My social media rules of engagement

I’m tired of talking about vapor. I’m tired of beating back rumors and gossip. The rules that follow are for both my followers as well as myself. I’ve recently been realizing how much time I waste in what I am calling “vapor debates”. These are conversations where time is forever lost because I make the mistake of commenting on vapor news, or I stupidly respond after a follower on Twitter nicely asks me my thoughts on (INSERT VAPOR). I’m done. If a product is announced by Apple, Microsoft, or anybody else, it’s fair game. If they don’t announce pricing or availability, I’m going to treat the product as unannounced and not comment on it in social media channels, as there is no basis yet for how, or when, it will fit in the market.

At this point, if Digitimes or the Asian manufacturing channel leaked that Apple was making a “Flying digital donkey” (iDonkey), the press would jump on it, and Twitter would be alight with why Apple is making iDonkey, and why it is a (INSERT OPINION: brilliant | stupid) idea. Windows fans would come along and say Microsoft did that years ago, Open source/FSF fans would come along saying how closed minded and market constraining iDonkey would be, and Apple fans would either blindly espouse the brilliance of iDonkey, or deny it’s existence until it was announced at WWDC or another Apple launch event.

I’m also growing tired of defending my opinion on Windows 8. My discomfort with the single-minded focus on touch over mouse input, and the brute force de-emphasis of the desktop on Windows 8 are my opinion, I believe firmly in that opinion, and I’m entitled to it. Feel free to disagree – you can even tell me on Twitter you disagree, and you think Windows 8 will crush Apple and kill the iPad dead. But I’m done discussing it, so I won’t be responding to it. We’ll see how the market bears it out.

Therefore, my rules of engagement for social media – both Twitter and Facebook (though I do little tech conversation on Facebook) are as follows. I will no longer:

  1. Discuss products not formally announced yet – from any hardware or software vendor.
  2. Discuss products that have been formally announced but have no price AND release date announced yet - from any hardware or software vendor.
  3. Discuss functionality of any software or hardware where the actual facts and features are not available.
  4. Discuss Android vs. iOS market share (device volume vs. profit).
  5. Discuss “App market size” as discerned by sheer volume of apps for sale. It’s a stupid metric.
  6. Debate after I state my opinion. If you ask me my opinion about why an announced or unannounced tech may or may not make sense or why it may not work in reality,  I may tell you my opinion. If you disagree with my opinion, go ahead – it’s your opinion. But I’m no longer letting myself get sucked into debates.

This means I’m no longer talking about a swollen iPhone, shrunken iPad, or television built by Apple. Apple announces them? I discuss them. Until then, it’s talking about patenting rare earth minerals on Mars – theory and BS. This also means I’m no longer participating in any conversations around “PC forecasts” for Windows 8, conversations around “whatever comes after Windows 8″, Windows RT pricing, management, and value, or the next version of Office. Microsoft announces them? I discuss them. Until then, it’s grasping at straws.

I’m tired of vapor debates. I really like Twitter – I feel like it’s very useful to me. But what isn’t useful is the vapor and gossip, or wasting my time when someone doesn’t agree with my opinion as I’ve stated it.