Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Twitter Snobs




I'm a relative noobie to Twitter, despite first trying the service back in August last year. Like many, I initially didn't see the point. Some 8 months later, after some phenomenal growth, and Twitter has become a permanent feature both on my PC and on my mobile.The main change has been the growth in local users; it's brilliant to be able to follow fellow South Africans when a local news story is developing. The Zuma fiasco is a case in point, as reports flooded in when the judgement was being announced. Fascinating stuff.But I don't restrict myself to only following South Africans. It's equally interesting to hear what's going on around the world. And many of my favourite personalities on Twitter are from other parts of the world. This map from Map My Tweeps give you some idea:

I'm not much of a fan of big-name celebrities, but many are now represented on Twitter. I follow Lance Armstrong, because I know he personally updates, and as a cycling fan his views are gold.
And this brings me to the subject of my blog; the people I call Twitter Snobs. Lance Armstrong has (as of today) 530,557 followers, but only follows 49 people himself. And that's OK, because it's impossible to actually follow half a million people. But I think he's losing out. He's using Twitter to put his thoughts out there, but what is he gaining? I'm sure he gets tonnes of stuff directed at him, and probably spends some time trying to answer a select few, but I think he's missed the point.

So what are Twitter Snobs then? Twitter Snobs are people that don't follow back. They Twitter in their own little circles, without ever venturing out. You can follow them, reply to one of their postings, and actually have a conversation, and they still don't make the effort to follow back. I, like 16% of the Twitter uses out there, use Tweetdeck. This allows me to form groups, so I can have a live feed of everyone, then specific feeds for friends, family, or whoever. I'm always on the lookout for interesting new people to follow, but I think if I'm going to listen to you, it would be really nice if you would give my random thoughts a listen now and again. I tried an app that automatically follows everyone that follows you for a while, but soon cut it off as I was inundated by marketing Tweets. A couple of times a week I now use a program like Twitter Karma and check if anyones following me that I'm not following back. I think this is just good Twitter etiquette. And then I'll also use the same program to see who's not following me back, and unless you're really interesting, or Lance Armstrong, 'Whack!', you're gone from my Twitterland.
Come on people, follow back!

Thanks for reading.