# # Why are you following me?
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Why are you following me?

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© December 2008 Anthony Lawrence

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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Sun Dec 28 20:09:57 2008: 4994   TonyLawrence

This is kind of funny: a stripper just followed me.

Now that's pure commercial baiting, of course. Smart of her: follow men and a whole bunch are very likely to follow you back.

Assuming it isn't a man faking the account, of course!

What's funny about it from my pov is that nudity isn't sexual to me. We spent many years at clothing optional resorts; it's meaningless. So I could "follow" her just to keep my TOCD happy or I could block her for the same reason. Blocking feels wrong because I don't see anything wrong with what she's doing. Following feels wrong because I have no reason to be interested in what she is pitching..

So it's a quandary.. :-)

Mon Dec 29 22:53:36 2008: 5003   TonyLawrence

I just came across this great story of using Twitter to great advantage:


Fri Jan 2 01:01:43 2009: 5035   NickBarron

I do not use social networking sites and in general I suppose I am a hard person to track down.

It seems like it is just me who has a healthy distrust of all this online data collecting?

Fri Jan 2 01:15:32 2009: 5036   TonyLawrence

No, it's not just you. It's making me a little queasy, honestly.

Fri Jan 2 02:06:26 2009: 5038   NickBarron

In an ideal world I think it would be wonderful, but we don't live in one.

Seems very dangerous to me, glad someone else has their vision trained on the possibilities too


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