As I mentioned in a previous article, I’ve been coming to grips with Twitter in recent weeks.  While I haven’t got things completely figured out yet, I do have some points that I think I can lay on the table about what people can expect when they follow me.  I got this idea from a post on Wil Wheaton’s blog.

Following on Twitter

Following on Twitter

What to Expect When You Follow Me

Follow Me

I don’t fully understand why people follow me, but I know that there are several reasons that are possible:

  1. They are my friends on the outside.
  2. They have seen my tweets and like something they saw.
  3. They have seen me following and/or followed by someone else they admire.
  4. They just follow every user they come across hoping to get followed back so they can sell me something.

The honest truth is I don’t really care why people follow me.  I tweet what I tweet and I hope that it is entertaining, informative and/or thought provoking.  If you like it then keep following me.  If you don’t then I won’t be hurt if you drop me like 3rd period french.

I don’t send out “thanks for following” DM’s or anything like that.  It isn’t personal.  Over time we’ll likely be in touch as you reply to something I tweet or vice versa.  I do appreciate the follow but I hope that is understood.

Follow You

As for who I follow, that is part of the mix that is evolving.  Currently, I will check out the profile of anyone who follows me.  If the recent tweets seem like someone who is engaging in the social aspect of Twitter I will follow back.  If there is a high content of links to your own sites then I may check out your bio link first.  I don’t mind seeing links back to the tweeter’s own site but if that’s all it is then it’s a pretty hard sell for me.

One thing that I’ve seen recently that I’ve decided is that I won’t even check the bio of people who have completely different names compared to their account.  For example, “Susan Doe (@maryrae) is now following you on Twitter…” is not going to get a follow.  Your Twitter name need not be your real name (mine isn’t) but using 2 different real names is not going to cut it.

I don’t need someone to follow me simply because I follow them either.  If your tweets are interesting to me I’ll follow you.  I don’t expect anything in return.  I know how hard it is to keep up with under 200 so I can’t imagine dealing with 10,000 or more.

Other Follow Sources

I will also follow other people when I see a re-tweet or reply that is interesting.  Often, I will see an interesting reply by someone I follow without seeing the original.  Thankfully many replies include a link to the original message if the user clicked the Reply button and I can then find the original tweet.  I’ve found some good follows that way.

Follow Friday is another good way to find followers.  See the tweets from people you enjoy and follow the people they enjoy.  You’ll find a lot of good stuff that way.

There are lots of other ways to find people to follow on Twitter, but these are the ones I use (so far).


A lot of people get upset when someone unfollows them.  It doesn’t bother me, so don’t feel bad if you don’t like my tweets — it won’t hurt my feelings or anything.  Twitter is only useful if you are getting what you want or need from it and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.  I’m not in it for the numbers although big numbers are still nice to have.

So far I haven’t unfollowed very many people.  There are some people whose tweets I skim rather than read but so far I haven’t resorted to filtering or groups.  That may come if my group of follows gets much bigger — it is hard to digest sometimes.

The Future

I don’t know how these guidelines will evolve in the future.  I’m still learning Twitter and I think Twitter is still evolving.  It will be interesting to see how it handles things when it becomes more mainstream.



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