Can we all make #followfriday suck a little less?

by David Spark on August 27, 2009

I’m not a fan of the current format of #followfriday which is currently just a non-contextual listing of @ reply’s to Twitter users you enjoy following.  For example:

richardpoolton_tweetWhile I’m all for being recognized on Twitter (thanks to all the people who have #followfriday’ed me), I’m stunned that the Twitter community has communally accepted the sans justification recommendation.

In every other aspect of your life would you accept a recommendation without reason?

  • “You should hire Susan.”
  • “Brad would be great on your softball team.”
  • “You should go out with Steve.”

In any of those situations would you simply just say, “OK” and then follow up with that person? Of course not. You’d probably first ask why should you hire, enlist, or date the recommended person.

If we ask for justified recommendations in every single aspect of our lives, then why do we behave any differently on Twitter?

My guess as to why this #followfriday format of just listing names came about is the fact that we can fit multiple people in a single tweet. But why jam everyone into a single tweet? Why can’t Richard Poolton (above) simply send out seven separate tweets with a one line explanation as to why we should follow each person? Those recommended people and Richard’s followers would appreciate the context. And it would probably result in more followers. I don’t mean to pick on Richard. Almost everyone who engages in #followfriday does this.

The suggestion of one name per #followfriday with context is the result of an incredibly nice #followfriday I received from PR pro, @rachelakay.

@rachelakay's Follow Friday

So whaddya say everybody? Let’s put an end to #followfriday listing. From now on, here’s my suggested #followfriday policy for all Twitter users:

Each #followfriday tweet should promote just one person along with a “why follow” justification.

Lack of context on tweets is not just isolated to #followfriday. I try to make every tweet self-contained, meaning that each tweet can be read and understood on its own (see “My Personal Twitter Policy. What’s Yours?”).

Agree with me? Disagree with me? Think I should spend my time complaining about something else? Let me know.

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