What you don’t say matters

1086 days.shhh

That’s how long I’ve been on Twitter without a single truly negative experience.

Until today.

the Backstory

My metro area is thriving with tweetups and gatherings of tech, pr, advertising, and business professionals. I have the high honor of being one of the people that helps organize these meetups and its been one of the most rewarding parts of my social media journey.

Yesterday I was notified by a good friend of a twitter account that looked very much like our official tweetup account. The user was actively following and retweeting a high percentage of folks that are active within our community and it appeared to many of us to be a deliberate impersonation.

That theory grew legs as we discovered a cadre of strange websites and twitter accounts. To prevent any confusion I sent 2 tweets from our tweetup account to inform people of the strange activity.

  • Be aware there is an account impersonating us. Pls be sure that you are talking to @LRtweetup the other is linkbait #LRtweetup ^K (link)
  • The other account is actively retweeting and replying to #LRtweetup folks. Based on the links and homepage we are reporting them as spam. ^K (link)

The account in question was never disclosed publicly.

the Reveal

This morning we got a real shock. The person behind the account called the place of business of one of our members to ask why they had blocked him on twitter.

Thankfully the call went to voicemail and my friend DM’ed me with a simple, “Call Me”.

I was astonished.

Meanwhile our community was busy finding even more twitter accounts, suspect websites, a foursquare account, his real name, address, and phone number.

This had gone far enough. I decided to take it offline and give this person a call.

I took great pains to be open and friendly and called with the sole purpose of trying to get a feel for this guy and his intentions.

The phone conversation was a visit to the twilight zone. He was a nice enough guy but his strategy and ideas were patently absurd.

According to him he had 720 twitter accounts and was using them to promote his website design/hosting, friends, bands, and venues.  I simply tried to communicate that we were an open group and that the community was having a very negative response to his actions. I was hoping to open his eyes that his initial foray wasn’t gaining him any friends and perhaps be a conduit leading to better methods.

However after 20min on the phone I knew I wasn’t making any headway so I excused myself and returned to my work. I considered it over.

Then this evening I received several tweets addressing my attacks on him and thanking me for the free publicity since he may start an alternative to our unsocial network.

Color me unsurprised.

the Takeaway

In social media, sometimes your reputation hinges on what you don’t say.

Trust me, I feel like telling him exactly what I thought and I’d love to share all I know about his operation. BUT, that would reflect on me, not him.

In the end Social Media is no different than real life.

Integrity matters.

Heck it may be the only real currency in Social Media.

Spend long enough in a public space online and you are bound to encounter some unpleasantries. When you do here’s my unoriginal advice

  • Attempt to resolve it offline
  • Always take the high road

Your reputation and integrity are too valuable to gamble.

23 responses to “What you don’t say matters”

  1. Could not agree more!!!

  2. BryanJones says:

    How does one person manage 720 Twitter accounts?

  3. Keith says:

    The answer is no one can.

    We've identified 40 active accounts and I'm sure there is some API automation.

  4. That is insane, Keith. Thank goodness you were the one to deal with him. You have the patience of Job …

  5. Lemme guess account 1 tweets and 2-720 retweet with a few commenting about it being “cool” awesome or must-see.

    The 720 accounts are followed by similar robot armies and in truth 20-30 humans see what was a whirlwind of activity.

  6. brantc says:

    There will be more of this in the future as more people discover Social Media. But the whole thing is a great case study in how to use Social Media. Keep up the good fight!

  7. My “good Twitter” persona says way to go for taking the high road. My “bad Twitter” persona just wants to know who it is. I wouldn't do anything, but for some reason I just wanna know. But don't tell me. 😉

    Way to muddy up the internets with junk, whoever you are.

  8. tweetuplr says:

    basically this guy has spun this- I have accounts I set up for myself, my business and clients – I also have set them up to do research in developing metric to track return of time and $ investment for my potential clients-
    he's the first I ever followed to get freaked out enough to call me over this. Never have I employed any bots whatsoever nor have any accounts I've created ever been suspended for spam or ANYTHING his 140 is as much spam as anyone's-
    I have not made anything even closely resembling any design of his. I believe we have a simple case of sour grapes/jealousy, fear who knows- who cares? while he was talking business I was writing some last night.
    I won't stoop to his flurry of DM and negative spew of nonsense, I'll keep helping folks get the most bang for the buck, where I please – now as far as my phone call it was to the business listed as the place for the tweetup merely wanted to join a group of folks thinking they actually were positive –
    only to find people trying to get into my business of how I do business – and yes I feel some of the group is beyond anti social after seeing this fellow trying to act like he makes the rules for the way folks want to use social media and the campaign to discredit me when I've done absolutely nothing but help people with IT for over 30 years.
    btw 720 was never any number I gave perhaps he heard wrong – and I bet this reply is wiped. Like I said to tsudo on the phone I'm not here to butt heads with a jealous competitor, or any folks wanting to start a fight – how does this help your community? And absolutely no, I don't employ any automation on any accounts period. I do show clients how top use these when they have interest Mark F. and your guess was wrong sorry-
    jumping to conclusions, next time you could just hit block? Of course that's not nearly as fun as speaking behind a persons back about something you are so CLUELESS about to start with – show one thing I've done that is not benevolent – oh yeah, you can't, because it does not exist! & you are a preacher? – get over yourself!

