Sunday, August 01, 2010

Just so you don't feel mislead, this article is not about bears, but it is a brief (not necessarily succinct) comment on the whole "follow/unfollow" business on twitter.

It was prompted by this blogpost that @mattwhatsit tweeted (well worth a follow by the way)

To follow or unfollow can be a minefield. I've been on the sharp end of a couple of altercations because I've unfollowed or not followed back. It's painful and often, without exception, unnecessarily so.

My style on Twitter is a very chatty one; I'm engaging and like a bit of banter - it's also a great way to get to know people very quickly. But this also means i sometimes tweet a lot, not to everyone's taste.

I currently follow around 200 people, this, for me is feeling like my upper limit. I'm followed by just over 600, so I'm clearly not into the reciprocal thing.

The "reciprocal twitterer" annoys me possibly the most; ie they'll unfollow if you don't follow back or make a public point about it, e.g. "well, of course you won't see this as you don't follow back" (sulk, sulk, blah, blah).

I follow a number of people who don't follow me or have stopped following me - I continue to follow them BECAUSE I LIKE THEIR TWEETS! Simple as that. That's the whole point isn't it? You would've hang around with someone whose company you didn't like, surely?

I'm in a bit of a dilemma at the moment as I'd like to drop a couple to add a couple, give some others a chance on my "7-day trial". I have a couple in mind who I've followed almost since the beginning (when you did do the whole reciprocal thing to get started) - I hope they don't take it to heart, we barely ever exchange tweets, they should understand.

Can you believe how much I give a shit?! What a soft sod!! This is how paranoid twitter/social networking/21st century has made us! ... I'll ponder that outburst for a while.

I'm not sure where I'm really going with this; I'm typing with one eye open and from under the duvet on a Sunday morning ...

So I'll finish on this thought. To follow or unfollow is a PERSONAL CHOICE, you shouldn't judge or harangue someone for their decisions. Just carry on, don't have a tantrum, be an adult about it - not everyone's tweeting style/content is to everyone's taste.

Enjoy Twitter, don't make it a drama!

You could always follow @kanyewest for a laugh.

And another thing, just because there's hype about a tweeter doesn't mean you have the right to feel cheated and slag them off publicly when you don't like their style or they don't follow back - you haven't fucking PAID to read their tweets, you haven't had to donate a kidney or your first born. Jeez!

Get over it, get on with your life - it'll all be ok.

End of rant ... probably.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


maxell said...

excellent blog / thanks to @MsMeanor for the RT. I find myself becoming a twitter voyeur... not saying much but enjoy "watching other". Is that normal?

Debsa said...

Observing is all part of the fun - you can pick and choose when you want to interact. So hi when the mood takes you!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You look like Eddie Izzard!

Debsa said...

That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me - I normally get likened to Dame Judi Dench! How about revealing yourself so I can return the compliment?

Elaine said...

Interesting blog post. I am fairly new to Twitter and am only recently finding my feet there. It took me a very long time to actually start writing anything as for quite a while it felt like I was shouting into a void. However I do seem to have gained some followers which started off through "followback" initiatives like #duncansdream, which makes me more inclined to type stuff as there are people out there getting it in their feed. Not that I expect them to hang on my every word, far from it, but it's nice to know you're not (quite) just talking to yourself.

The people I follow come into several categories (a) people I actually know (b) people I have come across on there/friends of friends/followers of friends whose tweets I find interesting and/or amusing and (c) people I follow as part of a "followback" thing.

With (a) I would hope they would follow me back as we are supposed to actually like each other. With (b) I do not expect a follow back at all. I follow them because I choose to read their tweets. Possibly the nicest kind of follower to have!

With (c), yes, I think it's only polite if you have joined in with a followback hashtag or similar and asked people to follow you as part of that, that you follow them back. At least give their tweets a try, if you really don't get them then unfollow later but it's a bit rude IMO to be posting asking for mutual follows and then not to follow at all. I have always followed back at least initially, though have unfollowed some who have turned out to be not my kind of people.

But I can understand people unfollowing in these situations, if people don't join in in the spirit in which it is intended. I have followed a few people in this way to try and gain new followers to "start me off". Some haven't followed me back. I have unfollowed some, and I would be narked if they moaned about that! However, there are one or two whose tweets I have on the most part enjoyed, and while there is a silly childish part of me that is irritated at their method of gaining followers, the actual feed is interesting enough to keep me following.

But I agree, nothing worse than a public slagging over something which is ultimately trivial...