Axel Springer pulls out of race for Rzeczpospolita
Freesheets may be in the frontline trenches of this war, but it's only the tip of the iceberg

Twitter Friend Optimization (TFO)

This is just so sad, sad as in pathetic if you were in doubt about in which way (via Paul Bradshaw on Twitter).

It's "just the latest in a series of games played by people who see you and me as numbers, notches in the social media belt, and not as people worth engaging with, or who have something of value to say and who are looking to be informed by others. I call this Twitter Friend Optimization (TFO)."

Actually, it's just the last in a row of examples of Twitter behaviour aimed at gaming the system which baffles and annoys me. I get this kind of follow/unfollow bullshit as well, and it basically makes anyone who's playing that game look like a twat in my eyes.

Similarly, a lot of the tips here are plain stupid if you want to use Twitter for other things than a numbers game aimed at boosting your superficial coolness factor. For instance, I'd never use something like Huitter: there are many good reasons for following people who don't follow back, such as being very interested in their thinking, work etc.

For my own part, I use Twitter for work and keeping up with friends and contacts. I usually follow back if you look like you're an actual person and tell me who you are (preferably by linking to your blog to give me an impression of who you are, or at least have a photo and description of who you are/what you do), and we have key interests in common (like media, journalism, blogs, social media, communications etc.) If I don't know you, I'm not going to follow back if your updates are protected. Also, I'm amazed at how many people don't tell me who they are, even PRs, but I think I'll rant about that some other time....

And, just as a quick disclaimer right now: I'm not perfect. I can be late following back if I'm very busy, get too many emails or am too busy then forget my intentions - but I usually catch up at some point. I'm genuinely interested in following, and reading, the people I do follow, but make a point of cleaning up my follow list for all those playing the follow-unfollow game regularly... 

Update 20-03/09, 11:30 CET: Just found this nice app via Magne Uppman on Twitter, which gives you an idea of what my Twitter followers are about (the wordcloud changes a bit every time I retry it though)



The comments to this entry are closed.