You can find all sorts of people on Twitter – from those you like to those you loathe, and from friends of farming to agriculture’s adversaries.
If you are a regular user of the social media website, whether it’s for business or pleasure, you’re bound to have encountered certain “breeds” – some you may be fond of, others you’ll probably be infuriated by.
So whether these people are tweeting about farming, politics, the weather or local gossip, here are some of the types you might encounter.
1. The self-promoter
The one-man band or small business on a quest to make it big.
They will probably be very pleasant to deal with, as ultimately their goal is to sell the best-tasting mail-order meat, most effective drench, or most waterproof trousers of all time.
Woe betide anyone who questions their product.
See also: 25 pieces of advice for 25-year-olds
2. The industry advocate
Burning with a fierce zeal, they will be on a quest to single-handedly turn the tide of misfortune currently assailing their sector.
Turn to them for tasty recipes, encouraging facts about how consumption of said item will improve your health, and soft-focus pictures of their enterprise.
3. The constant sharer
Hey Twitter, I’ve lost my spanner again. Hey Twitter, shall I have bourbons or custard creams with my coffee?
Hey Twitter, happy hump day. In real life, this person is generally the one stopped mid-job, phone in hand with a glazed look and their thumbs a blur.
However, if you want your content distributed to a wider audience, that is one job they will do quickly.
4. The snapper
This person is happier dealing in pictures rather than words. A recent sunrise, a healthy crop, a new tractor or some livestock grazing peacefully – captured, cropped, filtered, and shared.
Basically, it means the number of hedges it’s possible for us to look over now far exceeds that of our forefathers. Don’t expect to see many weeds, however. Or cases of foot-rot. Or rusty tractors.
5. The silent observer
Rather than contributing to the discussion, they are content to sit back and watch events unfold around them. They usually have a fantastic memory and may remember things about you that you’ve long since forgotten yourself.
6. The badger cull opponent
We all know there are two tribes on either side of this debate.
The “anti” will leap into action to challenge the claims made by their opponents, who will then respond, sparking a cycle of claims and counter-claims.
This goes on for days, leaving the rest of us so bamboozled that we have learn nothing.
7. The best-practice sharer
You might have shown the world a pen of lambs you got ready for market, but they have already sold them and made more profit on them thanks to their instant uptake of all available new technology.
They have more stock than you, but they take less work. If you have a question, they have the answer. If you’re aspirational, this can be inspiring, but if you are in a slump, try to remember they will have their own problems.
8. The new entrant
Once upon a time we were all keen as mustard. This person still is and can be a reminder of just how jaded you might have become.
Often fresh out of uni or school, or even coming into ag from another career, they are brimming with enthusiasm and appreciation for their surroundings. They’re usually short on cash, but big on ideas.
9. The micky taker
Never afraid to ruffle feathers, this person is the equivalent of that one person in every group of friends who brings everyone else down a peg or two.
Except, you may well not know them on Twitter and sarcasm can get lost in translation, so it can lead to some interesting exchanges. Best to take anything they say with a handful of salt.
10 The weather moaner
It’s always raining where they live. Or raining and snowing. Or raining and blowing. Or raining and blowing and snowing. The British weather merely fuels their habit.
Have we missed any off the list? If you know of any Twitter “breeds”, whether you’re fond of them or infuriated by them, let us know by tweeting @farmersweekly or emailing email@example.com
All about Twitter
Twitter is a free-to-use online social networking site that allows people to share short messages called “tweets” and photos.
Its proponents, who use it for business and pleasure, say it’s a great way of staying in touch and sharing information. Whether it is real-time news, links to information or a way of communicating with customers, they say it’s fun, easy-to-use and has changed their businesses for the better.
Its critics say it’s an easy way of wasting time and won’t help them become better farmers. It’s full, they say, of gossip and trivia, and will be like many internet crazes – a fad.
If you are not familiar with it and want to make your own mind up, got to Twitter where you can register.
If you do fancy giving it a go, don’t forget to “follow” @farmersweekly – that way, you’ll receive news and views from us.