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7 January 2009

How do I choose who to follow back on Twitter?

A long time ago I confessed to @SilkCharm that I did not get Twitter and was about to abandon it. But at her urging I persisted with the darn thing. Then quite quickly there were a whole bunch of people following me, and it became necessary to develop a set of rules for who to follow back.

My rules are pretty simple and I like reciprocity, real people and conversations.

THE 'NO' QUESTIONS - if the answer to these questions is 'no' then I'll probably follow back:

  1. Does this Twitter account seem to be a bot or a spammer?
  2. Do they just talk self-marketing crap?
  3. Do they just post marketing links?
  4. Do they just have the default avatar?
  5. Do they have only 1 or 2 posts that are old?
  6. Do they have hardly any followers but follow a zillion people?

THE 'YES' QUESTIONS - if the answer to these questions is 'yes' then I'll probably follow back:
  1. Do they have a link to another 'real' website?
  2. Is it a real person or a company that I might want to have a conversation with?
  3. Have they got some recent posts that indicate a person who's into communication?
  4. Does their website look interesting?
  5. Would I want to chat with this person at a cocktail party based on their tweets?
Now this bunch of rules gets applied whimsically depending on how I feel. Mostly I try to be reciprocal but don't always follow people back for various reasons that usually relate to some combination of answers to the questions above.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

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