going on to even think to remember to get online & stop anything that may be scheduled to go out into twitter land. I wouldn’t have to worry about them going out if they were not automated & that is something to consider. Honestly- I am sure no one that follows me even cared about what I had to say when there was so much more important things being said by others. I see Samantha’s point as well- one of my good friends said it today- this guy is getting far more attention than he deserves. The ones that we should be focused on are our troops- who are often overlooked or don’t get enough of the appreciation they have earned.

  13. says

    A pivotal point not raised by many fearing the risk of offending some people. But sensitivity and practicality come rare.
    I super liked this post.

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