A few personal rules of thumb for behaving on Twitter.

1. Tweet as if your mother is watching. It’s the 21st Century and she probably is.

2. Twitter feels like a pub conversation. It is and it isn’t. You’re a publisher now. You can be sued for your comments.

3.  Play the ball, not the person. Yes you’ll get into arguments on Twitter.  Argue the points and the facts and try not to get personal. With anyone. Ever. Seriously (as my 6 year old would say).

4. Tweets have a half life of 15 minutes. Thanks to the Library of Congress, Data Sift and others they are also part of your permanent record.

5. Treat others as you’d like your mother to be treated (assuming you have a great relationship with your mother. If not substitute ‘your mother’ for someone you care about).

6. Pause before tweeting when you’re angry.

7. Offense is taken, not given. No one has a right ‘to be offended’.

8. Be open.

9. When you’re wrong admit it and apologise. Move on.

10. Listen to people with different views from yours. There are plenty of good and reasonable people who don’t believe as you do. It’s a small planet.

11. Wear sunscreen.