For some time, “programmed tweets” or “scheduled tweets” have been a controversial topic. We’ve mainly heard the voices of people who advocate against them. They argue that its not real, and that its like “talking to a computer”. I don’t agree with these assertions, so imagine how overjoyed I was to see a true Twitter giant like Aaron Lee admit on his blog that he sometimes programs his tweets.
Some of my Twitter favs like Flipbooks, 2cre8, TechZader, TrendyDC and Ruhani Rabin do it – and do it well. I sometimes do it too, and for all of the reasons Aaron Lee eloquently presents. He arguably penned one of the best social media posts I’ve read all year. Reading it got me thinking: why would someone say programmed tweets do not represent “authenticity” and are “fake”?
People will continue to have their views on the matter. I just ask that people understand that the process of “programmed tweets” is a 4-Step process (and that the computer actually does the easiest part). Seriously. Here we go:
1. The Search for the Tweet: Humans do this. I try to maintain a dynamic and diverse feed, so I’ll look for tweets on travel, tech, music, health, comedy, politics, social media, sustainability, charity, etc. I look far and wide.
2. The Construction (or “look”) of the Tweet: Humans do this. If I find something on a website and want to tweet it, I may add hashtags, and, possibly my own stamp of approval on the subject matter with words like “hot” or “must read”. If I’m retweeting someone, I have to figure out if I want to use “via” or “RT” – the two most popular ways of identifying a retweet.
3. The Scheduling of the Tweet: Humans do this. I might want to space my tweets, so I’ll have a quote to start the hour, another quote 7-10 minutes later, and then a link. Two hours later, I may want to promote one of my Twitter lists, and in the process promote two names on the list as reasons to follow the list. And then 10 minutes later, I may do two links back to back. In other words, I am in complete control over the time.
4. The “Tweeting of the Tweet” itself: Computers do this…because humans allow it. This is the easiest part of the process. Period.
So why is this controversial? Because you’re not sitting in front of your computer pushing the “tweet” button? To me, its a non-issue. I have good friends who strongly disagree with me. And that’s cool. But I schedule my tweets during the time I sleep -which happens to be the time a lot of my friends in Asia, Europe and Africa are awake, or beginning their day. I love connecting with people all over the planet, and I have ambitions and dreams that make occasional “programmed tweets” a necessity.
My post won’t convince everyone, but I am happy Aaron Lee has given voice and reason to the argument on other side of the issue.