Earlier today, I received a bunch of tweets, simply featuring the Twitter names of other users. For example…
For those new to Twitter, this is ‘Follow Friday’ in action – a Twitter ‘meme’ that has been around almost as long as the social networking service itself.
A Twitter meme is a thing that you might do individually, which has grown up around Twitter that makes it more useful (such as Retweets and Hashtags) or a thing that people might do as a group for fun.
‘Follow Friday’ falls into the latter category.
For want of a better description, ‘Follow Friday’ takes place when a Twitter user suggests another Twitter user to follow, each Friday.
What’s the purpose of this? It allows Twitter users to isolate people of interest to their followers and share this ‘valued’ tweeter.
If you are identified in a ‘Follow Friday’ tweet, feel proud. It means others believe you have interesting things to say (he says with not-so-humble glee at his inclusion in this viral practice for the first time today).
But, of course, if you get involved, this practice is inherently exclusionary (i.e. You can’t put forward all the people in your Twitter network as interesting and this means that you can, therefore, risk stepping on toes).
I have, therefore, turned to the omnipotent power of a Google search, and found five tips for not hurting feelings:
- Opt out – Just don’t get involved
- Categorize – So perhaps you would have “PR Twitters” or “Scottish Twitters”
- Only new Tweets – Recommend the people from the last week who made an impact
- Helpful Tweets – People who helped you especially this week
- Most interactive – Suggest people who had the most conversations with you
Personally, schools out for me on this one.
At what point does twittering cease being helpful and simply make you a twit?