Editor of Seventeen magazine, Janine Jellars doesn’t only have an impact on the teenage readers of her mag. With her own blog and a bunch accolades to her name, this award winning journo has managed to increase her influence even further. How did she do it? Through Twitter, of course.
I spoke to her to find out more about her Twitter habits, hates and hopes.
1. What do you love most about Twitter?
I love the immediacy of it and that it's 'streamlined'. Facebook can be quite overwhelming and I never feel like I have the hang of it what with the million re-designs and new additions. Twitter is all about the 140 character missive. I love getting a glimpse into people's lives (yes, even the minutiae such as what they're having for lunch). I also love gauging opinions – even though I know the Twitterati isn't fully representative of general South African sentiment. I have fascinating interactions with people from all around the world, without the pressure of filling an entire email or being personally introduced. And it's a great boredom buster when waiting in endless queues.
2. What are your pet peeves on Twitter?
• Racist and sexist trending topics.
• 'Engrish' spotters (most of them have terrible grammar too, so why waste everyone's time with their virtual red pens).
• Rudeness masquerading as coolness in an attempt to 'trend'.
• The self-righteous and judgemental who won't let other peoples' opinions be.
• #Hashtagging #Every #Word #In #Your #Tweet.
• Oh, and related: it irritates me when people have entire real life conversations about what other people tweeted.
3. Dos and Don’ts?
I don't have any hard and fast rules, but here are a few:
• DON'T ask for a 'follow back'. Just don't.
• DON'T get involved in a Twar (Twitter war). You might think you are smart, have a following, witty and cool, but I've seen way too many people get torn to shreds. Not worth it.
• DON'T apply for jobs via Twitter. If you're a professional – or want to be seen as one — follow correct protocol
• DO understand that Twitter isn't your mother's house: don't get too comfortable and think you can start ordering people around or just being reckless
• DO respect others' opinions. It's very annoying when other tweeps start cropping up in your mentions telling you that your opinion is wrong. An opinion can be ill-informed, but, by definition, it cannot be 'wrong'.
• DO respect context. If you see a tweet pop up on your timeline, read the original tweeps' timeline to gauge context instead of asking stupid questions.
• DON'T sell your dignity for RT's or to 'trend'. There's life beyond Twitter. No, really, there is.
4. Have you ever tweeted something and regretted it afterwards?
All the time. I'm an over-sharer. In my former writing job, I was a no holds barred memoirist and it's hard to slay my inner TMI tendencies. I don't drunk tweet, and, since joining Seventeen, I've tried to keep my Twitter account relatively PG13.
5. Who are your favourite people to follow on Twitter and why?
I follow over a thousand accounts, and they each contribute something special to my Twitter experience. Please don't make me choose? But, if I were forced to, I quite enjoy @JoziGoddess @comradesipho @TOMolefe @MvelaseP @JustCuriousZA @MissNonhle (not Nonhle Thema!)