Monday, January 21, 2013

Twitter Following: What's Your Policy?

I took a bit of a hiatus from Twitter over the holidays and guiltily tackled the task of going through the list of tweeps who had followed me while I was "gone". (I'm positive they have been racked with anticipation). My norm has been to do this on a daily basis and I "follow back" a good 90% of those good folks who have chosen to follow me. A year ago I was a total neophyte to this twitter thing and made the common neophyte bumbles. For example, I made the annoying mistake of following absolutely everyone back with an invitation to look at my book or blog. (Yes, I was THAT guy!) I have picked up a few pointers since those early days. I realized as I was going through this rather extensive list of new followers that I had developed my own personal policy regarding who to follow, and it's this policy I'm choosing to share today. Do you need a personal policy for twitter following? I tend to think it's a good idea. The sheer number of tweets can become overwhelming and as your twitter following grows, it becomes harder and harder to sort through, and respond to relevant tweets.     
1. I follow only actual people and there are very few actual people I won't follow. I know you're real if you're not an egg (an actual photo of you is especially appreciated), and if you have taken the time to write even one line about yourself. You don't have to have won national awards, be Batman by night, or own a house in Maui. Just something, anything. 
2. If you are obviously trying to sell me something, or you are a business only that I am not interested in, I won't follow you. Sorry. I have a hard enough time wading through the tweets as it is.This is especially true if I click over to your tweets and find there are no reciprocal tweets. If you never retweet anyone else, then we're not gonna be good twitter friends.
3. I like inspiration as much as the next guy. I need inspiration. But, I realized sometime back, I don't really want every quote, affirmation, insight,etc. in my twitter stream. Before you conclude that I am a curmudgeon, I'm not talking about people who tweet the occasional quote, positive saying , etc.. Love those. No, I'm talking about the twitter sites devoted totally to this activity. I honestly never realized there could be so many.. 
4. Twit Validation. Ok, I am a Twit and I don't think I should have to validate this... Seriously, if I have to apply to follow you... Come on, folks, this is just too time consuming, and frankly, I'm not sure if you should be on Twitter if this is a huge concern. Twitter is a hugely public forum. That's the nature of this social media beast. My policy: I won't jump through hoops to follow least not on Twitter.
4. Lastly, I rarely look at my direct messages anymore because they are filled with spam or well-meaning people (like I was) who ask me to go check out their product. I will probably follow you, but I hope you learn, as I did, that this is an approach that others generally don't appreciate.
 Happy tweeting!
~Jeff 8^D

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