3 Ways to #Follow Better Than #ff
In the last couple of months I’ve been waging a spirited attack on the Twitter institution of Follow Friday, #ff for short. If you follow me, you’ve probably noticed.
But here is my pain: the spirit behind Follow Friday is nothing if not pure and good. If you know me at all, you know I’ve dedicated my life to propagating good karma as best I possibly can! So… what’s my beef with this custom? I think anyone has the right to ask, and it’s on me to prove my case – which I try to do on the post that started it all.
Follow Friday was established years ago for experienced users to help newcomers out: “New to Twitter? If you follow these folks, your experience will be much better, much faster. Enjoy!” When done well, it’s also a really great way to tell those you enjoy and admire, “I think enough of you to recommend you to my network.”
…When done well. The problem is tweets like this, which are completely meaningless, though I’m sure well-intended (so I left out the sender’s name/avatar):
#ff @DouroCasino @NooDelegansa @kylejnorton @pollardsmill @Bestevillas @LDCaribbean @weddingmarket @AS_photographyy @Craighross
This type of list doesn’t give you a reason to follow any of these people! What’s more, with Twitter so well-established by now, everyone’s doing this, a lot, and so these meaningless lists are clogging up the Friday tweet-stream like plaque in a bacon-lover’s arteries.
There’s a better way – several, in fact. As someone who has no respect for critics and pot-shot-takers, it’s against my nature to just tell you what not to do without also recommending a preferable alternative. I apologize for the delay. Here are some great ways to #Follow right.
1. Six days a week – but not Fridays, please! – recommend one person at a time, with a heartfelt reason, using #Follow rather than #ff.
Here’s an example of a good #follow recommendation, from one of my favorite people on Twitter, Steve Keating. As you can see for yourself, it’s thoughtful. (Please note that I tweaked it to remove #ff. I don’t think Steve will mind).
@LeadToday: When you follow @KateNasser you receive daily insights that helps you improve yourself. #Follow this leader today!
Isn’t that far better than a stupid list?
2. This next example is nearly the best ever, by Gini Dietrick (aka @spinsucks). Yes, each week she writes a blog post featuring one person and explaining at length why you should follow them.
Did I say nearly the best? Yes indeed, and here’s why.
3. My fairly new friend Chuck Kent (aka @creative on call ) truly takes the cake when it comes to rocking the alternatives to stale and plaque-y old #ff.
Now, I know this last one seems like a lot of pressure. “A song, Ted?” you may be thinking.
Have you ever heard me sing?
And as for writing lyrics…
That’s just not my thing!
No worries at all. Seriously. Just one thoughtful tweet, like Steve’s, about one person each week is above and beyond the call of duty. If you’re up for more than one, you’re a superstar in my eyes – probably the eyes of your followers as well.
So what then if you are indeed new to Twitter, and you want to know who I recommend you follow? Let me start by saying that I’ve met so many fascinating people, formed so many abiding friendships along the way, that I almost don’t know where to begin.
Almost. Where I would begin, if I were you, is on my (or anyone else’s) Twitter lists. I have several, including this one for ExchangeGain’s League of Extraordinary Thinkers. That is where I’d start if I were looking for a follow recommendation that would instantly improve the quality of my online experience.
Collect fascinating people. That has been my passion for most of my life. In my experience, that is the most beneficial aspect of this new Social Age we’ve entered. And of all the media out there, by far the highest-yield for me has been Twitter. If you’re a veteran tweeter, you know what I mean. If you’re still a novice… well, stick around is all I can say. I promise, you’ll agree with us vets soon enough!
Now go forth to #Follow and recommend!
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