Everyone talks about them – the snake oil gurus who corrupt the essence of Twitter. Even the gurus themselves talk about them. After all, if they didn’t – they’d look guilty, right?

After hanging around this medium for a few years, I’ve developed a way to identify these people who can potentially fuck up your entire Twitter experience if you’re not careful. And please, don’t let them fool you into thinking that being like them is somehow cool – because that’s just zombie shit. Once bitten, you become one.

Here are the four ways to tell if someone’s a guru:

1) If their timeline is filled with tweets every ten minutes that have a few words lauding an attached link, then they’re automating their stream with content from other gurus who are part of a reciprocal link exchange.

2) If they only publicly engage with people who have more followers than they do. Or, if they start @ reply tweets to these top-level gurus with a period – so that you can see them talking to them.

3) If more than 10% of their tweet stream is intended to drive you to their blog to sign up for that social media circle-jerk in Des Moines next April.

4) If when they DO tweet something that’s not business related, they never @ reply to anyone who jumps in to talk to them in this moment of veiled humanization. Rather, they hit their followers up with another link to their blog. Hey, SEO is SEO man. Nothing personal.

Keep in mind, most gurus are just regular people who have misguided priorities. However, some actually are dicks. Keep that in mind as you steer clear of them. Good luck. And welcome to Twitter.

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Jim Mitchem

Georgian Nightmares
Looking Down

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, due in 2014.

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