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Why I Don’t Want To Follow Some Twitter Folks

Posted by on Feb 8, 2009

My goodness, another Twitter post!

Yes, another Twitter post, but at least each time I write about it, I’m writing something different. In this case, I want to talk about some of the more irritating things I see on Twitter. Overall Twitter is an interesting diversion, and it’s proven to be a news breaker. For instance, Twitter users spread the news about the Hudson River plane landing at least 15 minutes before the news organizations got the story. Twitter has allowed me to talk to people, albeit in short bursts, like Guy Kawasaki and Keith Ferrazzi.

But there are some habits from people that I don’t really like. I remember having a conversation with someone one night, though I can’t remember who, on the subject of some of these bad habits. Frankly, I chalked some of it up to ignorance; ignorance of proper decorum, ignorance of what irritates people, and ignorance of new technologies and how to really use them. However, we have a mixture of things to talk about, so let’s get started.

First, there’s this new trend of people who are creating new Twitter accounts for the purpose of selling something. I’m sure that’s nothing new, but in this case what they do is create the account, then try to start following as many people as they can. They usually pop a picture of a pretty young woman in there, and I wouldn’t doubt that most of the people they’re following are men. Sometimes the names make sense, sometimes they don’t. What I do is see the email come through telling me someone new is following me on Twitter, click on the link so I can take a look, and most of the time, now that I’ve seen it so often, I know it’s a fake account and won’t follow. Usually you see something like them following 1,600 people and maybe 30 people following them.

At the same time, there are some people who legitimately do the same thing. I have no idea how they find me or anyone else, but they do, and they just start following tons of people. I also won’t add most of those folks, but if they have a link to a blog or website I’ll at least check it out first to see what I think about it all. Sometimes the person does look pretty interesting, and I’ll follow; most of the time, though, I want to wait to see if that person draws interest.

Sometimes I take a look at how often someone is updating their own Twitter messages. If they’re not doing any talking, just following lots of people, I won’t follow them; I mean, that’s a waste of time. Obviously they don’t care to share, so I leave them alone. The people who bother me the most that do something like this, though, are the people who follow you, then when you check them out you see that they have their updates protected. Sure, you could ask them if you can follow them, but didn’t I get married so I wouldn’t have to deal with having to ask women I didn’t know if they’d like to go on a date with me? Unless it’s business, I don’t give people a chance to possibly reject me, so I don’t ask, and therefore I’m not following them.

Another thing I don’t like are those folks who have automatic messages when you decide to follow them. I’m sure they think they’re being helpful, but to me it feels more like they’re trying to be pushy. If the messages just said “Thanks for following me” or something like that I wouldn’t be bothered at all. However, what happens is that they either want to tell you about their website or their product, or they want you to download something. Of course, I’m not sure whether it’s a pure download, or an attempt to get me to put my name and email address on a list so they can start sending me all sorts of stuff, but I don’t care. I don’t like it, but I don’t immediately go and unfollow them, though I should. I just don’t pay much attention, don’t download anything, and go about my business.

I also don’t follow anyone who’s barely following others. There’s something narcissisticly wrong in following 10 people when there are 20,000 following you. If the ratio looks wrong, I’m not going to follow because I know that person isn’t going to follow me. Now, if that person follows me first, then I’ll follow them, but really, when is that ever going to happen?

One last thing I hate, but ignore most of the time, is someone who keeps writing post after post, not because they’re giving us a lot of stuff, but because they want to ignore the 140 character limit and actually have a full conversation, like chat rooms or IM’s or email. Having a conversation with someone is one thing; having a conversation with yourself is another. I’ve seen quite a lot of that. I have one friend who does that very thing; once she gets going, she just goes on and on. Sometimes I jump in and start talking to her; sometimes I just ignore it and move on. Since I’ve added TweetDeck to my system to use for my “twittering”, it’s made life so simple because I get to decide who I want to follow with a custom column, so it’s easy to ignore her when I wish. But I love her just the same. 🙂

Twitter can be a lot of fun, and informative also. Some folks just don’t get it; for the rest of us, though, let’s just keep enjoying it.

