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Why I’m No Longer Warning People Before I Link to My Own Content Within Social Networking


It is considered good social networking etiquette–especially on Twitter–to warn your followers that you are posting a link to content on your own blog or company website.

I hereby reject this for the following reasons:

  1. When I follow someone it’s because I think they, on the whole, produce content that I want to read vs. content that I find spammy, boring, or otherwise low-signal-to-noise. If this ever stops being the case, I will no longer follow, and I don’t care at all where that content comes from.

  2. If you’re worried that the links I post might be “spam” then we already have a much more serious problem than a labeling issue.

  3. The odds of my own content being significantly lower quality than the content I enjoy and share from other sources that you DO enjoy, is low.

  4. If I don’t have to warn you before I tell you I am going to get a coffee at Starbucks, then I damn sure am not going to warn you before I refer you to a piece I wrote that I think you might find valuable.

In short, what it really means to warn people that you’re posting your own stuff is:

But if that were the case, then you probably wouldn’t be following me in the first place.

The whole purpose of social media and networking is to put yourself out there–to share your life and ideas with others. There is simply no more pure way to do this than to show people what you’re thinking and writing about.

So no, I will not shield or obscure my own perception of what I find interesting in what amounts to a preemptively apology. If you like what I normally post then you should also like what I write about. From the follower perspective, you either trust me to post content that is somehow worth your time or you don’t. ::

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