Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why I'm Not Following You on Twitter

I've become a bit fascinated by Twitter. In just over 5 months on the service, I've made friends with people from all over the world, some business leaders, an author or two, and several other folks. I've even had a few phone conversations with some and one or two have been a great help to me in my new business. I enjoy meeting new tweeple. If you haven't, you can follow me here. I will (at least initially) follow you back.

I like to follow people who tweet about interesting ideas, leadership, teamwork, making the world a better place, people who are generally encouraging or add something to the twitterverse, and fellow followers of Jesus.

However, today, I just unfollowed several people on Twitter. I do it once a week or so. While Twitter is non-reciprocating in it's organization structure, I believe my twitter account is. I made that decision a couple of months ago in an effort to develop a standard follower policy. So here are the reasons I might un-follow you.
  1. You chose not to follow me back. It's just as simple as that. Unless you're a news feed or a product I'm extremely interested in, you won't last. You may make it for a few weeks but after a while, I'll unfollow. One other exception to this, at least for now, is friends who just don't seem to pay much attention to Twitter. I have about 20 people I know personally that have accounts but haven't seen fit to tweet or follow anyone. No wonder you don't understand it!
  2. You're a celebrity. I don't follow many celebs and only local politicians. As a note, it's unfortunate that the local politicians don't interact more on Twitter. Many of mine fall in category #1 above because they don't understand the value of the service.
  3. You tweet a ton. I use a Firefox add-on called Greasemonkey and a script called FollowCost that ranks your tweet volume. If your count is over 1000 milliscobles (a value derived by the authors), you risk being dropped at any time. Also any accounts that post multiple versions of the same tweet (more than two or three a day, which I sometimes do) then you can expect to get unfollowed.
  4. You have some association with porn, foul language, hate, etc.
  5. You send a bunch of direct messages (DM) to me. By a bunch, I mean one or two unsolicited ones. I understand people who choose to send DM's as Thank You messages. That's a personal preference and I don't have any hard feelings about those. But if you send me a "Hi" DM and you haven't sent any standard tweets, you're a goner.
That's about it. Maybe we just haven't found each other. I may from time to time follow you because of someone you follow or something you tweeted, but if you don't follow back or if you hit one of the other categories above, you can just give me a few days and I'll disappear. For me, Twitter is about the friends I can make, the relationships I can build, and the people I can help. Thanks for reading this and being part of my Web 2.0 world.