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36 Comments »

Man, I get a lot of those people who want to follow me out of the blue, and I notice that they are following a lot more than are following them, and it’s not hard to work out what they are up to. Seeing how I not all that big a fan of Twitter I normally don’t add them.

I do like twitter though in that it helps me to keep track of my mates and what they are up to, which is how I came upon this post so quickly. It’s a lot quieter now as I un-followed some that were annoying me and me, and I have a few that may be added to my un-follow list.

Sire´s last blog post..Duncan And Norm’s Big Day Out

February 8th, 2009 | 3:00 AM
Mitch:

Smart way to go, Sire. That, and of course I’m sure you love having your posts pop up on Twitter immediately after you’ve written it.

February 8th, 2009 | 3:28 AM
Asher Awesome:

Hey Mitch, how’s that done? I had a plugin previously but that didn’t work too well so I removed it. I do it manually now = It’s quite tiring but I do get the traffic there~

Asher

Asher Awesome´s last blog post..Article Marketing: Increasing The Click Through Rate On Your Articles?

February 9th, 2009 | 5:00 AM
Mitch:

Asher, I use Tweet My Blog, which is a free download. You’ll want to see if you want to use the widget that comes with it, which I don’t, because it’ll post Twitter posts onto your blog, which I didn’t want, but it does post my articles to Twitter and that’s a good thing. It won’t post articles you write ahead of time, though. Sire uses it also.

February 9th, 2009 | 9:40 AM

Oh, did i Forget to mention that? How forgetful of me 😉

Sire´s last blog post..Duncan And Norm’s Big Day Out

February 8th, 2009 | 4:25 AM
Boyz II Men:

I’ve started using twitter recently as I think I mentioned in another post. I agree on the people who post almost nonstop updates when they’re on. One of them sounded like they were giving a sermon and I quickly unfollowed them as they were making it impossible for me to see what anyone else was up to!

On the following versus follower thing, I’m probably one of the people you’re talking about haha. I follow 3X as many people as follow me. My logic though is that I follow a lot of people who follow the other people who I enjoy following. Then we have a honeymoon period where I see if I enjoy their posts and if not, I just unfollow them.

Still, I really can’t stand people who use twitter as just a way to spam their sites. I’ve had some people who never tweet anything except their latest releases or to buy their stuff.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit and have had some great conversations on it and fun ideas spawn from it.

(An example, yesterday another user and I came up with “Workout with Love.” It would be an exercise video done with background music by R&B greats… prepare for Lunges with Luther! Or Kick & Sweat with Keith Sweat!)

I just realized I don’t think I’m following you yet Mitch. I’ll get on that now 🙂

~Matt

February 8th, 2009 | 10:34 AM
Mitch:

Yup, you’re not following me, Matt. And you weren’t one of those people. Your ratio wasn’t bad; what I’m talking about is, well, like 1,600 to 30. You know that’s someone who either doesn’t understand the concept or is trying to be sneaky in some fashion. Twitter will usually catch up with those folks soon enough and delete their accounts. Sometimes it happens just as I’ve seen their request and go to their sites.

I just spent a little time this morning unfollowing people who haven’t written in a long time, or ever. Doesn’t really matter one way or the other, but at least my numbers are more legitimate this way.

February 8th, 2009 | 1:35 PM

@ BoysII Men, I would much prefer someone who does the occasional tweet about a new post than one who constantly tweets garbage. Honestly, I don;t care if they are having a coffee or what they’re having for breakfast, or if they are having breakfast at all.

