Follow Me, Follow You*

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This post is the result of reading Nicola Morgan’s great Twitter Workshop Posts and a quiet, self contained rant I’ve just had with the poodles about ‘people who follow me on twitter’. Not you of course, dear reader. I’m talking about the new followers, the ones I don’t follow back.

Let me explain.

@idiot1 is a new follower. I go to their twitter page to see who they are and learn a little about them. It seems they are a fellow writer, a photographer, a cook and a good laugh at a party. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? So I follow back and before I can *wave* and say hello, up pops a Direct Message (DM) from @idiot1 saying,

“Hi! R U a writer, photographer, cook or all round humorist?My blog is at www.blah.com. Do you have one?”

This irks me greatly for 3 reasons.

  1. If you read my Bio you’d see I was a writer
  2. If you read my Bio you’d see I had a blog and where to find it
  3. I HATE AUTOMATED TWITTER MESSAGES FROM PEOPLE WHO CAN’T BE ARSED WITH REPLYING THEMSELVES.

This usually tells me that @idiot1 has no interest in me – can you imagine that? – and is just trying to get her follower numbers up, an exercise to which I see no point.

@idiot2 is a new follower. I go to their twitter page to see who they are and learn a little about them. It seems they are a fellow writer in the same genre as myself. Could be interesting so I look at their recent tweets. These appear to be a stream of links to on line articles about anything but writing.

@idiot3 is very similar to @idiot2, but he tweets links to articles about writing so I think maybe there is a possibility I might learn something from him and I hover over the follow button until I check out his previous 3 pages of tweets only to find he interacts with no one. Never has a conversation.

Erm, SOCIAL media, people? Doesn’t that suggest you be, you know, sociable?

Anyway, we move on to @idiot4 and @idiot5. I just tweeted something along the lines of, “Gawd, getting old sucks. Had to get up to use the loo three times last night L”.  I am immediately followed by these insensitive bastards who are punting female incontinence aids and stair lifts. Idiots.

@idiot6 wasn’t followed back because they only tweet at celebrities who never, ever converse with them. Gawd knows I’ve tried with @NathanFillion (although the man seems to be immune to my charms. So far.), but I do like to talk to real people. Virtual real people. You know what I mean.

@idiot 7 through to @idiot99 are not followed back because they are one of the following:-

  • Faith healers
  • Clairvoyants
  • Internet marketers
  • Stock advisors
  • Life coaches
  • Selling toilets

These, unfortunately, make up the majority of the people I don’t follow back.

So far, so negative. What is it that will make me follow back?

I’ll usually follow back if you:-

  • Have similar interests to me and talk to people.
  • Have a hobby or occupation that intrigues me and that I’d like to learn about and talk to people.
  • Have a personal avatar – not just the twitter bird or a bloody egg (recent twitter spammers) and talk to people.
  • Are as mad as a hatter and – guess what – talk to people. Well, why else would I be following @mruku?

So, there you have the rationale behind my twitter follows. How about yours?

*With apologies to music lovers everywhere for using the title of anything Phil Collins was involved in.
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The social media thingamybobs:

23 Comments

  1. Maria Duffy
    Sep 16, 2010

    Oh I love this, Nettie. What a funny but very true post. When I first launched into the wonderful world of Twitter, I found it amusing that if I mentioned something about my feet being sore, I was all of a sudden followed by ‘helpforblisters’ or ‘soothingcreams’. Now I mostly find it annoying – especially when they bombard me with their marketing tweets. Wonderfully written post, as usual, but did you have to mention @mruku?? Isn’t his head already big enough? Heehee! Maria x

  2. Sarah Callejo
    Sep 16, 2010

    I’m still laughing at this.
    I’m starting to feel offended by the amount of cyclists and health and fitness trainers following me. Either they think I’m a fitness freak which is far from reality, either they think I need their help, which is much closer to the truth, but they have as much hope as I in succeeding.
    But one think I do know for sure, you’d have to be mad as a hatter to not want to follow Nettie.

  3. Claire King
    Sep 16, 2010

    And so say all of us!

  4. Rebecca
    Sep 16, 2010

    I totally agree with you on all counts! I have to say there are very, very few people (7) who I follow that don’t follow me back, and I don’t follow celebs (although I do follow some authors that I consider sort-of celebs myself) because I’m more interested in the chat, knowledge sharing and getting to know like minded people aspect. I smiled as I read this post as I agree with it completely. Well done you!

  5. Mr Uku
    Sep 16, 2010

    Me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me .

    In other news…although I can’t for the life of me think why you’d be interested in anything other than me…My followers include a company who specialise in painting your favourite dog on a commemorative plate, Eco-Friendly coffin manufacturers and lots and lots of urban/crunk/hip-hop DJs and rappers. I have no idea why.

    Twitter is great for many reasons but mostly it’s great because of me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me

  6. Tracy Tidswell
    Sep 16, 2010

    Ha, that is all so true! I hate people who just automatically send me a DM saying, ‘Hi, thanks for the follow, follow this link to buy my book then tell all your friends!’ I am much more likely to buy someone’s book who I’ve chatted to and am genuinely interested in.
    I get followed by support underwear, biscuits and, after an unfortunate conversation with someone about nippletassles, a couple of bondage bots. I am now a bit hurt that I’m not followed by sporty types! I have a bike!
    Also, now you’ve got me started, I hate it when people re-tweet their #ff’s and when people moan about period pains on twitter.
    Apart from that it’s fab!

