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SEO Twitter: The Emotion of Self-Promotion…

My buddy Bill Brenner (@billbrenner70) blogged a question that stemmed from a “discussion” I seem to have initiated yesterday: “Do People In Security Blog Too Much?

He was kind enough to accommodate a clarification from me in which I reiterated that my chief complaint regarding excessive self-promotion by individuals  was “not about volume, but variety.”

To be clear, RT’ing a link (however modified) that is clearly designed to self-promote onesself is, in my opinion, bordering on SPAM-like behavior when one does it 10+ times in a 24 hour period.

I don’t mind a lot of tweets.  I mind a lot of the same tweets.

…The same way people get annoyed with folks who live tweet conferences, I suppose.

Now, people have the right to tweet whatever they like, as often as they like, but the reason I brought this up was because I was truly interested in whether or not the individual in question understood the impact/annoyance it caused.

Based on his reply, the “data he had to suggest ‘increased engagement,’ and what was clearly a strategy behind this activity, it became apparent he didn’t.

So I did what anyone in my position has the option to do: I unfollowed.  This was followed by an additional comment from the author that only “…~0.1% of followers had a negative response” to his RT’ing [approximately 5/4200 people.]

I found that odd, since I had at least 10 DM’s in my mailbox from followers who reacted to my tweets surrounding this issue.

5 or so others then piped up suggesting they were also annoyed but, like me, had not said anything.

As I mentioned, I wasn’t looking for anything like an apology — it’s not my place to, nor am I arrogant enough to suggest I’m owed one — but I did want him to understand that there were ramifications that either he was unaware of or simply ignoring.  Again, his choice.

I probably *do* tweet too much for many people’s likes — and they unfollow accordingly.  However, I operate under the “code” that I try very hard to not RT anything self-promotional more than TWICE in a 24 hour period.  I figure that with timezone deltas, but with RSS feeds and other RT’s from interested parties, that’s sufficient.

Am I potentially missing people?  Sure.  But the way I look at it is that if it’s interesting enough, people will find it.

I’m not in the “business” of “SEO for Twitter” (h/t to @SecureTom for the phrase,) but that’s a personal choice.

I will suggest, however, that people are smarter than many give them credit for — you can get cute and change the preamble, but if you deluge their timeline with self-promotion, expect them to one day get grumpy enough to find the unfollow button…and use it.



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  1. March 19th, 2012 at 11:44 | #1


    I love ya man… but here goes. As someone who quite potentially could be accused of over tweeting “conversations” with which I have a vested interest, I’m acutely sensitive of the issues around this. I truly respect and admire the cloud folks I have around me, and don’t want to start pissing them off with incessant blather. That said, there are two issues here;

    1) My personal passion is taking this “cloud” stuff out to average folks – so sometimes retweeting stuff under different hashtags and in different timezones helps with this aim. Also there’s a grey area between being self-promotional and genuinely wanting to have a conversation with folks
    2) We all have the imperatives around our work. Those of us who make a living “commentating” “analysis” or “naval gazing” about said cloud have built brand by spreading the word – the sad fact is that in a busy tweet stream, it’s through regular-ish retweeting that the most folks can see our stuff and hence our influence can spread more widely

    But yeah, it’s a difficult area and one that we all need to be aware of.

    Anyway – kisses from Aotearoa


    • beaker
      March 19th, 2012 at 12:35 | #2


      I think you’re in a bit of a different spot…and there *is* a bit of a double standard (not negative, mind you.)

      I think professional bloggers and analysts come with the weighted expectation of numerous RT’s — that’s what they *do.* It’s what readers/followers often expect. However, if one maintains BOTH a personal and “business” brand associated with separate Twitter accounts and the RT’s bleed over, it gets difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff…and since I’m gluten intolerant, I simply avoid it 😉

      Thanks for the comment; it’s a good one.

  2. March 19th, 2012 at 12:48 | #3

    Gotcha – that makes sense. SO long as my peeps don’t get antsy with my noise…

    Happy days….@beaker

  3. March 21st, 2012 at 00:25 | #4

    Well said @breaker, i must say, Thats the point I support.

    • beaker
      March 27th, 2012 at 13:14 | #5

      We wrote the first few chapters of the book and as we progressed deeper, we frankly found that without focusing on “theoretical” or “impractical” or “irrelevant” threats, the book became too platform-specific and focused more on hardening and activities based on operational practices.

      We looked at one another and said “would you buy this book as compared to Hacking Exposed XYZ.”

      We said “not at this time.” We’re also not silly enough to dismiss the ongoing implications of cloud and virtualization and will revisit with the publisher soon.


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