Podcasts vs Twitter

Nick Hilton
4 min readOct 22, 2021

Usually when people write or tweet to me, it’s to agree with me (or something that I’ve written). This is a biased function of, firstly, the fact that people are more likely to seek out views they already hold, in order to reinforce them, and, secondly, the basic human desire to be chummy with our fellow human.

So when, last week, I wrote a blog called ‘It’s Time to End Podcast Self-Promo on Twitter’ I was surprised, and excited, to find that there were lots of people disagreeing, vociferously, with the piece (as well as many who clearly supported its thesis). In the days subsequently, people have been arguing in my mentions (fittingly, on Twitter) and, for my sanity, I’ve not been engaging with them. But I thought it merited this quick follow-up blog, just to outline a few expanded thoughts on the subject.

Firstly: the headline was slightly misleading (my fault; I wrote it). I don’t think we should end all self-promotion on Twitter. If we did, Twitter would collapse in on itself like a dying star. And also, we all need to promote our work. What I was, more specifically, referring to is a form of drive-by or spam self-promotion; where people actively tag or message you with self promo which is the Twitter equivalent of ramming junk mail through your letterbox. The difference between writing a tweet saying “Please listen to my podcast, I’ve worked really hard on it!” and sending a tweet saying “@nickfthilton please listen to my podcast!” should be self-evident.

Secondly: I do not care about people tweeting me self-promotion. It doesn’t ruin my day or even my experience using Twitter (though people arguing in my mentions comes close). The blog was intended to be a caution against podcasters who are wasting their time with this very tempting sort of spam self-promo. It is not a moralistic stance — I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with spamming self-promo, it’s just a bit annoying and, crucially, almost useless. Which speaks to the fact that the people writing to me to agree with the piece have almost all noted that they have founded Twitter to be a really tough place to promote their work and thought they were doing something wrong. If the piece could shout one thing it would be: it’s not you, it’s the medium. I am basically trying to save people time and energy.

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Nick Hilton

Writer. Media entrepreneur. London. Interested in technology and the media. Co-founder podotpods.com Email: nick@podotpods.com.