This post is mostly assuming that those reading this have a pretty good idea about what twitter is all about. For anyone that is still not sure about Twitter and it’s purpose, Havi Brooks wrote a great post explaining the purpose of twitter in Twitter Demystified and Debunked

OK, now let’s get right to the meat and potatoes of this post.

For those of us who have been using twitter for awhile and are starting to get into the groove, I have assembled a list of 10 Twitter commandments to keep you on the right track and keep you from committing Twitter blasphemy.

  1. Thou shall not pull a Guy Kawasaki act spammy. i.e Don’t send an auto reply DM asking me to check out your blog or download your crappy E-book. FAIL! Let me put it this way: Would you walk up to a stranger in a bar, pull up a bar stool, slam your business card down and say “I have a new E-book that just came out and you can get it at a reduced price if you join my mailing list!” Of course not, people would think you were insane. Networking online is no different than IRL. Just be genuine, add value to the community, and people will naturally want to know more about you. That’s the way it works online and IRL (same as it ever was).
    Guy Kawasaki spam
  2. Thou shall not be boring. In other words don’t take the “what are you doing right now” too literally. No one wants to hear about you eating a bowl of cheerios. If you aren’t always skydiving or flying over the grand canyon, no problem. Just keep in mind the idea is to be a resource and add value to the community.
  3. Thou Shall not Tweet with beer goggles on. Similar in concept to Googles gmail mail goggles If you are the kind of person that maybe enjoys a cocktail here and there you may want to really think through what you’re tweeting and perhaps if you should even be doing so while in such a state. For heavens sake, your clients don’t need to know if you are at the local pub getting hammered on Friday night.
  4. Thou shall not Tweet using four letter words or other profanity. I’m certain there are individuals that will disagree with me on this and they are also the same individuals I’ll quickly unfollow. Especially if you are using twitter for business/networking as many people do. Twitter is about expressing yourself in 140 characters or less and certainly we can find more creative ways to do this than dropping the F-Bomb left and right. It’s just good taste really.
  5. Thou shall not use happiness as thy password. (especially if you are a Twitter employee with administrative access to Twitter) Can you say dictionary attack?
  6. Thou shall not have a profile with little or no information about thy self. Have a link to your website or blog. If you don’t have a website or blog then use your myspace profile or something. Have a brief description of yourself. Why the heck would I want to follow someone that I know nothing about?
  7. Thou shall not leave the default avatar on thy twitter profile page. If you can’t take 10 seconds to change the default avatar image then you’re clearly not taking the platform seriously.
  8. Thou shall not mass follow with no regard to who they are following in hopes that they will get followed back by a large number of people (following spam). Not only is this a bad idea but it can actually get you banned from twitter. You can read more about this at the Twitter blog. What is following spam?
  9. Thou shall not be a magpie. Come on folks! it’s just as cheesy as it is spammy.
  10. Thou shall not use the default Twitter background. This is similar to not using the twitter avatar. By changing the default background you can make your profile look more professional and it also shows your taking a serious approach to using twitter. You can either design a custom background yourself or you can use a company like PimpMyTwitter.net You can see an example of my Twitter background they designed here @the_gman

Please let us know in the comments below if you know something that should be a Twitter commandment.