Following You, Following Me

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Just a short post. Oh by the way, before I launch into the main thrust of my talk, I saw a video today of Matt Cutts giving a talk at WordCamp San Francisco 2009 in which he said that bloggers should post about the things they know best, so actually this blog must be the best blog in the universe because I’m writing about a subject that no-one knows better, me.

Cutts has a lot more to say, and he’s quite a good speaker in a reasonable way, so I’d recommend the above video to anyone with their own WordPress blog, or even a passing interest in SEO.

Anyway, I digress. My rant right now is Twitter’s FollowFridays, a process where people recommend Tweeps they’ve enjoyed to other Tweeps who are following them: it allows their followers to jump between Venn-diagram like follower groups to  follow new people outside the Tweeps they follow. Do you follow?

I love FollowFridays. I try to make something special of my heartfelt recommendations every week.

One week, I did it all in rhyming couplets. Another week it was all in ransom notes. They still talk fondly of the Friday I encoded every recommendation using the World War Two Enigma machine as used in the factually-sensitive movie U571.

For me, a FollowFriday recommendation must be honest, genuine and meaningful.

So it irks me when my #FF is re-tweeted by a total stranger (probably a spammer) who just sees it as a lazy way to get their Tweet-name more widely known to my Tweeps. They think it makes them look friendly and inviting. I think they’re parasites.

And I’m also annoyed by FollowFriday recommendations from people who don’t follow me themselves: why, if you’re not prepared to commit, should you insist others do?

This seems to happen most often with people who have achieved some sort of celebrity status, as it did with me again today. By the way, the following story ends well, which says a lot about the person concerned.

Karen Krizanovich — TV and radio presenter, Journalist, Agony Aunt, personal trainer — is on Twitter as @Krizanovich. I have a great deal of time for Karen’s writing and her outlook on life and we’ve had several good conversations on the Twitter network, so I’m more than happy to recommend her to anyone, and I did again today.

Shortly afterwards, I recieved a tweet from Karen saying …

@maxormark I #ff you! Right back!

… but Karen wasn’t on  my fan list.

I’m cool with that; even *I* can’t (even won’t) follow everyone who follows me, and I’m just a civilian.

However, albeit fuelled by some indefinite quantity of alcohol, I decided I would challenge her. I wrote…

sort of begs the question: Why aren’t *you* following me, if you’re asking others to …

Karen, beeing the star she undoubtably is, didn’t go all Diva on me; she launched into another conversation. She told me simply

“Thought I was!

There then followed a series of mutual feed lines about spammers and junk mail and eventually everyone felt good.

@Krizanovich now follows @maxormark.

Most of us civilians have experience of being seemingly ignored by celebrities: I can think of several people in this categorywho I simply don’t follow any more.

However, tonight’s experience has left me wondering (just a little bit) … perhaps it’s just that they *think* they’re following us. Or perhaps not.