Sire´s last blog post..Radio 2FU, Sire And The John Chow Confrontation

February 9th, 2009 | 4:14 PM
Mitch:

Uhhh, don’t you mean, Sire, unless they have nice cleavage? lol

February 9th, 2009 | 4:19 PM

Those avatars are so damn small it would have to be a hell of a lot of cleavage to get my attention. 😀

Sire´s last blog post..Can You See The Human Apparition In This Splash Of Water

February 9th, 2009 | 4:55 PM
Mitch:

Dude, if you go to their Twitter page you can follow the image and see bigger pictures. Do I have to teach you everything? 😀

February 9th, 2009 | 5:07 PM

NO!!!! lol, I actually already knew that, the problem is that cleavage shots have always proven to have small images even on the Twitter page. It’s all just a big tease 🙁

Sire´s last blog post..Radio 2FU, Sire And The John Chow Confrontation

February 9th, 2009 | 5:16 PM
Mitch:

LOL! You’re killing me!

February 9th, 2009 | 5:22 PM

Yeah, Death By Sire, has a ring to it doesn’t it?

Sire´s last blog post..Radio 2FU, Sire And The John Chow Confrontation

February 9th, 2009 | 5:48 PM
Gennaro:

Interesting take on the decorum of Twitter. I just started “tweeting” last week. I’ve witnesses quite a few of these. I try to only post once in awhile. Not sure why some feel it’s necessary to put something up every 2 minutes.

I do find that it allows me to communitcate with people in my niche who I’m not likely to spea to that often. And quite a few people do link up interesting articles.

I’m @EWanderlust

February 8th, 2009 | 12:26 PM
Mitch:

Glad you’re on Twitter, Gennaro. I’ve found a lot of great information through some of the links people post, which is a great thing. Good thing I speed read!

February 8th, 2009 | 1:36 PM
Boyz II Men:

Not to mention information in the news! I think I get more news updates from twitter now than by actually reading newspapers haha. I found out about the groundhog by twitter sadly enough.

February 8th, 2009 | 1:42 PM

Funny thing is, if you are not in one of my TweetDeck groups – then I may have no clue that you are even talking. I know not nice of me.

I could follow more people but, many are just of no interest to me. I follow some people that never post just so, my numbers are more even. I know my bad again.

I really like the people that follow then send you a message to remind you that if you do not follow back then they will unfollow you. I’m like Big Deal – unfollow at any time. These are the people that are just after numbers. i figure that if you are following tons of people then you will never have time to hear what I say & they are to busy writing reply’s like @—- Hi, great to see you…. I don’t need their noise in my stream.

Just my grumpy 10 cents.

Sheryl Loch´s last blog post..Nascar 2009 is On!

February 8th, 2009 | 6:13 PM
Mitch:

I don’t think that’s overly grumpy, Sheryl. I see some people always worried about losing followers, but truthfully I never really know how many followers I have, so I don’t worry about that. I use TweetDeck, as you probably know, and I have one column where I follow everyone, and one where I only follow “close” friends. That way, if I’m not in the mood, I don’t have to go back and read every single message just to find what I may really want to see.

February 8th, 2009 | 10:21 PM

Ditto on all counts. What also bugs me are some of the Squidoo folks. We’ve been fairly involved in Squidoo and when a lens is published the lensmaster has the option to tweet the update. Well, some lensmasters have nothing but ‘update’ tweets.

For the most part, we’ve had a positive experience with Twitter. Personally, I try to tweet stuff folks would find interesting. I stay away from promoting business or a personal agenda.

Coco – Kennewick Real Estate´s last blog post..Are You Validated?

February 8th, 2009 | 10:02 PM
Mitch:

That’s pretty fair, Coco. I got in Twitter initially only as a business venture, and now there’s kind of a mix. All my new blog posts show up on Twitter, but most of the time I’m trying to engage someone in conversation, or sharing a website I’ve seen. But you’re right, someone who’s constantly only promoting on Twitter can be irritating eventually.

