Judging from the amount of local businesses that are all of a sudden “following” me on Twitter, it looks like some kind of social media “expert” has been making the rounds in my neck of the woods.
I say “following” since if you’re following 3,000 people or more there’s no way in hell you’re able to read all those tweets, or even any meaningful subsection of them. So you’re following people just to get them to check you out.
Which makes you an asshole or a sociopath.
There’s really no other way to put it.
Call me a hippie, but the whole idea of Twitter—or any kind of social network, really—is that we can find people we want to listen to and interact with outside of the established media and have ourselves a groovy old time. So when I follow somebody it’s because I find them interesting and want to hear what they have to say. And then, if they annoy me somehow1 they get unfollowed. No harm, no foul. Boom. Excellent.
Lordie, the simple haystacks-and-sunsets idea that is. Follow who you want, just because you want to. Not because you have an SEO2 plan to follow or because you are obsessed with watching the number of followers you have climb up, up, up. But you know, you do what you do. Bearing in mind that some ideas are empirically better than others.
See, what you’re doing when you’re following people you couldn’t give less than a crap about just because they’re in a geograpical area or they’ve used a certain word in a tweet is you’re breaking the code. You’re abusing the system to get my attention without wanting to reciprocate3. If that’s how you want to roll, we have a perfectly good, working mechanism for you: Buy an ad.
Yes, ads cost money. That’s because they’re a fair trade: your money in exchange for somebody’s attention. What you’re trying to do is hijack people’s attention without paying for it. Which is offensive.
Or, if you’re determined to not spend any money and use social networking instead, how about actually engaging people on Twitter? You know, being social. Which the term “social media” does more than imply, yes?
I know, I know, that takes time and effort. Not like buying some skeezy script to auto-follow everybody in your geographical area whether they loathe you or not. You know what takes time and effort? Friendship. Trust. Respect. You know, the things you’re undermining with your inane robo-follows.
In the end, this here social media thing isn’t about numbers. It isn’t about how many people are following you or friending you or whatever the next term will be; it’s about attention—the most constrained commodity in the civilized world. And it’s about people. All those little icons on twitter.com have people behind them. Real people. People who feel things.
Don’t piss on them to make a buck, is all I’m saying.
Oh, and do go ahead and follow me on Twitter….
How to annoy Nic on Twitter and get yourself unfollowed: 1) Three sports tweets in a row; 2) Effing Foursquare checkins all day long; 3) Be a firehose: Not every thought that pops into your skull needs to be broadcast. It’s a free Twitter: You can tweet up a storm as much as you want—but I don’t have to read them.↩
An SEO plan is a good idea, but it’s also a crushingly simple idea. Google—and I humbly ask you to stop and read the following words slowly, then put it in your pipe and smoke it till you understand it—tell you how to do this. There’s no magic, no trick, no silver bullet. It’s actually kind of boring. And if your SEO plan involves spamming random people on Twitter, you are an asshole or a sociopath.↩
Reciprocation in this case being defined as sharing an interest and being social about it.↩
Posted Sunday, 20 March, 2011 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.