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Sorry, Guy, I Disagree…
14 April 2009, by , in Data Management, 8 comments

In this article on destinationcrm.com, Guy Kawasaki says:

“I think it’s inherently arrogant if you think that you are worth following, but the person following you is not worth you following,” he said. “I don’t want to send the message that 91,000 follow me, but I only follow 50. That’s a message that only 50 matter.”

With all due respect, there are plenty of people who may want to follow me on Twitter (I’m @westrochlil), but who would hold no interest for me to follow them. And the reverse is certainly true. While I may choose to follow someone tweeting about guitars (an interest of mine) I hardly expect reciprocation, as I typically only tweet about data management issues. My brother-in-law, who is a great guitarist, couldn’t care less about data management. So why follow me, even though I may follow him?

I think this takes egalitarianism a bit too far. Well, actually, way too far. C’mon, following 91,000 people!?!?! I’m no Twitter expert, but I’m having a tough time swallowing this one.

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  • Wes,

    I am so glad you posted this. I had been thinking about the etiquette of Twitter for a while now as I have seen my list of followers grow. The determination I have made is that I typically do follow new followers of mine for a while and see what they are tweeting about. If I find that the majority of their tweets have no value to me or they simply tweet all the time so I cannot keep up with it I then stop following them. Of course I have recently started being followed by some “tweet spammers” who I recognize off the bat and don’t follow them at all.

    I am glad am I not the only one who no longer feels that they have to follow everyone following them because it is the “right” thing to do.

    Thanks for standing your ground and voicing your opinion.

    Scott

  • Wes…at first, I’d heard that proper Twitter etiquette was following anyone who so requested. I’ve grown weary of that. So, I’m going to cull back my list while I look to find people who may be better aligned with my business objectives. I don’t care about a college kid who just got up, ate cereal and has homework to do. I’m trying to drive people to my blogs and websites. Frankly, I’m puzzled about how a lot of these people simply show up on my doorstep to “follow me.” When they show up, I look at their home page and ask “what’s in it for me?” In 10 seconds, I either decide they interest me or not. The vast majority don’t. I’m looking for business outcomes, not seeing how many people are following me. Am I a Twitter snob? Maybe. I don’t care. All the best…Dave

  • Wes Trochlil

    Scott and Dave, thanks for your thoughts. I don’t see how Twitter should be any different than any other medium; you pick and choose what is important to you, and you ignore the rest. Just because someone chose to listen to me hardly obliges me to listen to them. And of course, the reverse holds true.

  • I so agree with you. How can anyone follow 9,387 tweeters. I’d like to know that people following me are interested and I don’t expect people I follow to follow me back. Twitter etiquette will sort itself out over time and reason will prevail — or rational people will drop off out of boredom.

  • Still finding my way on Twitter a bit, but from the beginning I’ve pretty much only followed people I know or know of (or who have an obvious handle that I know I’ll be interested in like @PhillySportsGuy). It might come off as snobby, but right now, I’m just working on how to manage the information stream, and I need to keep it at a stream rather than the Mighty Mississippi for a little bit.

  • Wes Trochlil

    Elizabeth, next time I talk to Guy, I’ll be sure to let him know that you are inherently arrogant. 🙂

  • I may be evil, but I pretty much follow everyone back who isn’t an obvious spammer, then use Tweetdeck to sort out those who I want to pay attention to from the rest. I still go through the big pile every now and then to see if there’s anyone to add to my “must read” list, but generally, most of those tweet just fly by unread. Is this wrong?

  • Wes Trochlil

    Sue, clearly you ARE evil.

    But I’d add that I think your approach makes a lot of sense. Checking everyone out and filtering down to those you really want to listen to. Seems reasonable enough to me.

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International Registration Plan

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