February 8th, 2009 | 10:23 PM

Twitter is only relevant if you already have a following. What we found is that the first focus is always approaching other sites that may want to follow your tweets. This is easier said that done.

June 5th, 2011 | 7:18 PM
khaled:

I have to be honest I just don’t get the whole twitter craze. I’ve tried it and there just seems to be rubbish post after post. If you are using it to keep in contact with friends I guess I can see the relevance. Maybe I am missing something.

February 9th, 2009 | 5:43 AM
Mitch:

It’s not for everyone, Khaled, but it’s also in how you decide to use it. For me, I try to follow people whose interests are similar to mine in some fashion. That way, I’ve seen a lot of stuff on internet marketing. Yeah, some of it is junk, but some of it is pretty good stuff. If one goes into following people on Twitter without deciding what type of people to follow, it can be quite irritating.

February 9th, 2009 | 9:43 AM
Asher Awesome:

Hi Mitch, you know, I’ve actually given up on the autofollow feature and I’m doing ALL my follows manually. Simply because I don’t want to be talking to bots who never talk back~!

By the way, are we on each other’s Twitter list? Mine’s @asheraw and tweet me there, yo! =)

Asher

Asher Awesome´s last blog post..Article Marketing: Increasing The Click Through Rate On Your Articles?

February 9th, 2009 | 4:58 AM
Mitch:

I’m already following you, Asher, so you’ll have to see if you’re following me back. And I’m glad you gave up the automated thing. Last night I added someone I knew and she sent me one of those automated things; sigh.

February 9th, 2009 | 9:36 AM

Btw, we have our second tweetup tomorrow night. Bring the Twitter relationships offline is what it’s all about! 🙂

Coco – Kennewick Real Estate´s last blog post..Are You Validated?

February 9th, 2009 | 9:19 AM
Mitch:

Can you explain the tweetup concept to folks, Coco, along with which area of the country you’re in? I’ve got it, but some others might not.

February 9th, 2009 | 9:44 AM

Well, not sure if I have the corner on the market for Twitter knowledge, but I can point to a couple of resources I’ve found very helpful. Here is a video from a friend of ours who provides an excellent primer on Twitter. And, here is a blog entry that got us started and motivated to attend tweetups. Lastly, here is a webinar on twitter that is a must see. 🙂

Coco – Kennewick Real Estate´s last blog post..Are You Validated?

February 9th, 2009 | 10:47 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Coco; good stuff. Course, I hope you yourself saw the last video I posted on Twitter on this article.

February 9th, 2009 | 10:51 AM

Yeah, I’ve seen that one. That video has made it’s rounds around the internet! 🙂

Coco – Kennewick Real Estate´s last blog post..Are You Validated?

February 9th, 2009 | 12:51 PM
Monica - meeting rooms:

Always a pleasure to read your posts. I’ve made up my mind to stop following anyone with no motives other than to just increase their number of followers/updates. I go into twitter to ask and answer questions from people who need it most and not for “loner” parading the network in search of fun.

Nice post Mitch..Mon

February 9th, 2009 | 11:28 AM
Mitch:

Thank you, Monica. You’re right, this quest for more followers just to pad numbers makes no sense, but there are many people doing it for just that reason. I guess we all have to have something to shoot for, no matter how goofy it is.

February 9th, 2009 | 4:19 PM
Paddy Shaughnessy:

Ok, Mitch you beat me to the punch but I made good on my promise to complete the post anyway. Maybe we’ll start a trend!

Paddy Shaughnessy´s last blog post..A Twitter Rant and a Little Experiment!

February 9th, 2009 | 4:32 PM
Mitch:

I hope so, Paddy, and, at this point, you know I’ve written my comment on your wonderful post. The rest of y’all should check it out.

February 9th, 2009 | 5:06 PM
Mitch:

Dennis, the day you start following me is the day I’ll be thinking Armageddon might be on its way. lol

February 10th, 2009 | 1:47 PM