Jun
26





Why I Don’t Want To Do #FollowFridays On Twitter Anymore

Why I Do Not Want To Do Follow Fridays on Twitter AnymoreFollow Fridays on Twitter exhaust me.

Before I go any further, if you don’t know what “Follow Fridays” on Twitter is, here is a great explanation for the uninitiated: #FollowFriday: The Anatomy of a Twitter Trend

I really think it’s a great idea. A designated day to recommend people you follow to people who follow you. In concept, it’s a great way to share, encourage and help to enhance others’ Twitter experience. When I first started using Twitter and learned about #FollowFriday, I thought it was brilliant. Then the next Friday came around and I discovered that I could play a little numbers game to grow my own follower count. I got caught up in recommending people solely because I knew they would recommend me back. And that second week I gained over 150 new followers!

I was hooked. I thought I had found the mother lode! The Holy Grail of non-automated follower increase. The REAL Twitter Traffic Machine Secret.

But over the next week as I began to interact with others on Twitter, I realized that there were some great people who I really DID value and wanted to make sincere recommendations to show my appreciation to them and to share the treasures I had found with others.

Suddenly I had a problem. How could I stay true to the original intention of #FollowFriday while still taking advantage of the growth in followers that potentially can happen because of this weekly phenomenon?

And as I asked myself that question I realized I already knew the answer.

In everything that I do – personally, professionally, creatively – I strive for integrity. Unfortunately this isn’t going to make me rich and has cost me friends, clients and colleagues – I know, that’s sad. But in the end I believe honesty and integrity are my two most prized possessions.

So how did I get caught up in focusing on the quantity of my followers instead of the quality and value of the relationships and connections I was beginning to make via Twitter?

It’s easy to do. Especially for a competitive, obsessive, perfectionist like me.

But as this thought process unveiled the reality of my situation, I quickly ditched the desire for follower growth and returned to the original reason I began using Twitter in the first place: to meet and connect and learn and grow as a person, a designer, a freelance business person and a creative being.

One of the articles I read that helped me climb my way out of the depths of the Twitter follower growth trap was written by Khayyam Wakil (@iamkhayyam), a guy I have come to know through Twitter as a kindred spirit. You can read it here: #FollowFriday is dumb

I took Khayyam’s suggestion and began recommending individuals, using the #imjustfollowing hash tag and a personal explanation for each.

That’s when Follow Fridays became even more exhausting.

I currently follow over 2,000 people on Twitter and engage in conversation with a significant percentage of those people. Pretty much anyone else that wants to have any kind of personal contact, I am game. So how in the world am I supposed to keep track of all these great people I follow and recommend them each personally to the 3500+ that follow me?

Hopefully this long explanation has helped you understand the situation I have found myself in. Maybe you have found yourself in a similar predicament.

So as I’ve traveled around the internet I have begun to see a new trend in recommending people on Twitter. Here’s my plan:

Starting today and every Friday from here on out, I will post a compilation (not a list!) of the people on Twitter that I want to recommend to others. I will try to organize them with some general and/or specific descriptions that hopefully will help you determine if they are right for you to follow. I realize that I follow different people on Twitter for a number of different reasons and just because I follow someone doesn’t mean they will be the right “fit” for your Twitter experience. Each week I will add new people that come to mind in a new post and build a permanent reference list for anyone that wants to use it.

In the end, isn’t the result the same?

I hope you will find this helpful. I apologize to those that would rather have a Twitter-based recommendation, but I hope you will embrace the intent. Instead of a load of lists spewed out and adding to the #FollowFriday clutter, I will link to these posts and tweet about them on occasion. Also, if you are scanning the recommendations for yourself and end up disappointed, PLEASE don’t be offended. Most likely it just means yours will be a future Friday post. If it REALLY bothers you, shoot me an email and let me know. I know all too well how it feels to be left out of someone’s blog post when you thought for SURE you would be included. Unfortunately, this post is already a tad lengthy and to include ALL the wonderful people I’ve met on Twitter would be a ridiculously long affair.

So, without any further explanation, here is my first week of Twitter recommendations:

I hope this group of some of my personal Twitter favorites will prove helpful in your search for quality people to follow. Come back next Friday when I will share more of the treasures I have found on Twitter. Or just go through my profile and follow the 2000+ that I do. I don’t automatically follow back. Ever. I make an educated decision to follow someone after I go through their profile and website. So the people i follow are there for a very specific reason. And I promise you it’s not Twitter politics or an attempt to grow my follower count. I already learned that lesson.

  • http://z3bb.net/blog/ z3bbster

    Very true what you say here! I started a similar method last week. Its better to explain WHY some tweep is nice to follow! Not only mention some names.

    • bkmacdaddy

      I think this is a trend that others are beginning to follow (including me). Obviously, I like this better!

  • http://www.candicemyee.com Candice M. Yee

    Incredibly flattered to be included in your non-list compilation, especially given the amazing tweeps I get to see my name next to (doesn’t happen often)… SUPER cool, man! THANKS!

    • bkmacdaddy

      No problem – others don’t know what they’re missing out on by not following you! =)

  • http://bonscrapatitdesigns.blogspot.com Linda Walton aka bobbysgirlforever

    Brian, I could not agree with you more on the subject of #FollowFriday on Twitter!

