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You know what really grinds my gears? Twitter Followers.

July 22, 2009

ninja_shoeShoe: Ninja Shoes.

Note: This post is a rant.Okay. Not a rant, per se. But moreorless a semi-rant that may make you think I need to take a kickboxing class. Which I can’t take because of my knee. So if you’re suggesting I tear my ACL again in exchange for getting a bit of  anger out, then I’m really going to rant about you next.

I’ve been on Twitter for a year now and I’ve been slowly growing my network on the platform. And I really like Twitter. It’s great.

I get Twitter followers I’ve never talked to or met. In a lot of cases, these followers are influencers in my field, and I’m actually quite honored that they would follow me, even if it’s out of the blue. Anyway, I think It’s because I’m so cool I probably show up in TweetDeck as a ‘Recommended Follower’.

Where’s the rant, Meg?

Okay here’s the deal, though.  They don’t @reply me or tell me WHY they are following me, they just do it. They don’t RT my tweets. They don’t tell me that they know I’m really cool which is why they are following me saw my name as a ‘Recommended Follower’ on TweetDeck.

Thus, I don’t know why they are following me at all. As far as I’m concerned, it is as if we never connected at all. I don’t think that clicking the ‘follow’ button on Twitter constitutes networking.

Oh man. Here it comes.

Here’s why it’s not networking: I value genuine human connection. Clicking a button and doing nothing about it is pointless (IMO). But it seems that this Twitter etiquette (Twittiquette?) has diluted the meaning of genuine human connection.

I think that is possible to form genuine connections with people through Twitter. For example, I recently attended Blog Potomac. We tweeted under the hashtag #BlogPotomac. Practically everyone in the room was microblogging under that hashtag, which was great. When I saw someone tweet something particularly interesting or noteworthy, I would RT their tweet and then follow them. Because they were similarly following #BlogPotomac, they would follow me back, and we would exchange where we were sitting in the room and meet up at the next break.

Now THAT is how it’s supposed to be done.

Also, Twitter helps minimize the spacial distance between business contacts. For example, I was recently in a contest to compete for a permanent blogger position on the Community Marketing Blog. We’re now in frequent discussions on how to make the blog a better community. It’s been great. We have conference calls under the hashtag #CMBCC. I follow the people I’m having these conference calls with because it’s great to follow what information they find important and newsworthy in our field. It’s also great way to keep up with these people in between our conference calls.

I’m not saying Twitter has to be used for business purposes only. For example, my last three tweets were about my weekend, (which I spent in Delaware). I just happen to use Twitter as a great way to keep up with insights into my field. I’m actually guilty of NOT following a lot of ‘acquaintances’ I met in college because I don’t want to dilute my twitter feed. However, I’m considering changing this because of TweetDeck’s utter amazing capabilities.

The point being is, please don’t follow me if you don’t have the intention of establishing a genuine connection with me. I’d rather preserve some integrity in this platform if possible.

Fin.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2009 2:47 am

    Thanks Megan! The links really help in our collaboration and our SEO efforts.
    I really enjoyed your writing style, and I learned some things from reading your blog:
    1. That there are several ways to spell pyjamas
    2. That Ninjas wear shoes
    3. Crossing out words in a blog and leaving them there causes people to want to read them even more than the other words around them.
    Great job. I look forward to reading your other tweets.
    My new blog article for the CMB will be up soon-check it out.
    Wayne http://www.waynekessler.com

  2. July 25, 2009 5:08 am

    Hi Megan,

    Cool article, great flow and so genuine. Love your style. I’ve found the same “issues” with twitter and I’ve come to the conclusion that a significant amount of followers are just building numbers.

    Aside from the use of twitter for research and finding the hottest updates on topics, it would be nice if part of the culture remained true from where it started around people wanting to connect.

    OH well, the best thing to do like all social media/networking is remain true to your brand and its own characteristics. That will go the extra mile and somewhere in this journey we’ll continue to meet great contacts along the way and do real business stuff as a result.

  3. August 10, 2009 4:30 pm

    Megan,

    Great post. Just having a profile and hitting follow does not constitute networking. It requires sticking your head in and getting into the conversation. Listening is OK and I have gotten dozens of followers to my blog from Twitter that would of never seen it otherwise. Either from a RT or a post I put out etc.

    Twitter is the most powerful social media on one hand but the biggest fake on the other. The same rules apply to this platform as the others. It requires being SOCIAL…

    Chad Rothschild
    http://www.chadrothschild.com
    Twitter – @chadrothschild

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