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This article was published on December 7, 2010

    GeekStyle: Retweet Etiquette & how far can a VC go?

    GeekStyle: Retweet Etiquette & how far can a VC go?
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    Welcome to GeekStyle, a column that discusses the ins-and-outs of geek fashion. (Also read the previous GeekStyle) We are here to help you answer your style questions and provide you with some practical tips on what’s hip (and What is Not), for geeks.

    An anonymous entrepreneur from the UK asked us this peculiar question: “a VC wants to have dinner with me. Isn’t that weird? I don’t want to get too close to my business-partners and want to keep our relationship, you know, all business.”
    Venture Capitalists and Informal investors are very people focused. The consensus seems to be that people invest in people and not in ideas or business-plans. It is very normal for a VC to want to know everything about you, including what your marital status is and what you do in your spare time (which is a trick question: you don’t have any spare time!). So don’t be too shy or impersonal. Of course, there are lines not to be crossed so when you find out what those lines are please do lets us know. We are dying to find out.

    How bad is it to retweet without retribution? Are tweets like quotes or like copyrighted artwork?
    Did you know that once you publish something on you transfer your copyright to Twitter Inc? Weird huh? But even though all your base belongs to Twitter that doesn’t mean you can just steal anyones tweet. If the Tweet is clearly an original thought it is better to do a native retweet (click the Retweet icon on or do an old-fashioned retweet where you copy paste the tweet and add a RT sign before the username. If the tweet is a clear copy from a pre-existing quote or if you change the original tweet enough it is okay to not do the whole retweet thing. If in doubt you can also first just copy/steal the tweet and then do a follow-up tweet saying “That previous tweet was originally tweeted by @boris”.

    The cartoon below is based on a tweet I posted which was originally said by someone else, then copied by a blog which it got stolen from by another person. I stole it from someone who stole it from someone else who stole it in the first place. Would be cool if we could find out who REALLY came up with it in the first place:

    Facebook is like jail; you sit around and waste time, write on walls, and get poked by people you don’t know…

    Retweet it here, but feel free to just re-steal it. The excellent cartoon Kiersten made to go with the tweet:

    Read the previous GeekStyle if you can’t get enough!

    Yes, we do questions every week! Have a geek style question you want to have answered? Don’t want to bother your mother? Or maybe you have ‘a friend’ with an issue that needs answering? Just email GeekStyle or leave a comment.

    Illustrations by Kiersten Essenpreis from for Feel free to display the images on your own websites and blogs but please do link back to this post.