Monday, December 03, 2012

Confessions of a Twitter follow-slut

People are always asking me why I'm such a follow-slut on Twitter. They want to know what the heck good it is to be following 108,000 people. Am I insane? Is there any conceivable reason for following so many people?

My complete philosophy on this (and all the techniques I used to get to 100K followers) is laid out in detail in a 99-cent e-book, which I sincerely hope you'll enjoy. If you know what's good for you, you'll spring for it. But let me cut to the chase, in case you don't want to buy the book.

My basic M.O. is to follow as many interesting people as I can. Quite a few follow me back. Eventually I unfollow the heartless, unthinking losers who don't follow me back.

This results in me following an awful lot of interesting people, obviously. (Duh.) Can I interact with that many people? No. Only randomly. Can I really follow what people are posting? No, not one by one by one.

What you have to do is be smart enough to use Twitter's excellent List feature. Put various categories of Very Interesting People into various Lists, then check those streams regularly. I have lots of lists. Many of them private, some public. All excellent.

But I also check the main firehose. I do it all the time, actually, because with that many tweeps, I get to see tons and tons of curated links in my stream (and yes, the occasional bit of nonsensical stream-of-consciousness dreck), but the main thing is, I catch huge numbers of fascinating news stories and blog posts by sipping from the fire hydrant. If there's any kind of fast-breaking news story going on, I see it right away. A drone strike kills a child in Pakistan, I know about it. A Supreme Court justice happens to say something rational, I hear about it. A hair falls out of Donald Trump's whatever-it-is-that's-on-his-head, I know about it.

The life of a follow-slut is pretty good, actually.

So please. Don't judge me. Sluts are people too.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:01 PM

    If it benefits your career, I guess it makes a certain amount of sense to follow as many people as possible in the hopes that a percentage of them follow you back and a percentage of those people actually pay attention to what you have to say.

    That being said, I'm not a fan of your philosophy because I'd hate to see the entire Twitter user experience becoming essentially managing follows and unfollows and logging into Twitter and seeing a flood of Tweets from people that you don't know and that are impossible to follow. Yes, you can manage that to some extent with lists as you point out, but I don't think that leads to a fun experience. There's a certain sector of the Twitter community that relies on dozens of services to essentially buy Twitter Followers, beg for follows and likes and plus ones, and spend all day finding new tools to follow new people or unfollow people that won't follow back. That's not living.

    I'd hate for Twitter to really devolve to that level, but to me it unfortunately looks like thats what will happen as long as the max characters is 140 and its impossible to really engage people with thoughtful conversations there. Google+ has its own share of disadvantages, but I think in the long run Google's approach for making longer and deeper conversations easier might be what leads to the most engagement in the long run.

    I don't know, we're going to be figuring this out in the coming decade as social media gets entrenched in peoples' lives more and more

    ReplyDelete

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