Has your Twitter felt a bit crowded lately? As if you’re having a pleasant conversation at a restaurant, when suddenly the guy at the table next to you decides to speak five ticks louder on the volume nob? You want to continue chatting about whatever it was, but you can’t hear yourself think, because this wise guy believes the entire diner needs to hear his plan to save democracy using some obscure methodology he acquired from a Dark Souls 3 strategy guide. If that sounds like your Twitter timeline, blame the rise and rise and rise of the tweetstorm.
Way back in 2014, BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel warned us about the increasing popularity of the tweetstorm, a cheeky name for when someone spams your Twitter timeline with dozens of tweets, shirking the very 140-character limit meant to prevent such impassioned and poorly edited rants. The piece concluded with a prophecy that, following the 2016 election, came to fruition:
Imagine, for a moment, a future version of Twitter where the tweetstorm™ convention spreads, bleeding first through the tech venture capital and entrepreneur community. Then the tech reporters catch on, issuing long monologues on the future of the industry/a given product. Tweetstorms™ are rebutted by other tweetstorms™, which is manageable and contained in a niche media sphere until Politics Twitter catches on. Always on the lookout for a new broadcast platform, the tweetstorm™ spreads from reporters to pundits and think tanks and then to the politicians themselves. Once a frenetic but followable place, your timeline is now virtually destroyed by an avalanche of soliloquies.
So, how do we stop the tweetstorm? Frankly, I do not know if tweetstorms can be obliterated from planet Earth. Like any vice, their temptation is too tempting (Fact: any given tweetstorm commits no less than two of the seven deadly sins.) But we can, if we work together, reduce the number of Tweetstorms, and thereby purify the noise pollution on our timelines.
We must educate. And so, here is a concise and helpful tweetstorm guide.
How to write a tweetstorm
Step 1: Go to Medium
Medium is a blogging platform with a beautiful, simple design.
Step 2: Create an account
It’s easy: You can create a Medium page using your Twitter log-in.
Step: Click “write a story”
A story is like a tweet, but without a word limit.
Step 4: Write your entire tweetstorm
You don’t have to worry about writing everything as a stream-of-consciousness brain dump. Medium doesn’t publish a story until you tell it to, so you have time to edit, revise, and even add images, quotes, or hyperlinks to supporting text.
Step 5: Click publish
Congratulations! You are a published writer!
Step 6: Share the link on Twitter
If you crave that old tweetstorm feeling, you can introduce the link with something noble like: “Here’s my latest tweetstorm. Because I respect your time and virtual space, I published it on my Medium page.”
I recognize a six-step process may sound like a lot of work, but consider this: tweetstorms are awful.
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