So…here I sit in the library trying to get some work done because my Internet connection at home is down. Little did I know, I can’t get access to my hosting accounts’ cPanels from here. DOH! So, instead of working on the projects I intended to work on, I’m writing a blog post about my personal Twitter follow policy.
I’m a born multi-tasker. It isn’t often that I’m not doing 3…4…7…12 things at once. It’s just my nature. I’ve always been that way. That said, I spend all day online tackling a variety of things at once – working on site audits, finishing site designs, doing WordPress installations, writing blog posts…and last, but certainly not least, Tweeting. I am a Twitter addict. There, I admit it – I feel better now. I love it. Twitter is to me what crack is to a junkie. If I’m away from it for too long, I start to get the shakes.
Reciprocal Following and Auto-Follow…I Just Don’t Get It
It seems not a day passes now that I don’t get a crop of new followers. Among them are always some dumbass spammers whose profiles consist of nothing more than a link to some bullshit website and a single update touting their excitement over receiving a free laptop or how they’ve made $100 in ten minutes with the Internet’s latest get rich quick scheme. Does anyone really fall for that crap anymore? I mean, if there were actually a way to “get rich quick”, I’d have jumped all over it already. Therein lies the inspiration for this post.
I follow just under 300 people on Twitter. Most have ties to the search marketing industry, website design, Social Media, etc. Many of them, like Kim Krause Berg, Michael Gray (who actually just started following me TODAY…perhaps partially due to my whining that he still wasn’t following me – but whatever…) and Jill Whalen didn’t follow me back initially. Why would they? They had no idea who I was, what I was about and, frankly, that I wasn’t a complete tool. It wasn’t until after I had interacted with them that I earned a follow back. And that is as it should be.
Alysson…What’s Your Freakin’ Point?
Geez…I’m getting to it. I don’t reciprocal follow. I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe that someone following me on Twitter means that I should also follow them. Let’s take this one step further and address the very concept of the “auto-follow”. It is asinine. Auto-following is absolutely ludicrous, pointless and I can’t imagine a better way to render Twitter absolutely useless. I can’t fathom what my Twitterstream would look like with much more than 300 people in it. I probably miss out on a lot of useful tweets that pertain to search marketing or my other interests as it is. Why would I want to follow someone who sells soap just because they’ve followed me?
Frankly, I don’t understand why some of the people that are following me, follow me. I’m a sometimes vulgar, wildly opinionated, Buddhist smart ass who couldn’t be further from the right wing of politics – no, really…I couldn’t be. I have nothing in common with the intolerant, radically judgmental, holier-than-thou, neo-conservative, evangelical, right wing hate monger movement. Yet, some of my followers include within their bios things like “God-fearing Conservative” and “Rush Limbaugh Supporter”. Um, okay…welcome, but your likelihood of being offended on a daily basis just went up exponentially – enjoy!
Sometimes the things that lead to my getting a new follower are hilarious. For instance, I tweet back and forth with @kim_cre8pc about her knee injury and before you know it, @TheKneePainGuru starts following me. I talk about beef jerky and low & behold, @ObertoAlpha starts following me. Go figure. By the way, I am now following @ObertoAlpha because they carried on a conversation with me via Twitter – and offered me free jerky, which didn’t hurt their cause. See how that works? Engage me in some way, and I’m likely to follow you back – voila!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for each of my Twitter followers, aside from the spammers that have yet to be identified – I’m coming to block you, I promise. I hope I bring something useful, or at the very least amusing, to your Twittersphere. On the other hand, if you want me to follow you back, give me some sort of reason. Carry on a Twitter conversation with me. Ask me a question. Comment on a post I’ve written. Give me some feedback on a question I pose via Twitter. Something. And no, trying to sell me something or telling me how to get a free laptop won’t cut it. Throw in a free Snuggie, some Mighty Mend-it and a Shamwow…maybe we’ll talk. ;)
So, here’s your chance to tell me how wrong I am about my opposition to reciprocal following. Think you can talk me out of it? Think you can convince me…convert me…coerce me? Leave your comments and see if you’re right.