Thursday, November 12, 2009

Twitter - follow or not to follow

What do you do when you receive an email stating: ’abc is following you on Twitter!’? This is always an interesting exercise for me as I go through each one manually (there are auto-follow services available too). I realized that I’ve begun a somewhat systematic process of decision making. I thought I’d share it here.

Now, I realize that everyone uses Twitter differently and each way is right. Twitter to me means: A one-stop source of information, updates, articles and posts about social media, internet technologies, Startups, SEO, and Design.

So here are some pointers that you might relate to as a Twitter user:
  • No Profile Pic -
    From the email itself, you can see four things: what tweeple look like, their follower, following and tweet data. If I don’t see a face, I’m already feeling disconnected. In social media, such few touch points exist in the first place. By putting a display picture, people are that much more real.
  • Follower/Following ratio -
    If someone’s following 1000 people and has only 10 followers or some ratio along those lines, then I’m wondering WHO this person really is? A bot? A very desperate person? One of those MLM guys? Either way, none of the questions entice me to click on the link and check out the Twitter account.
  • Name and Bio -
    I’d love to see a name or something, well, human and real about the person. The bio comes next and I absolutely love how each person expresses their individuality in this tiny section. Some are fun, some strictly professional, some monosyllabic. Bios that allow me a little peek into people’s lives and their personalities definitely help me lean towards following.
  • Protected Updates -
    Amusing or frustrating, you decide, but someone follows me and I find their updates protected, I feel bummed. Its like inviting someone to your home and then refusing to open the door when they do show up! Twitter’s really about open conversations so I personally don’t understand the idea of protecting updates coupled with the desire to engage!
  • Content -
    Lastly I go through the first ten or twenty updates on the page and ask myself: do I want these tweets to show up in my feed everyday? Do they add value? Do I enjoy them? Will this person reply if I try to engage? If yes, I’m heading for the ‘Follow’ button alright!
These are my points for following any person on Twitter, share your views on how you decide to follow ....



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