Please Mr. Roboto, Stop Following Me!

I use Twitter, and it is a great source of information, news and links.  (Follow me @teach_j) I’ve made professional contacts via Twitter.  Right now I have about 400 followers.  I hate that term, but it works.  I follow about 360 people right now.  Most are people, a few are news organizations or professional organizations.

I read Robert Scoble’s You are SO unfollowed this week. (@Scobleizer) Now, I use Twitter a little differently than he does.  I also don’t have his thousands of followers.  But I don’t agree with how he follows people necessarily.  I have a few rules for how I decide who to follow and who to bin.

1 – Don’t be a robot.  I hate it when I tweet a term and then I get six new followers who are spambots related to that term.  I try to check my follow count about once a week and weed out spambots.

2 – Have a description – a.k.a. be someone.  I prefer to follow people in my field, journalism education.  I do follow journalists, educators and tech people.  Those are all related to what I do.  I also follow a few college journalism students too.

3 – I prefer a photo.  I’m not 100 percent against you not having a photo, but at least get a logo or an avatar.  Too often no photo = spambot.

4 – Tweet.  If you don’t ever tweet, why should I follow you.  It would be a waste for me.  Nothing to read, ever.

5 – Don’t try to sell me anything, especially something inappropriate for a teacher to have on their Twitter profile.  I immediately delete anyone trying to sell anything not directly related to my job.

6 – Don’t Twitter burst.  I delete people who clog my Twitter stream with endless updates.  I have a few exceptions to that rule, but only because they have really interesting content.  Let others get a Tweet in edgewise.  Rest your digits peeps.

7 – Reply.  Check your @me and DM (direct messages) and get back to those people who ask a question or show an interest in your domain.  Be real, be kind and be a human. I delete people who only Tweet to hear themselves Tweet.

8 – Don’t follow celebrities.  I just don’t do it, OK except for John Hodgman.  (@hodgman) But he’s just too cool not to follow.

9 – Do follow a few news feeds.  But don’t get carried away.  Follow one or two or else your Tweet client will just be news noise.

10 – Finally, don’t be a potty mouth.  I’m not a prude, but I am a teacher and my Twitter identity is based on my profession.  I use it to learn as a part of my personal learning network.  I won’t follow people there who cuss a lot.  Sorry.

1 Comment

  1. I’m still trying to figure Twitter out. I just don’t have enough time to devote to getting good at it. And now summer is almost gone, so that’s another “project” I probably won’t get to. And I have to admit…I think I’m “following” Britney Spears…

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