Categorized | social marketing

One more reason “the mike is on” with social networking: Twedeleted

Twedeleted page evil mode

Welcome to Twitter hell.

In a previous post, I promulgated two rules for your business and personal use of social media networks and marketing. My number one rule: “the mike is always on.” If you don’t want to regret saying it, don’t say it.

Just in case you weren’t convinced, along comes Tweleted, which went live in March, allows users to not only find their own deleted tweets, but also the deleted tweets by any user whatsoever. Have something embarassing you said on Twitter? Something racist? Something about your sexual practices? Something about how you cheated your last employer? Something that, now that you know better and know that the comment can hurt you, you diligently went back and deleted? (People, after all, are losing their jobs or not getting them in the first place because of indiscreet crap they’re putting on Twitter, Facebook, or some other social network.) Guess what. Tweleted has all those posts in full living technicolor.

Go to the Tweleted Web site and you’re greeted with a Bing-like paradise of blue sky and clouds. In big black letters, Tweleted announces itself as a service to “find” any tweets you’ve lost. For free! What a nice bunch of kids, eh.

Until you notice that the black bar across the top announces that you are in “good mode” and offers you the chance to switch over to “evil” mode. Take that offer, and you’re immediately cast into hellfire with the chance to “recover embarrassing deleted tweets for fun and profit.”

We ran a test and found the service seriously lacking. On our Twitter account, we have about a dozen deleted tweets over the past eight months. Nothing embarassing. Just information that changed or wasn’t fully accurate in the first tweet (and was updated in a later tweet). None of these deleted tweets showed up.

Tweleted relies on Twitter’s search engine. When you type in a Twitter user name, Tweleted looks at the last 1,000 or so of that user’s tweets and compares their Twitter history with the Twitter search engine (when you delete a tweet, it disappears from the history but remains on the Twitter search engine). It then crawls public sites and caches to recover those lost tweets.

Of course, if your Twitter account is set to “private,” none of your tweets, deleted or not, will show up on Tweleted. Private accounts require login information to search for deleted tweets. Most people using Twitter for marketing purposes, however, are shooting themselves in the foot by setting their accounts to “private.”

You should consider this a shot across your social networking bow. We will see services that search Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other services that will allow any user to create a social networking profile of you that could and probably will include comments, links, and friends that you’ve deleted. It’s not here yet (and Tweleted isn’t too scary), but there will come a day when your full online social networking activity –including the embarassing stuff — will be out there for spouses, employers, customers, clients, and strangers to enjoy in all its imperfections.

The mike, my friends, is always on in social networking. And it turns out it’s being taped for posterity.

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