Every now and then I try to relax and look at see things from a different perspective. A few months ago, I imagined a world formed by social networks, each network being a country (if you think a little, the total population of those social networks could easily be higher than the population of an entire continent, so it’s not that strange anyway). But no country is a real country until it has a set of secret rules. Here are the 30 secret rules of social media (take them with a little bit of salt and pay attention to the last one, especially 😉 ).
1. You are what you retweet.
2. Don’t DM without permission. It’s like trying to sell elephants in a porcelain store. Your goal may be achieved, but the price may be higher than you think.
3. If you tweet more than 8-9 times per day, your followers will be worried. It’s like getting out in front of your house and saying: “man what a nice weather today” 8-9 times a day. Your neighbors will be worried.
4. Don’t trust a follower with a nice woman picture as an avatar but with a nickname containing more than 4 digits. The photo is most likely a fake and you’re dealing with a nice looking spammer.
5. If you stop tweeting for 7 days in a row you should get yourself another account, your current one will be officially marked as obsolete.
6. If you see the fail whale, do continue to tweet on post-its. Don’t lose your momentum. Stick them on the walls of your office.
7. If you appear in more lists than the total number of your followers, that could be a pretty solid confirmation that you have a multiple personality disorder.
8. You know you had too much Twitter when you’re looking for the “follow” link on the business card you just received.
9. Automating your tweets is like sending clones to the social events you don’t like. Sooner or later, they will catch you.
10. Laws are changing every day in this country. Your friends are not your friends but your subscribers, which in turn may or may not be you visitors.
11. Stumbling is actually highly valued in this country. But do not fake it. Try to genuinely stumble otherwise you can be accused of inappropriate behavior in public.
12. StumbleUpon is the Hollywood of social media: it can make you famous in a single day, but you can also be forgotten in a week.
13. According to a number of experts, the SU toolbar could be the most widely used mouse click exercise on Earth. Emptying your SU bar from 100 shares in 10 seconds is considered pretty common sense. If you don’t know what a toolbar is, or what a share means in SU, then, by all means, don’t try to find out. Just stay happy.
14. If they talk bad about you, don’t talk bad back. It’s not polite. Being talked bad in Reddit is a sign of high appreciation. Sometimes is a sign of pure rejection too.
15. Ask a question at least once per month. Don’t pick a specific topic, be as random as you can but do ask a question ever once in a while. Asking questions in Reddit is like drinking beer in Germany.
16. Starting your own subReddit is the equivalent of graduation. Everybody does it, sooner or later.
17. In Reddit, you actually accumulate karma, you don’t burn it. You’ve been warned.
18. If your link got buried, be happy. It’s the first sign you’re becoming important.
19. In Digg, who you are as a person is not even remotely as valuable as who you know. I also saw that in business. A lot.
20. Reaching the front page of Digg is equivalent in some cultures with winning the lottery. The probability, I mean.
21. If you get comments on your submissions, but no diggs, you’re doing something extremely wrong. Nobody will tell you exactly what, get used to it.
22. There’s no real difference between friends and fans: both can bury you alive.
23. If you want to say something nice to some of your friends, think twice, there might be an app for that.
24. There will always be some causes to join at some point in your life, so don’t rush on the first one.
25. Farmville is a very crowded city in Facebook. Rumors has it that some people who entered Farmville never got back from it.
26. If someone likes your link that doesn’t mean you have to automatically invite him/her on a date.
27. You will receive crazy, totally useless, nice looking small gifts. Get used to it. It’s not spam. It’s gifts.
28. It’s compulsory to have your own fan page. If you don’t, people will assume you want to become somebody else’s fan and act accordingly.
29. Never respond to a message that says: “You have just been accepted in Mafia Wars”. Real mobsters don’t do that. They send someone over.
The Final Rule
30. If you’ve read everything on this list and agreed with at least 50% of what’s in it, you badly need a life. A real life.