I've been getting a ton of follower notices for Twitter. Many are spam (block) or medical companies/nurse recruiters (OK, but I'm not following you back), but lots are also pretty interesting nurses. My Twitter group has therefore gotten pretty big, and I decided I need criteria for unfollowing people or deciding whether to follow them to begin with. Here's NNR's list of cardinal Twitter sins (meaning ways to get unfollowed or never followed):
- Tweet about your follower stats. No one cares. I don't even know why YOU do.
- Tweet what you are listening to on blip.fm every few minutes so that I suddenly have 50 tweets, all from you, all indicating that you like Barry Manilow. Ixnay.
- Include more than two hash tags with every tweet. If I have to wade through your tags to get to your content (if any), screw it.
- Indicate that you are now, or have ever been, a Bush/war supporter.
- Use Twitter only to push out updates to your blog.
- Tweet each meal you eat and chore you do. WTF is this: reality Twitter?
- Never produce an original tweet so your entire repertoire is composed of, eg, @some_eejit Me too!
- Exclusively tweet about the amazingly intelligent things your toddler does (especially conversations involving contents and consistency of diapers; adult diapers in nursing discussions are, however, perfectly legit).
Conversely, I'll instantly and devotedly follow you if you
- Are funny
- Are irreverent, funny, and agree with me
- Appropriately use phrases such as "what the bloody feck" and coin delightful terms such as "twunt"
- Appreciate good body function stories (nurses, I'm talking to you)
- Recommend cool applications, Web sites, books, or movies
- Keep me updated on what is actually happening in the world so that I can avoid the farcical "media"
These are obviously just general rules, most of which are, like all good rules, made to be broken. I usually enjoy the odd snapshot or vignette about toddler antics thrown in with other tweets, and obviously Twitter is made for conversation. Some people just go waaaaay overboard. Like, "Poop coming out now." Too much information. And seriously: if you're following me and 5,493 other people and have no updates, why should I follow you? Wait! It's so I can boost my follower stats, which I will NOT be tweeting!
UPDATE 5/28/09: Just noticed Twittercism has a similar list, some of which I agree with. This "if you don't follow me back, I'm taking my toys and going home" trend, though, I see no point in. I follow people because they're funny or whatever. I usually never even KNOW if they follow me back. This goes into the category of my not understanding, at all, the obsession with follower stats. Let us lighten up. And just as a reminder, people you're not following can still converse with you with @mentions, so what's the big effin' deal other than an ego thing?