    • Rick Honeywell says:

      If I was one of your clients I was would ask for my money back. Your websites are complete nonsense. You don’t have a clear understanding of web design and development. You also don’t have a clear understanding of proper grammar and sentence structure. I can’t believe you actually have a business.

  9. Keith says:

    Thanks for stopping by Tim. Your comment is more than welcome here.

  10. Come out Thursday night. I learn something every time.

  11. one thing that you've done that is not benevolent, is attempting to capitalize on the Little Rock Tweetup name and defraud people with the “TweetupLR” handle. we all know what you're trying to do. Again you can come by the REALl LRTweetup that you're trying to impersonate Thursday. Capital Bar & Grill Thursday 6PM, I'll be the guy using his real name…

    • tim sweeney says:

      yes I did carefully choose a name that would allow me to sound like I want to be involved-
      no I don’t defraud anyone, or follow any playbook either, my name was right there in the background and I am using API platform now to show it in my “from” so there will be no mistaking my crazy ass…
      I’d like to know u’all had my back if I were needing help you sure want to defend your m8 very admirable-

  12. This whole episode is just odd. We're a group of people who like to get together and talk nerd. ok, and drink. Wacky Boy, we've got no time for your drama. If you want to talk nerd and have some drinks and play nice in the sandbox, come see us tomorrow night. (Or at least the others. I'll still be under quarantine, most likely.) Otherwise, shoo!

  13. Kelli Marks says:

    I agree with Robby. I think the issue is with the use of the “LRTweetup” handle. I saw Keith's tweet warning of the account, and sure enough, you followed me shortly thereafter. As well as two other accounts. I believe I blocked the first account and then chose not to follow back the second two.
    Usually, I follow back locals pretty much immediately.
    I also saw a tweet from someone not within our local group (another state? Another country possibly?) that there was a phishing Tweetup account to watch out for. I thought it was a larger problem, more than just a local person. Regardless, I feel that your actions go against the spirit of what we are doing here locally.
    Honestly, I would say kill the account and start a new one fresh if you really want to be involved. This is a cool group of people and I think we might like you, but you chose the wrong way. In this instance, mimicry is not the highest form of flattery.

  14. Here's the thing bro, I'm not saying you had bad intentions, and I don't think Keith or anyone else was trying to say that either. I think that honestly you might have had expectations of fitting in w/ the LRTweetup community and were just like the kid in school that tried to hard to make the other kids like him and ended up pushing them away. Here's my two cents on the matter…

    You have just as much right as anyone else to set your username to be “TweetupLR” but put yourself into the shoes of the people that have worked so hard to put together the “LRTweetup” and try to imagine how it might have been perceived. You see, w/ Social Media perception is huge! The “LRTweetup” community has grown since day one and consists of people from all walks of life. Differences of opinion are not uncommon w/in our group, in fact I would go as far as to say that a few of us are polar opposites of one another on various issues like Politics and Religion, but the one thing that “LRTweetup” has done is to bring all of us together through social media to focus on common issues facing our community. The “LRTweetup” folks should be commended for this. The fact that “LRTweetup” has already been established and has already taken on various causes and projects is what makes your use of the “TweetupLR” name a little hinky in my opinion. Again, w/ perception being important, I think that is why you were perceived as villanous from the onset. Had you approached the situation like a normal person using your real name I think that a lot of this could have been avoided. Just saying, hindsight is 20/20.

    To continue, I think by calling someone at their place of business to find out why they blocked you on Twitter stinks like a fart in an elevator. As someone who proclaims to consult with clients on the use of Social Media you should know better! As someone who has been using Twitter since 2007, I have seen it used for a lot of things by a lot of people, some agendas I don't agree with, but to each their own, I just unfollow and move on, but in your case, I don't think I have ever seen one user bring on as much resistance as you have… Maybe you should retool your approach.

