Tag Archives: spam

The Twitterers Dilemma

When I signed up for Twitter, I had just about no meatspace friends that were also on. I relied on people like Leo Laporte, Robert Scoble, Merlin Mann and John Gruber to be the people that would define how useful Twitter would be as a tool for me. I noticed that people would begin to follow me because I was following one of these high profile early adopters. I began following people that followed me because I was flattered that people wanted to follow me.

My list of people I was following was full of bloat because there were people who were just updating Twitter with their blog posts. I’m sure there are people that appreciate that, but I have an RSS reader for that purpose. (But I’d love MTA service alerts through Twitter) I thinned out who I was following when I got tired of looking at Tweets of links. Eventually, meatspace friends came along like Tape, Rob, Shawn and Sharilyn. I made other friends through Twitter like Alec Peden, and convinved others like Amanda Gordon that Twitter is useful. Then I discovered that people I knew as acquaintances like Jason, Melanie, Ariel, Doug, Chad and Mark had Twitter accounts and that’s how we stay updated on what is going on with each other.

The dilemma emerges where people are following thousands of Twitter accounts with (in my opinion) the hope that thousands of people will follow them too. While I can admire the work it takes to sit and navigate to the “follow” button thousands of times in a day/week, it can also get a little frustrating looking at a profile and seeing that less than 10% of the people who someone is following is following them back.

Is this spam? Twitterspam? Is it the dreaded buzzword BACN? I’m not sure, but I know that I’m now speaking to people that I know can’t speak back. The past few days I’ve seen about 10 requests from people doing this inflation tactic to get friends. So there’s a question that needs to be answered here.

Is your Twitter account going to personal or social?

There are people that accept anyone who follow them like Robert Scoble, who follows just about all of his 15,000 followers. Thousands of people follow his tweets, and he follows thousands of people. But then there are people like Merlin Mann who is following only about 1% of his 10,000 followers. My issue exists on a much smaller scale, but the question still remains for me. For those of you on Twitter, how do you handle this question?

Twitter Role Call: