I Disagree, Sir

11Jan10

I clicked on a link posted in one of @SkeeterHansen‘s tweets recently which stated “How to get over the 2,000 Follow Limit on Twitter http://cli.gs/J37Gv“. I was anxious to check out the info because I reached the limit and couldn’t find a clear explanation as to when I’d be able to follow more people. I’m sure I followed some people a year ago who I no longer care to follow but I’ve yet to figure out a way to go to page 1 of my following list so I can unfollow some of those accounts. I’m also sure that many of those accounts are “dead” (meaning they haven’t been tweeted from in a certain amount of time and/or their tweets are no longer relevant to me). So an article about getting over the follow limit appeared to be just what I was looking for.

I’m going to preface this disagreement by stating I am not a Twitter expert. I’m not sure who really is a “Twitter expert” but I know I’m far from it. I do, however, feel that I’ve educated myself over the past year and know good practices when it comes to Twitter. With that said, here’s why I disagree with @SkeeterHansen‘s way around the follow limit.

1: @SkeeterHansen believes that following less than 2,000 people means your fairly new to Twitter. I disagree- it may mean you’re just picky about who you follow. Some people like following a lot of people, some people only like following a few. My suspicions are raised when there’s a big gap between followers and following. People who have 14,058 followers but only follow 6 people are probably “celebrities” who aren’t posting what I’m intersted in so I don’t follow them (but yes, I do follow some “celebrities”). On the flip side, people who have 6 followers but who are following 14,058 people are probably spammers or folks who don’t care to use Twitter properly. Twitter is a give and take. If you’re going to be completely one sided about it, then you’re not using it properly. Only retweeting or replying to your “friends” and/or self promotion is not the kind of Twitter I’m interested in being a part of so I often unfollow (or I don’t follow these folks to begin with) these types of accounts.

2: The suggestion @SkeeterHansen gives for getting around the follow limit, is to unfollow people who do not follow you. I find this to be a bit, for lack of a better word, childish. Just because someone doesn’t follow you doesn’t mean you should not follow them. There’s plenty of people who I follow who don’t follow me and vice versa. If I think they have something interesting to say, I’m going to follow them (and retweet them). If they follow me, that’s great. If not, I’m not going to lose sleep over it or unfollow them. If I found out Steve Carell wasn’t watching my YouTube videos, I wouldn’t stop watching “The Office“.

3: @SkeeterHansen keeps people with “decent looking photos”. Yes, photos are a an important part of your profile and should reflect your personality and/or brand. We are, afterall, our own brands. I do agree that profiles with no photo make me suspicious and I often end up blocking those followers from following me. I rarely follow someone without a photo because the majority of the time, it’s a spam account and I really don’t care about making millions via the internet.

The “decent” part of this statement is a bit misleading. I was following a few accounts at one point because their photos looked legit and “decent” in my opinion, but I soon found out that there were a series of accounts with these “decent” photos but those photos were just a fascade for the spam these accounts were tweeting. I think you have to judge for yourself what kind of photos will raise a red flag to you. Personally, a profile with a super attractive female raises a bit of suspicion and upon further investigation, I usually find that the account does not retweet or reply and they’re a big fan of their webcam- RED FLAG, RED FLAG!!!

4: He suggests following 300-400 people per day until you reach 2,000 following. I don’t recommend this approach and of the top of my head, I don’t know the number at which Twitter suspends your account, but 400/day seems like a lot to me. The only time I’ve found myself following a high number of people in a day is when I set up an account for a client and begin following people with a similar interest or in the same area so I can show them how to retweet and reply to relevant information. I think if you follow a lot of people in a short time span, you’re most likely doing it so hopefully they’ll follow you and you’ll gain a lot of followers. Yes, followers are important on Twitter but I’d rather have relevant followers and people who I truly want to follow be following me. Twitter is not a popularity contest to me. I like having a good amount of new followers every day, but I like it even more when the newbies are folks who have similar interests and who I can learn from. Just following someone in hopes that they’ll follow you back is not a good practice in my book. Following someone and then having them follow you back can often open the door for great 2 way communication- which is what Twitter is all about.

@SkeeterHansen does follow me and I follow him. We just had our first communication via Twitter. I sent a “test” DM to see if he was following me and he quickly responded- a great Twitter practice in my book!!!  This post was not created in a vindictive or angry way, it’s just my response to his post. And hey, I would have done it on Twitter, but as you can see, my opinions tend to exceed the 140 character limit.

I’d love to hear your comments and critiques below so feel free to post something below because blogging, too, should be a two way communication.

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