  7. Kath
    Sep 16, 2010

    Fun post! I’d love to know how many people frantically checked to see if you were following them back or if they fell into the Idiot# category, after having read this. I know I did!

    • nettiewriter
      Sep 16, 2010

      That did occur to me, but I decided that most of them deserved it. And to the ones that were a genuine oversight on my part – oops!

  8. Kate Collings
    Sep 16, 2010

    Nettie you do make me laugh my lovely for everything you rings true! These people mustn’t have anything better to do with their time than send inane messages to infuriate us to high heaven!

    I’d say block them, block them, and block them some more!

    Take care hun and tweet you later, KC xx

    http://www.katecollings.blogspot.com – always welcoming new followers, guests and comments xx

  9. Jacky Fowler
    Sep 16, 2010

    This post rings so true, as it’s pretty much the same process I go through (hmmm, wonder if that might be because you introduced me to this whole Twitter thing? Doh!).

    As you say, it isn’t all about the number of followers or followees(?) you have, it’s about being able to interact with them in a social way. It takes (me) time to become confident enough to ‘butt in’ on conversations with my twopennyworth. But when I have, the response has always been welcoming – one of the great things about Twitter (no one tells you to get lost, unless you’re @mruku, who is a lost cause anyway).

    I’m loving @nicolamorgan’s blog posts about Twitter as it can be a bit daunting when you feel you’re not at all sure about Twittiquette and what is and isn’t the norm. Look forward to learning more.

    Oh, and you made me laugh, but then again, you often do.

    Jacky (@JackyHSF)
    xxxxx

    • nettiewriter
      Sep 16, 2010

      Oh, and you made me laugh, but then again, you often do. – that’s once of the nicest things you’ve ever said to me! Thank you!

      Nxxx

      P.S. I agree with you re Algernon!

  10. Marcus Speh
    Sep 16, 2010

    hmm – thanks for the fun read, glad i found this…while i am largely in agreement with you, i also feel a tad defensive, probably because i DO have an automated greeting message. it says: “thanks for following” and encourages the receiver to visit my site and my facebook page. it always seemed OK to do that because even though i have dabbled at selling toilets, not only don’t i fall squarely in any of your categories but i am actually a certified mad hatter (2 b published later this yr in http://madhattersreview.com) but i also enjoy communicating via twitter, sharing information and generally being a big fat german oaf with a bunch of cool writer friends (about 50 out of 5,000).
    and now i’m going to press the “follow” button for @nettiewriter. and if you decide to follow me back, don’t be mad! ;-))

    • nettiewriter
      Sep 16, 2010

      You see, I wouldn’t want to go look at your blog til I had got to know you a bit first – personally, I feel it is pushy and you are using twitter to promote FIRST and be sociable last. Nothing wrong with promotion – now you’re following me you’ll see me push my blog a few times over the day – but I don’t want to be ‘encouraged’ to go look at something before I’m good and ready! But just this once, I’ll ignore you’re automated message. ~;0)x

      • Marcus Speh
        Sep 16, 2010

        lol…thanks nettie, i appreciate it. we must fight back the wave of @idiocracy on twitter and elsewhere in our own small ways. i’ll see your point and i only hope i haven’t alienated anybody who might have truly liked my writing but never got there because they thought me pushy. come to think of it, i guess i am a bit pushy. that’s krauts for you! 😉

  11. Claire King
    Sep 16, 2010

    You can’t go wrong with Marcus, Nettie – he’s a superstar!
    And vice-versa, Marcus.

    • nettiewriter
      Sep 16, 2010

      Am following now, Claire!
      Nx

      • Marcus Speh
        Sep 16, 2010

        well then, how did you like my automated DM 😉

        thanks claire, very sweet of you. nettie, looking forward to reading more from you!

  12. Rebecca Brown
    Sep 16, 2010

    *frantically deleting automated messages and scheduled links about incontinence*…

    …loved this post Nettie. Brilliantly pithy summary of Twittiquette. I’m STILL rankling over being followed by Senior Psych Care – what’s that all about?! I’m not even 30!

    anyhooo…*deep breaths and moving on* thanks for this!
    Bec x

  13. cari
    Oct 5, 2010

    Love this post. Put a smile on my face on a chilly damp morning. I promise I will do my best not to sell you lavatories, incontinence aids or viagra

  14. lis
    Oct 7, 2010

    Hi Nettie,

    Love it! Did I mention that I am a Tarot reading, clairvoyant magnate myself? I don’t do twitter because I hate that “you have used too many characters”. . . .
    Sometimes I feel like Sybill, so maybe that’s why that bugs me? . . . . something else to explore.

    lis

    • nettiewriter
      Oct 7, 2010

      Don’t want to lose touch with you, Lisa, so will be using email instead – value your friendship. Nx

  15. annalyn
    Dec 31, 2010

    you should have mentioned also those idiots who follow you and once you follow back, the next thing you know they are not following you anymore. They are a bunch of losers who wants more followers and drop them one by one (jerks!)

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