Is Twitter Becoming a Link Farm?

Twitter is about sharing. I share, you share, we all share links to our blogging. Plus we share links to other people’s blogging. Plus we share links to videos, cartoons, articles and so much more. It’s getting to the point that when I turn on Twitter, I see more links than actual conversations happening. In fact, some people don’t even log into Twitter. They set up their feeds to do nothing but drop links. The don’t talk, they don’t reply and they don’t engage.

Is Twitter turning into a link farm?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my Twitter friends what would happen if we stopped Tweeting links to our own stuff for just one day. Some were intrigued, some were appalled and many took it to mean I wanted folks to stop Tweeting links altogether.

As someone who Tweets links to my own stuff, I’m wondering if Twitter is reaching the link saturation point. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to head to Twitter looking for conversation to see nothing but links. Or to ask a question and get links in response.

I get that Twitter is a promotional tool, but remember when it was more than that? Remember when it wasn’t so much about promoting your stuff as it was carrying on a conversation, meeting people or sharing ideas? I lose Twitter followers every day. Why? Because I talk too much and it has nothing to do with links. It has to do with having conversations.  People aren’t upset that I tweet out links to my blog posts or share other interesting links, they don’t like my having conversations.

Conversation to Tweet Ratio

I once read that one should have a conversation to link ratio on Twitter. That for every link Tweeted, one should send out at least five to ten conversation Tweets. They can be questions to friends, @replies or general observations but there should be a balance.

I don’t know about that.

I don’t know that there needs to be rules. I feel that the social networks are what we make of it and we don’t need for the social media police to tell us how to do everything. However, I do think we (and yes, I’m included in that) are getting carried away with our links sometimes.

Then next time you’re on Twitter, check out all your Tweets and your friends Tweets. See how many links are being passed around as opposed to conversational Tweets. What do you think of this?

Now, keep in mind that one of my favorite reasons to visit Twitter each day is to learn something new. I absolutely LOVE to read blog posts or to see who is sharing what. I just find it interesting to see how much Twitter has changed into being almost all links and not so many true discussions.

That’s why I would love to see a day when we don’t Tweet out our own stuff. That all links we share point to someone else. It wouldn’t cut down on the links we’re Tweeting each day, but it would it would show the true spirit of our sharing.

What would you do if you couldn’t Tweet your own links? Would it change the way you use or view Twitter?

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  1. You follow the wrong people.

  2. Deb Ng says:

    Hi George,

    I don’t know that I agree with that. I follow many interesting conversationalists. I just think we get so caught up in wanting to share that we don’t realize all we’re doing is sharing links.

  3. Delia Lloyd says:

    Hi Deb. While I do tweet my own stuff on Twitter, 90% of what I tweet is interesting stuff I come across that I want to share with my followers. I usually type the word BLOGGED in front of anything I’ve posted so that’s it clear when it’s mine vs. someone else’s. I actually think Twitter is more useful (to me) as a source of links than as a way to catch up with people’s lives. I use Facebook for that.

    Delia Lloyd

  4. Andy Hayes says:

    I’ve noticed a lot of people linkbomb conference or topic hashtags as well, which is really annoyig.

  5. There’s a good balance with the group I “talk” to on Twitter. Lots of links buts lots of conversations too.

  6. Miss Britt says:

    I feel like I do more talking than linking on Twitter, but I want to double check to be sure, because I hate excessively linking.

  7. P.S. Jones says:

    I’m still trying to find my link/conversation stride but I know for a fact that I tweet about others more than myself. I just wonder if some of the conversation I am having would be better served through IM or Skype.

    • Deb Ng says:

      I don’t know that we need to second guess ourselves and you certainly shouldn’t have to take your conversations to Skype unless you want to type beyond the 140 characters Twitter allots. If it’s working for you, you’re doing it right.