Twitter: Part 1 – Two Views of #followfriday

by Ron on July 16, 2009


In Part 1 of this 2-part series, Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier talks about the virtues of Follow Friday. Tomorrow his significant other, Lisa Hoover tells us why she doesn’t like it.

Guest post by Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier

I’m all about #FollowFriday on Twitter. There, I said it. I know a few folks who object to the meme because it “clutters” Twitter, or because “Twitter shouldn’t be about the number of followers you have,” etc. Unfortunately, they’re missing the point.

Why Do It?

As a tool, I don’t really think Twitter is about anything in  particular — it’s all in how you choose to use it. The overwhelming evidence so far suggests that many Twitter users do, in fact, place some value in increasing the number of followers they have. This makes sense, because the more followers you have, all the better to spark (really short) conversations with new and interesting people.

Show the Love

But I don’t #FollowFriday because I’m trolling for followers. I like the weekly opportunity to give a shoutout to my friends on Twitter, the folks who have interesting and funny things to say all week long. If I can introduce a few Tweeps to interesting people like my friend Rikki (@rikkikite) or Andy (@awafaa), why not?

And it’s also an opportunity to remind the people you follow that you appreciate them and their Tweets. A short and sweet gesture of  appreciation, and a recommendation to others that the recipient is worth checking out.

But even if some people use #FollowFriday to try to ratchet up their follower count, so what? It doesn’t affect my use of Twitter in the slightest if other people have 10, 100, or 1,000,000 followers.

Twitter is Personal

For those who say that the extra chatter generated by #FollowFriday is “ruining” Twitter, I’d say “get over it.” I didn’t care much for the seemingly unending Tweets about Michael Jackson, but that’s life. Any mass communication medium — from stodgy old newspapers to email lists, to whatever comes after microblogs — is going to have a have  more noise than signal in short order. If you get your undergarments in a bind over seeing something “off-topic” you may as well unplug the computer now.

At least on Twitter, you’ve got a fighting chance of filtering out an enormous chunk of the noise by being choosy in who you follow, and by
using TweetDeck or another client that provides additional filtering features.

Thank God it’s almost #FollowFriday.

Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier is Novell  openSUSE Community Manager. You can follow him on Twitter, Friday or not, under the handle @jzb.

Photo courtesy of respres on Flickr.

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