Marchbooks' Blog

May 5, 2009

Thoughts on Twitter – Lizzie March

Filed under: Uncategorized — marchbooks @ 4:03 pm
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I recently began using Twitter. It has become quite the phenomenon. Everyone and their grandmother seems to be tweeting. It is, I believe, the next step in developing our universal consciousness. More than that, it is a fun way to stay connected and a great, low-impact way for businesses to touch the public. Companies and enterpreneurs can put their message out there, in a non-invasive way (after all, how much can you say in 140 characters?) and the recipient can pick and choose what they would like to tune in on.

Obviously, the purpose of Twitter is to network with people. It facilitates that goal very nicely, to a point. I recently discovered a slight glitch (in my opinion) with the system. Twitter users make connections by following other people, who ideally, follow them back. Twitter keeps track of how many followers and followees a user has. At the same time, Twitter wants to discourage those people who just follow large numbers of people when they are not interested in following those people back (Twitter’s version of spam marketing). Although this is a valid concern, the cure can become problematic.

In order to ‘get the ball rolling’, one needs to generate a presence by following people. Fortunately, Twitter has made it relatively easy to pinpoint people on the network who have interests similar to your own. But, I think that few people (with the exception of celebrities or Barack Obama) experience 100% follow back. In my own experience, I have noted about a 50% follow back ratio of people that I did not know before joining Twitter. Do I need to say it? Even if you are not abusing the system, you are likely to eventually become top heavy in the ‘following’ department. When you hit the 2000 mark (ie. you are following 2000) you get blocked from following any more people until your followers catch up.

Here is the dilemma. Now, when someone is kind enough to follow me, I get a message telling me so and asking if I want to follow them. But, thanks to this Twitter policy, I am blocked from doing so.

I think it would be much more equitable if Twitter adjusted their policy a bit. I would suggest lowering the imposed limit from 2000 to 1000. At that point, rather than blocking all attempts to follow, Twitter could allow a user only to return-follow someone who is following them, limiting any self-initiated following until the numbers balance out.

Just my thoughts on Twitter. Tweet on people.

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