Twitter remains a puzzle to me.
As I said at Tweet-tweet, playing the Twitter game, I just started using Twitter as another way to put some variety into the sidebar. I didn't expect many "followers".
Oh, maybe a few people from here, sure. But otherwise, heck, I'm not famous, I don't tweet very much and more importantly I don't follow anyone unless they have followed me first.
That last wasn't a conscious decision at first - it just kind of happened and then I was overtaken by Twitter Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (TOCD): my following must match my followers. I was actually very upset with Twitter when they had some counting problems: although everything was matched, they were reporting unmatched figures. My TOCD was very upset by that, but fortunately everything is back in sync now. Followers match those I am following and vice versa. My Universe is in harmony (at least the Twitter part).
To my surprise and wonder, I picked up a handful of other followers and more dribble in regularly. The count stands at over 300 now, and I have no idea why. Why do these people follow me? From reading their tweets and bios, these folks seem to be using Twitter for marketing and network building. Why are they following me?
Most of them are obviously people pitching something; they follow people in hopes of building their business. They must rely on the faith of "I follow you, you'll follow me" behavior. That's fine, but why pick me?
Do they think I might use their services? Or that I might be an influencer they just haven't heard of? No, it's surely because one of that ilk happened to follow me - maybe that one was geeky enough to have been at this site. They followed and others followed their lead. It's the snowball down the hill kind of thing.. a pretty small snowball, to be sure, but that is the idea. Because one social network marketer followed me, other hopefuls follow everyone that person followed in hopes of picking up either good contacts or just more lemmings who might buy their services. That probably explains it.
Sadly for them, I'm neither. I'm not an influencer, I don't have "important" contacts. Nor am I likely to buy anything they are selling. But I suppose it doesn't matter: they are just following everyone "X" was following. They didn't pick "me", they just followed everyone that someone else follows.
It's all rather bizarre, isn't it? Twitter reciprocity gone mad, linking us to people we don't know, where there really is no reason for either of us to be following the other. We share nothing, might not even like one another (once in a while I've said something political and lost a follower or two). But every week or so, somebody new follows me and more often than not it's one of these social network building marketing people..
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2011-03-09 Anthony Lawrence