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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reasons I won't follow you; reasons I unfollowed you

Just a reminder: If I don't follow/friend you or I unfollow (or unfan or unfriend) it's not that I like you any less (if I know you in person). If you are a colleague, it doesn't mean that I respect you any less. However, I want to be able to manage both my online presences and my brand/digital identity. Got it? I still like you -- same as did.

For twitter, I will unfollow/unfriend you for:

  • Lack of posting: you never or rarely post
  • You post soo much that I can't keep up
  • Third wheel: you only (or predominantly) post replies back to your friends -- you know what? it's nice to have a dialogue, but if that is all your twitter feed is, I'd rather not be a 3rd wheel to a conversation I know little about.
  • Only post follows: #FF or #FollowFridays -- surely you can think of something to post the other 6 days of the week?
  • Spam.
  • Minutiae: if I don't know you personally, then I might not really care about that great Thai lunch you just had. Friends who shoe shop -- you're exempt on this one. ;-)
  • Geoposting: You're the Mayor of _______ in foursquare, and you talk about it all of the time... which leads me to...Geoposting. I usually do not care where you are. It IS interesting to hear that you are at a conference or event -- I get great ideas that way, but on the corner of 5th and main at starbucks? Didn't need to know that. Maybe the Library of Congress who is archiving tweets will care, but I don't. ;-)
  • Just Retweets from others. Throw in some original thoughts on occasion.
The connection:
  • I connect with you in another space which works better than twitter: linkedin, facebook, flickr, in real life (face to face) wherever. No need to create more content for either of us to wade through.
  • You follow/friend me, but I don't know you and your account is private with no info. I really want to know who you are. I don't autofollow.
  • If you can't be bothered to fill out the profile, then I'm probably not going to follow you.
  • Answer me every once in a while. Twitter is not a one way street.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad I read this, I'm currently going through my twitter account and delete people for these exact reasons. I was also feeling a little guilty about it. I like to use Twitter for professional development, mostly, and if I follow people who do not post things related to LIS then I'm not that interested. Good post. Thanks.


robin said...

Thanks! One of things that I think people struggle with (and I have) is this false sense of friendship that facebook has perpetuated.

I am really trying to get past that and encourage my colleagues and coworkers to do the same. I did a session at the statewide library conference just recently with one of the key points being pick the social network that works for you and don't duplicate effort.

There is no reason to connect with someone at 8 different websites plus possibly face to face.

For marketing purposes, I think people need to have a scattershot approach to getting the message out, but I think for content coming back in, it's up to you.

There are a lot of people I don't follow because their content does not match up with what I want/need (an exchange of professional info) and that is okay. I don't have to follow someone just because of who they are -- twitter sometimes feels more like a bunch of fan club.

@carrie_at_umass said...

Regarding people who simply tweet so much that I can't keep up or people who don't tweet often but I want to keep tabs on them- Twitter Lists works for me.

I have a university system list for all peeps who have accounts (that I know of). I look at it from time to time, catching odd, interesting stories once in awhile. I actually learned of the univ president stepping down via this stream a few hours before I received the campus email announcement.

I also have a list called 'the experts'. This list is for all the tech in ed/higher ed 'experts' who have thousands of followers and are often retweeted by people in my network. The gems are retweeted by my friends so I don't miss the biggies. The tweets that are of lesser interest are in the stream, which I can look at anytime.

Lastly, for conference organizers like, @JeffPulver of #140conf, I can just add him as a column in HootSuite (or TweetDeck) and leave it at that. Same with #hashtags that are often used - for me that would be #hcsm, #meded, #edtech and #smcedu. I don't need to follow all those people - I just add a column in Hootsuite that I can scan once or twice per day.

Linkedin offers the option to 'hide' people from the stream much like Facebook. I take advantage of that function because some of my friends who are in both my Linkedin and Twitter network auto cross-post(I find it annoying).

Good blog post! Great discussion; some good points for an advanced Twitter training.

Phil said...

All good points. I also don't follow people back if the majority of the tweets are in a foreign language. For my shame I can only speak English so saying things in German etc doesn't really help me.
I don't follow people back if all I get are supposedly inspiring quotations.I also don't follow people who have protected their tweets. If they don't want me to see what they're writing, I don't feel that I should intrude.
I also don't tend to follow people who do not put in a biography or a location. If people have not tweeted they don't tend to be followed back or if their tweets are so far apart in time.

Great post lots of food for thought.

robin said...

thanks for all of the feedback and comments. @carrie, I do use lists, but in all honesty, I'd rather just read through my regular twitterstream. I haven't used linkedin as much as I should, but I do find it very useful for professional networking/reading.

I am continuing to work on my network and craft my own social media policy so that it works for me and also hopefully those who follow me.