Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Ragan.com in April of 2013, but we are rerunning it as part of our look back at the top stories in social media on Ragan.com.
On Monday, the great social media guru, conference speaker, bestselling author, and all-around egomaniac Guy Kawasaki once again proved that being popular isn’t the same thing as being smart. Or even competent.
While the news about the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon was just being broken, and for several hours afterwards, most companies shut down their promotional efforts on Twitter and other social media.
Most people and organizations rightly came to the conclusion that to continue to hawk their wares while a national tragedy was unfolding (and people were using Twitter to get and exchange news) was a little insensitive, to say the least.
But not our guy, Guy. Not Special K! The steady stream of auto-tweet spam bombs that his interns send out promoting his products, services and events never even slowed to a trickle. It’s well known that Kawasaki doesn’t even write his own tweets . . . so I guess if you follow him, you get what you deserve.
But people still got pissed off. He got slammed on Twitter . . . but, being the great Guy Kawasaki, the former “Apple evangelist,” and bestselling author, he didn’t stop. In fact, he doubled down, with this tweet:
“Loving how people with less than 1,500 followers are telling me how to tweet . . .”
Whoo boy! There are egos, and then there are egos. Hard to believe that he wrote a book called “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.”
I think Chapter Four of that book is titled: “Talk down to and insult anyone who has fewer Twitter followers than you, as they know absolutely nothing about anything.”
Of course, that asinine tweet prompted more people to slam him. Including me. I couldn’t resist, and replied to him:
@guykawasaki I have about 5,000 followers, maybe a little more. Does that qualify me to call you an insensitive prick?
— Steve Crescenzo (@Crescenzo) April 15, 2013
When that tweet went out, an anonymous source sent me a list of “Guy Kawasaki’s Rules For Who Is Allowed to Tweet and What They Are Allowed to Tweet, Based on How Many Followers They Have.”
I think it must have been one of his army of disgruntled intern tweeters who sent it to me, and it’s a wonderful insight into the mind of one of the biggest jerks on the Internet.
Here are Kawasaki’s rules:
0-100 followers: You are not allowed to do any original tweets, because with less than 100 followers, you obviously are not smart enough to have anything original to say. You are, however, allowed to retweet Guy Kawasaki tweets as many as 40 times a day. Retweeting Guy Kawasaki should be the foundation of your Twitter strategy.
100-500 followers: You can start sending out one original tweet a week, but it must not promote yourself or your business. You are not smart enough for that yet. Recommend tweets: food tweets, travel tweets, workout tweets, and pet tweets. You can also retweet Guy Kawasaki tweets as many as 60 times a day. At this point, you should still mention Guy Kawasaki even in your personal tweets—e.g., “Went for a four-mile run. Thought about Guy Kawasaki’s latest book, on sale now at Amazon.”
500-1000 followers: You have obviously gotten smarter. You can now send two promotional tweets a week, and one tweet that links to non-Guy Kawasaki material. But for every tweet that links to non-Guy Kawasaki material, you must retweet a Guy Kawasaki tweet 75 times. And every tweet to non-Guy Kawasaki material must include the line, “Not as good as Guy Kawasaki’s stuff, but not bad.”
1000-5,000 followers: While you still have no right to criticize Guy Kawasaki in any way, shape, or form, you can now address him directly. He will not respond, as he doesn’t read or write his own tweets. However, one of his twitter interns may auto respond to you, linking you to Guy Kawasaki’s good and services. And you have now hit Guy Kawasaki Premier Tweeter Status, and as such can retweet Guy Kawasaki as often as you like, with a recommended output of 100 retweets a day.
5,000-10,000 followers: You can now criticize Guy Kawasaki. But not severely, and not about anything related to the Internet, online communication, social media, Twitter, computers, books, or the media.
10,000-1 million followers: You still don’t have as many followers as Guy Kawasaki, so it’s important to remember that you are still not as smart as Guy Kawasaki. This should govern all your comments about, and interactions with, Guy Kawasaki, and any of Guy Kawasaki’s Twitter interns.
1 million-10 million followers. You now have as many followers as Guy Kawasaki. But remember that Guy Kawasaki got there first, so he is still smarter than you, and you should let that govern all your interactions with Guy Kawasaki, and any of Guy Kawasaki’s interns.
10 million followers+. You are obviously a Kardashian, and should immediately kill yourself. Just don’t blame Guy Kawasaki.