Followers, Lemmings, Bots and Me

Someone asked me what I would do for my 30,000th follower on Twitter.
Same thing I did for my 25,000th. My 20,000th. My first.
Absolutely nothing.

I’m never going to beg for followers the way that people do because I don’t care about the number. If people want to follow me, great. If they don’t, equally great. I don’t get paid to tweet. I tweet because it’s there and there’s some expectation that people in my kind of position will tweet.

I’d really rather not. I left Twitter for almost six months and only returned because my employer at the time asked me to. I didn’t miss it.

I really enjoy the interaction with some people. I’ve met great friends. I’ve had really cool discussions. But there’s a great amount of trolls. Stupid people. Even smart people that act stupid. People think their snark is necessary. Twitter could be a great resource, except for the signal to noise ratio is vastly off for that purpose.

And their search is utterly worthless. (Want to see how bad? Search my name. You’ll see literally THOUSANDS of bots retweeting the same phrase.)

I had nearly 50,000 followers once, but it was the result of a massive inflow of bots. It took me months to get rid of them and more work than it was worth. I have no idea how people with millions of followers handle it. I watch the flak Peter King takes and wonder why he bothers at all.

There’s a lot right about Twitter. There’s a lot wrong with Twitter. I doubt I’ll buy the stock. But followers? I don’t care about a number. I care about the interaction, the conversation, the education. That’s worth putting up with some of it. For now.


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