Going Off Topic on Twitter

I had an interesting tweet this morning; one of the people I follow tweeted a warning that they were going on vacation and for the next two weeks, tweets about tourist attractions in China might start appearing.

Does this bother you, when someone you follow goes off topic? Or perhaps, when someone you follow attends a conference, and suddenly the feed floods with conference related material?

I do this, and I do it regularly. And often, since I have some very different distinct audiences, it can go way off topic. I know I have a lot of WordPress friends and IoT followers on Twitter, and I wonder what they’re thinking when I go to an education conference, like DEANZ. Or worse, when I’m tweeting about The Tragically Hip’s last concert.

I know it costs me followers. I can see my numbers drop. I’m off topic.

But this is me, this is what makes me human. If my numbers drop a little because I’m posting a little Acadian pride on August 15th, oh well. I’m sorry, I’m half Acadian, and it’s part of what makes me unique. I’m a Nova-Scotian-Cat-Loving-Dog-Owning-Sydney-Living-Go-Team-Canada-Marvel-Movie-Loving-Zombie-Hunting-Paranoid-Insecure-Insomniatic-WordPressing-Moodling-IoT-Hobbying-Glass-Is-Half-Empty-Oh-I-Love-This-Song kind of guy. I can’t be anyone else.

A very good hamburger
It was a good burger and I do not regret Tweeting it.

I like my experts to be human.

Social Media is not just the latest about Topic X. If you want only Topic X, go to Product X’s official accounts. Or a curated aggregator. Curated content is great.

But it’s nice to know the people behind all of this are human. When you follow a person, you’re following that person not just that person on Topic X. So take in their personal victories, their daily frustrations, their prideful boasts, their utter devastation at personal tragedies, and their holiday snaps from China. Accept humans as your experts.

What do you think? Do I have it wrong? Tell me so on social media (and include a photo of what you just ordered at the restaurant).


Kenneth “Scott” Huntley is an Instructional Designer, LMS and WordPress consultant, EdTech conference junkie and all-around general tech nerd.

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