    Now, to address some of your other comments. I know Keith personally, and I have the utmost respect for Keith. I can tell you this, he in no way felt threatened by you my friend. Just take a look at Keith's street cred, he's a well liked dude with lots of friends who value his opinion, can you say the same? On another note, you tweeted last night to someone that there were a few elements or people in the “LRTweetup” community that were anti-social, that, my friend could not be further from the truth. You don't even know any of us, so who's spewing nonsense now?

    On another one of your tweets I think you mentioned moving to LR to open up your own Web Design Company, was that supposed to be perceived as a threat? If so, I don't think you even understand the industry you are in. You see, in LR, we have another social driven community that once a month meets up to discuss topics related to our industry, we call it the Central Arkansas Refresh, we met last night. You might find this a bit odd but we are all real straight up w/ each other in Central Arkansas, even share information from one company to another for the greater good of our industry and clients. I gathered from the tone of your tweet that you might not share the same perspective so that makes me question you as a professional…

    I apologize for the long rant, I just felt compelled to speak out as a member of the community.

  15. tim sweeney says:

    I'd hand you your money back no delay…actually I never collect until a client is satisfied, I mean really I can turn off a website in like a second….sorry my writing sucks, really never worry about it in a forum like this tho-
    and I've run all my businesses into the ground giving stuff away and not charging enough for my time, so what? I pay my bills and try to help people if this is something bad so be it, I honored every service contract and warranty & I have no complaints about work performed from anyone-

    I won't interfere with folks about their own designs as hereico.me is to please them- I know one thing all I try to do is help, and when I help promote something people show up….
    as far as my concept for hereico.me I launched a few months ago –
    yahoo is doing the very same thing now
    putting all the social media widgets into a yahoo page, twitter yesterday for example–
    just because something is different does not mean it is bad and I have put up functioning and well designed sites for ten years-
    you are looking at landing pages to get folks to my domain registration and creative services, guess what?
    you looked too-
    I call that a success, my main site is down right now preparing for something not unlike the programs discussed last night using GPS and cell towers to survey in your mobile device within sub inch accuracy, pretty cool stuff but I wont launch until it because I can't guarantee a users privacy yet- if I can't allow my users to control who knows where they are, I wont launch period I RESPECT PRIVACY
    something I truly and strongly believe in, I don't require anyone sign in to get a free page from hereico.me, and I mind my own business, well I'm doing my best anyhow

  16. I follow Keith because his tweets are authentic, interesting, enlightening and original. Crazy thing is, Keith is the same way when you meet him in person. Interesting how that works.

  17. BryanJones says:

    Tremendous theater. Not @TheRep worthy, but entertaining nonetheless. I like the part that goes *I've run all my businesses into the ground…*

  18. tweetuplr says:

    so glad you enjoyed my failures Bryan- and I liked your slide-show, I had help in my past business experiences from all these good intention folks who talk nice and then go belly up owing me dough, rogue salespeople and other niceties beyond my improper management- I pick myself up and try again, now I address folks if I have something to say and try not to be quick on criticism or find any faults with them, especially folks I've never met with exception of elected officials, and certain folks who'd promote some agenda to attack anyone unfairly, so far no one in this has brought up a single case of anything I'll lose any sleep over- Now I've addressed this comment to you- not to someone about you, as if I owe you any explanation –
    by all means make this personal, I can dig if you don't like something I've done to hurt anyone; but I'm really not about that, I changed the tweetuplr name, which I offered to do in the phone call with your buddy ironic isn't it? A simple “yes please change the name” sure would have been drama free- “of course circle the wagons & send for the cavalry a stranger is coming!” gives this blog some hits, and you nice folks someone to point out and look down your nose at.

  19. BryanJones says:

    Tim, you were right to call me out for being childish.

  20. tweetuplr says:

    so glad you enjoyed my failures Bryan- and I liked your slide-show, I had help in my past business experiences from all these good intention folks who talk nice and then go belly up owing me dough, rogue salespeople and other niceties beyond my improper management- I pick myself up and try again, now I address folks if I have something to say and try not to be quick on criticism or find any faults with them, especially folks I've never met with exception of elected officials, and certain folks who'd promote some agenda to attack anyone unfairly, so far no one in this has brought up a single case of anything I'll lose any sleep over- Now I've addressed this comment to you- not to someone about you, as if I owe you any explanation –
    by all means make this personal, I can dig if you don't like something I've done to hurt anyone; but I'm really not about that, I changed the tweetuplr name, which I offered to do in the phone call with your buddy ironic isn't it? A simple “yes please change the name” sure would have been drama free- “of course circle the wagons & send for the cavalry a stranger is coming!” gives this blog some hits, and you nice folks someone to point out and look down your nose at.

  21. BryanJones says:

    Tim, you were right to call me out for being childish.

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