Media reporter writes excellent list of rules for Twitter

Steve Ladurantaye

Globe and Mail media reporter Steve Ladurantaye says he's been on Twitter "for a few years now, and have made lots of mistakes."

I’ve been boring, I’ve been funny, I’ve been not funny when I thought I was being funny, I’ve been argumentative, I’ve shared too much information, I’ve killed Gordon Lightfoot.

(Incorrect news of the Canadian singer's death spread quickly on Twitter in 2010; in an email to Poynter Ladurantaye says he retweeted another person's report about it.)

Ladurantaye has compiled a very good list of 26 personal rules for using Twitter, with the caveat that "I often forget to follow many of them." Nos. 1 and 26 are the same: "You are one tweet away from being fired."

Others could be corollaries of that rule: "Libel is libel," "Don’t argue with people." And one may be interesting to anyone on a competitive beat: "Tell people what you’re working on, because the benefits often outweigh any competitive disadvantage."

One rule I wish everyone who receives press releases would follow: "Only tweet details of your job if they are relevant or insightful. Complaining about process is boring."

Preach, brother.

Related: Twitter research shows how multimedia increases engagement | What Twitter teaches us about writing short & well | 10 ways journalists can use Twitter before, during and after reporting a story | Science reveals what really increases Twitter followers

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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