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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

Proper Use of Social Media

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Published Thursday, May 26, 2016 1:00 PM by andyleonard

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Robert L Davis said:

This brings to mind a tweet I saw a couple of years ago when someone said that he had unfollowed a bunch of people that had not tweeted in a long time.

My first thought was, "what's the point of that? So you can not see the tweets that they're not tweeting any more?". I realized of course that they wanted to keep their follow list to a list of meaningful people to follow. For me, it's not worth the effort to find those people out and unfollow them because I don't feel it gives me any real benefit. But to each his own.

That last statement is the crux of my point. To each his or her own. There is no single acceptable way to use social media which is part of the reason it is still cool.

May 26, 2016 12:49 PM

Andrew Price said:

It makes a big difference /why/ you post to social media.  Are you posting to educate someone else? Are you posting so you will remember something? Are you posting to raise your status within a community?  Each might drive different frequency and consistency patterns.

I will have a new employee soon who is just beginning learning about SQL and data management. One of the requirements is that they blog (about various soft and hard skills) twice a week.  Why? Because it forces them to double-process anything they learn which means better retention.  I teach them that the most effective way to learn things is to "Ingest, Digest, and Express". By blogging they "Express" what they have learned and experienced and therefore they learn it better. Whether what they learn is useful or interesting to others or whether they have any followers is of secondary importance to me.

May 26, 2016 1:54 PM

Bill Anton said:

@Andrew, that's a really cool requirement.

My preference in the folks I follow is "quality over quantity" from the extended network with a bit more leniency for "over-posting" from the inner circle.

May 26, 2016 5:05 PM

Tim Costello said:

I love social media.  It's helped me connect with new people and maintain many friendships both personal and professional.  I used to be much more active in Twitter, now I mostly only use FaceBook simply because my team uses some private FaceBook groups to share chatter.  I've learned the hard way to censor myself in social media.  It's not that I feel like I have to, it's more that I want to show respect for my friends.  I don't always agree with all my friends on everything, but they are my friends and I choose not to engage in conflict with them. To each his or her own.  I'm confident my friends know how I feel about many things at this point.  If they're willing to continue on as friends I see no need to create needless friction.  Sometimes I can't help myself.  I tend to regret those times.  Now I mostly share things that make me happy.  The rest of the time I just mumble rude comments to myself and keep on scrolling ...

May 26, 2016 5:27 PM

RichB said:

Same rules as the pub...

Whatever you think fits you best.  

But someone will always judge you on whatever course you choose.

May 26, 2016 9:01 PM

Thomas Rushton said:

No, it's absolutely unacceptable for someone to post on a frequency that is inconvenient to me.



I do think that some people may over-share (at least, share rather more than I'm comfortable or interested in reading), but it's down to that person.  I go quiet from time to time, doesn't mean I'm not reading, but I just don't particularly feel like saying anything.  Other times, I may post many times a day.  My FB/Twitter, my rules.  Your FB/Twitter, your rules.  

Vive la difference!

May 27, 2016 4:29 AM

andyleonard said:

Great comments, folks!

  Thomas, you made me literally laugh out loud!


May 27, 2016 3:04 PM

Allan Hirt said:

No one is going to dictate how often or what I post on any social media venue, as well as how I use a certain one versus another.

That said, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. You can't be highly critical of others when you want the same freedom to do/say what you want. Can't have your cake and eat it, too.

Personally, I find scheduled tweets absolutely lame as well as blog posts done on a schedule. The whole point to me is to be in the moment, not scheduled. To each his or her own, though.

No matter what you do or your reason for it, people will judge you. It is very easy to take 140 (or more) characters out of context without surrounding stuff ( such as a series of Tweets), or taking a snippet of a blog post. People have a tendency to read too much into things and take them personally. This is the danger of any social media outlet. If you want to see intent, it will be there.

Like anything else, social media is complex.

May 29, 2016 4:14 PM

andyleonard said:

Thanks Allan! And agreed.


June 4, 2016 9:34 AM

Koos van Strien said:

I don't mind scheduled posts - especially with articles, it's good to publish at a moment followers are active (especially in a global community).

What annoys me are the automated "social" plugins thanking people for the follow, retweet, or whatever. I really don't see the added value regarding the contents - my assumption is people do this to raise their follower count, Klout score or whatever metric - but it does show up on the timelines of all followers, which is quite annoying.

June 20, 2016 7:01 AM

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