Last night I tweeted:
Yes, I really do Unfollow people who tweet the same blog links multiple times per day, particularly if said link is preceded by, "NEW POST!"— Jeffrey N. Melton (@JeffreyMelton) May 22, 2012
It wasn't well said, well thought out, or well timed. I sincerely apologize to all for tweeting without exercising good judgment and self-control.
I thought I should take a few minutes to better address the heart of my concern, though, because I think it's valid.
I've stumbled onto quite a few tweeters lately who have a lot of really interesting and encouraging things to say about how we live a Christ-centered life. I've been enriched by their words. They'll tweet a link to their blog, and I'll quickly add it to my Pocket so I can read later what they have to say. They're consistently good.
My concern is with repeated, reworded tweets to the same blog post, some of which are quite incorrectly labeled as "new" posts. This is branding, marketing, imaging, driving traffic to a blogger's site, "How to make your message stand out," etc. And I fear that the influence of one culture upon another is working in the wrong direction.
Why do I unfollow the worst offenders? First, I don't like being manipulated into clicking through to a blog post I've already seen, just so someone can pad their traffic, regardless of the blogger's spiritual affirmations. Second, and more importantly, I feel like the Why is as important as the What. Do we blog because we have something to say, or because we need to be heard?
My challenge to bloggers and tweeters who feel called to share what God is teaching them is this: Let your words stand on their own. Resist the urge to repackage. Resist the siren song of click-through rates. If you're afraid you won't be heard if you don't scream, that says more about your heart than it does about your effectiveness. Let the Spirit of God roar through your words. Trust that He is big enough to be heard amid the Sturm und Drang which typifies our information-overloaded online lives. Don't call something what it isn't in pursuit of ephemeral measures of success. Click-through rate does not correlate to heart change, and isn't it heart change that we seek?
You're welcome to comment, if you're so inclined. I might learn something. :-)