At the end of each week, I have a widget thingummy that gets fired up, which lets the obsessive in me know who’d jumped the Twitter ship in the last seven days. This is important to me for several reason, mostly because this isn’t about maintaining a healthy follower count. I am ready to interact with every single person followed: the reality, of course, is that most people don’t want that. They’re here for other, nebulously uncategorisable ends. For me however, interacting with people is what this is all about.
Social media, remember?
Once upon a time the people who’d left would be paid scant attention, unless of course we’d interacted and then suddenly, without warning, that person simply left, normally with me still following them. This is bad form. You want to keep me as a follower, but not listen to me talk. Mute is no longer enough for you, it is time to remove me from your sphere, but without having to sacrifice that vital +1 I provide. That’s why people who do this now (and it’s obvious as to why as it was today) are instantly blocked, because two can play at that game.
It’s also increasingly apparent who is just using their Twitter for self promotion, that when you speak to them you are met with inevitable silence. The more you interact with real, honest individuals via the platform, the more obvious it becomes who really is listening, and that’s absolutely crucial going forward. There are changes already making waves in my timeline, curation and management approaches that will blow wide apart how it is that some exploit this medium whilst others attempt to nurture it.
The man behind the curtain might be fooling some of the people, but crucially not all of them, and the more that is opened to critical appraisal, the less likely it will be that you’ll be able to get away with anything for too long. I’ve counted three authors this week who have highlighted that other people are more than willing to duplicate their work without permission. This is neither big nor clever, and yet it keeps happening. I’ve had my work scraped at least once in current memory. Eventually, people will start calling you out.
Eventually, the real people are very easy to spot, and those who only turn up to further their own ends… well, they become even more apparent. With over 200k’s worth of tweets, I’m absolutely here for the long haul. It won’t be long until someone starts dragging up stuff from years ago to prove what a twat I can be and guess what? I am sometimes, just like everybody else. However, if you are going to treat me just as a follower and not a friend? Yeah, you can expect short shrift when you decide to fuck it up.
Sometimes, you don’t just walk away.