.@messina2012, check this out bro, we raised north of $100 million in June.I’m assuming u & Axe will need beers 2night bro
— Rick Wiley (@rick_wiley) July 5, 2012
Twitter sprouted into life when @Jack Dorsey described for his colleagues a service that uses text messages to tell small groups what you are doing. While the idea evolved, one core essence of text-messaging was retained: character limits. SMS text messaging has a 160 character limit, while Twitter reserves 20 characters for your screen name and leaves the rest (140) for the tweet. Yes, that is why we are called 140elect.
Given this shared fundamental constraint on the messaging mediums, it is unsurprising for conventions that began with text messaging to carry over to Twitter. This platform was a natural fit for everything older people hated about teens writing each other on their phones. To fit messages in such a small space requires more slang than seemingly possible or comprehensible. Words turned into letters and grammar was thrown out.
That is fine if you are just using Twitter for fun, but there is something shocking about the RNC Political Director tweeting like a teenager texts. Don’t do it. Use full words and grammatical constructions. Write your tweets just like an e-mail or professional report. If you cannot squeeze it all in 130 characters or less, chances are you are trying to fit more than one idea in a single tweet, which is a big no-no. Obsessive professionalism is the hallmark of any respectable campaign, don’t think Twitter is an exception.
We like to provide hard numbers for each of our rules. As Robert Heinlein says, “if it can’t be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion.” This time I have no data to give you; maturity level is a matter of opinion. A look at the reactions to Rick Wiley provides convincing anecdotal evidence, so take what you will from the below:
- @jerrigirl: Tacky, bro. Are you auditioning for Jersey Shore or Who Has the Maturity of a 5th Grader? #tooclosetocall
- @krainhill: Is there a #TwitterFail? Well, there is now. This falls into that #
- @mikenealis: I can’t take someone with that many ‘bro’s in their timeline seriously. Rebroblican?
- @FixAaron: @rick_wiley with the most unusual presidential fundraising announcement in history … bro
- @nicisawesome89: @rick_wiley has the maturation of a 5th grader, and the eloquence of Snooki. #Mitt2012 bro.
- @JimMaltese: “Don’t outraise me, bro!”
- @Jbrewer9976: that’s well…disturbing. @rick_wiley Are you, like 14?
- @TrevorPatrick3: you’re a grown man. grown men don’t say “bro”
- @shempenny: OMG, I thought you were kidding. Rick Wiley (RNC) tweets ‘bro’ this and that like his job depends on it… it’s so weird! :-/
- @bamasociologist: Why does he keep calling @Messina “bro?” If inside joke it sounds really dumb on Twitter.
- @GendrQueer: have u read @Rick_Wiley timeline? I can’t believe a senior official of RNC would have such ridiculous tweets.
- @ten24get: “Who tweets like this?” A douchebag.
- @carlyvandegrift: is this a joke? #idiot
- @cchandlon: That is seriously sad. *bro*
- @kasperka: Whoa, that’s a lot of #bro there, bro