Monday, 4 October 2010

Twitter - To follow or Unfollow? That is the question!

There is an ongoing raging debate in the Twittersphere around whether or not you should follow someone who is not following you. The opinions on the issue are as varied as the numbers of people who have weighed in on the discussion and the spectrum is from one extreme to the other. One of my gurus has admitted to deleting every single person she follows who doesn’t follow her. In other words, she regularly goes into a program where she can see at a glance all the people who aren’t following her back and click on an option to unfollow. There are many tools you can use to do this and there’s a link below from this expert to explain how by comparing two of the more popular apps. But, don’t rush off just yet. I’d like to weigh in on the opposite side of the spectrum.

I approach Twitter with a very critical eye and ask myself regularly, “What exactly do I want to achieve by Tweeting and by engaging other Tweeps?” (Let me pause here and add a little postscript: I marvel at how many new words are being created in the Social Networking realm. There’s always lots of jargon in any industry but this really takes the cake).

Anyways, my objective is twofold:

1. I want to learn and be inspired, therefore, I follow.
2. I want to connect with people who have similar interests as me and who may be in need of my services or advice at some point in time and whose services or advice I may need at some point in time (hopefully they are my followers and most times I follow them too).

Does every single person who I follow necessarily have an interest in me or what I have to offer? I can’t imagine that Jack Welch has any need to follow any advice I may spout in one of my tweets (by the way, he does not follow me) but does that mean I should deny myself his words of wisdom and any professional development I could gain from reading his books?

The same goes for every single person who follows me. Each time I have a new follower, I do send an auto message (through SocialOomph) but I do not autofollow. They don’t necessarily have anything to say that would be of interest to me, so I check them first. I visit their profile, have a read through a page or two of Tweets, check out their bio and then decide if they have anything of value to me. I’ve gone to new followers pages that have thousands of follows and followers with zero tweets. Not someone I want to follow.

My guru that I refer to is a great source of tech info and she is the Lady Tech Tamer. She’s just posted a blog and video that shows the comparison between Twitter Karma and Twitter Unfollow. You can see she has a different opinion than I do regarding followers but that’s what makes the world go around, right? Check it out here:
http://ladytechtamer.com/video-twitter-karma-versus-just-unfollow-which-is-the-best-twitter-unfollow-tool