Today, July 4, 2009, Robert Jones became the 100th person to follow me on Twitter. Dave Zatz was the first non-automated follower to follow me. Thanks Robert & Dave. Joining Twitter on June 4, 2008, it took exactly 13 months to go garner my first 100 followers.
Having reached the 100-follower milestone, it’s as good a time as any to reflect on my experience to date.
On Followers and Following
Who I Follow: For the most part, the only people I follow on Twitter are those that I have an ongoing relationship with (about 15 to 20 people) and thought leaders (about 35 people). In order for me to continue following someone they must have a high wheat-to-chaff ratio. Meaning, most of their tweets must be about topics I am interested in – not what they ate for lunch.
Loyalty: I am a rather loyal sort. If I follow someone, I follow them. The reason the list of people I follow is short (by Twitter standards) is because I read/scan most every tweet that comes in.
The Kawasaki Exception: Early on I followed Guy Kawasaki. He was/is an interesting Twitter user. But this guy (pun intended) doesn’t know when to stop! He sends out torrents of tweets each day. I couldn’t take it any more. He is the only person I unfollowed because of too many interesting tweets. FYI his post: “How to Pick Up Followers on Twitter” is pretty good except for his advice to follow everyone that follows you – ugh!
How I Found those I Follow: The best way of finding interesting people is to mine the following list of the people that I already follow.
Who I do Not Follow: Anyone else. I know, this makes me an anomaly on Twitter. I don’t have the time to follow many more people. If I follow someone new and stick with them, I’ll usually remove someone else.
I Do Not Follow to be Followed: Most people that have huge follower lists also follow a huge number of people. How can someone follow 10,000 people? 1,000 people? Really!? I can barely keep up with the 50 people I follow.