More cynical about Twitter than ever

“But there +is+ value in having a great group of people you’re following. Follow @craignewmark and you’ll see what Craig is seeing or thinking (he’s the founder of Craigs’ List). Follow @pierre and you’ll see what he’s thinking (he’s the founder of eBay). Follow HRBlock and you’ll see what the team at H&R Block is … Continue reading “More cynical about Twitter than ever”

“But there +is+ value in having a great group of people you’re following. Follow @craignewmark and you’ll see what Craig is seeing or thinking (he’s the founder of Craigs’ List). Follow @pierre and you’ll see what he’s thinking (he’s the founder of eBay). Follow HRBlock and you’ll see what the team at H&R Block is thinking about taxes and such. Follow @newmediajim and you’ll see what Jim Long, who is a camera guy in the press pool at the White House, is thinking about.”

“People still aren’t getting this. They didn’t get how I was using Twitter and still don’t. I follow the world’s best early adopters, business executives, and entrepreneurs. I really don’t care if I have a single follower. If I defined myself by my followers I’d always feel inadequate. If I define myself by the people who I follow, well, I follow the smartest, richest, coolest, funniest people in the world. That makes me smarter, richer, cooler, and funnier.”

In the same voice, Robert claims to be following over TWENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE.

It’s bullshit.

Follow the people who are the movers and shakers. Follow Craig Newmark. Follow the people who are doing cool work. But before you get enveloped in your own hype, consider if it is possible to process the tweets of 20000 people and get any work done in a day. No, it’s just a number. It’s a self-serving hype machine.

See the difference between a spammer and a self-hype-machine?

I don’t.

For example.

Robert is following 20207 people and is followed by 19076 people.
Today I was ‘followed’ by half a dozen spambots which, you’ll note, added me and then dropped me. Reason being that you receive an update when someone follows you but not when they stop following you. So it’s a brief marketing ploy and one you’d have to check up on.

I’m cynical. Following 20 000 people dilutes the value of Twitter because your chance of seeing anything of value is greatly diminished. Unless, of course, you’re filtering the content of the thousands of nobodies and only really listening to the tens of A-listers.

And if you’re just listening to A-listers…