    Too funny, in fact, as I was just sitting here thinking about my feelings of the direction that #FollowFriday has taken recently. Not at all what I had hoped it to be and yes, it is very exhausting!

    My understanding was that we were to include a GOOD reason as to why those we select for others to follow are worthy of following and not just as a gesture of thanks for being a subject of a fellow Twitterer’s #FollowFriday. This is also a long-running issue with blog awards in my honest opinion.

    Ahh, and then came your Tweet and link to, this, your second blog post, which is an EXCELLENT read and will be Re-tweeted by me as well!

    I, too, wish those that I follow and vice-versa to represent my desire to continually learn and grow as a person, a designer, a photographer, a blogger and so on! To me, it has never been a numbers game, but another tool with which to share my passion(s) and to keep abreast of those from my Twitter friends.

    I still consider myself fairly green at social media, but LOVE the world that has been opened up to me and the AMAZING relationships that I have made in the process.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog content and shall be looking forward to future posts! You are a prolific writer and I hope to glean from you as well.

    Have a SPECTACULAR weekend! Undoing my seat belt now … :-D

    • bkmacdaddy

      Thanks for the kind words & encouragement. It sounds like we are not alone, based on the other comments & Twitter feedback I’ve received.

  • http://artroxthinks.wordpress.com/ Nicky Tillyer (@artrox)

    Totally agree. Last week I used Mr Tweet and found that to be quite good because you have to be specific.

    Early in your Twitter ‘birth’ #FF is exciting because you do see people sometimes recommend you, it’s an ego boost for sure, and as you say you watch your follower list creep up.
    But what spoils it are the endless lists of 6,7,8 names without any why or wherefore.

    As you say, people who don’t auto follow everybody chose their follows for the value and content and good tweets they share…are we to recommend them all?

    I had a rule of recommending people i had interacted with that week, because lets face it you don’t chat to everybody all the time, but that too proved exhausting as I trawled back through my @replies to remember conversations!

    So I’m with you…I personally like Mr Tweet, but like your way too, and thanks soooooo much for your wonderful words. I’m loving that I found you and here’s to a long business relationship too…the Mac Daddy makes me JUMP JUMP…c’mon sing with me…..

    • bkmacdaddy

      I think Mr. Tweet is a great route to go (as do others here) and use it myself. Pehaps we can start a movement to migrate from #FF to Mr. Tweet?

  • http://digigirlmisty.blogspot.com Misty Belardo

    Thank you for including me on your list, I am truly honored. I do enjoy recommending people that i follow on Twitter, including you and yes i agree, there are days when its hard for me to make the recos due to time constraints. I started doing Mr. Tweet recos and I do find it much better. Not only does it boosts my followers’ influence but more long range benefits for them as it also makes them more searchable in the network. Great post. Thank you for sharing

    • bkmacdaddy

      As I just replied to Nicky, I agree – Mr. Tweet is a great tool for this. I hope we can all encourage others to use it instead of the clogging up that happens on Fridays…

  • http://allancockerill.com/ Allan Cockerill

    I really like the way you have gone the extra mile in the way you’ve laid out this post.

    FF as it is at present is simply a series of tweets with a list of user names on them.

    Usually with no explanation of why I should follow someone.

    Once people start retweeting the noise gets pretty unbearable, so I can only imagine what it would be like with a mega following.

    It’s a pity that Twitter doesn’t have a ‘mute this conversation’ feature similar to Plurk at times like this.

    Cheers
    Allan (@Ozegold)

    • bkmacdaddy

      If you use Tweetdeck you can filter out all the #followfridays, which is nice. But not many others will allow this.

      Thanks for the visit and the comment!

  • http://dorkmuffin.com OneLuvGurl

    Thanks for including me in the list! I agree with you on everything. I stopped doing it a while back and started doing the #imjustfollowing hashtag like @iamkhayyam, but I stopped doing that and started recommending people to MR. Tweet on any given day for any reason because I think it is more helpful, informative, and fun.

    Cheers! :)

    April aka @OneLuvGurl

    • bkmacdaddy

      Another vote for Mr. Tweet! Maybe I should start asking for a commission and send everyone there instead? ;-)

  • http://kovshenin.com kovshenin

    Thanks for the props Brian! Brilliant idea about doing follow fridays on your blog, I’m thinking of writing a WordPress plugin for that ;)

    Cheers buddy,
    - @kovshenin

    • bkmacdaddy

      You better let me know when it’s done. This was a lot of work! Thanks for stopping by, buddy!

  • http://www.twitter.com/khalilaleker Khalil Aleker

    Awesome post and very true bro – I love your tweets…keep it coming :)

    • bkmacdaddy

      Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog, my friend! And thanks for the encouragement. I’ll try to keep up…oh, the pressure…

  • Becky Lingafelter

    Thanks for including me in your awesome non-list Brian. I’m honored and completely surprised.
    I totally agree with your position on #FollowFriday. It’s not about “numbers” for me either – it’s about building relationships with people that share my interests. Choosing to post your #FollowFriday recommendations to your blog is a great idea. I’ve already started following several new people and I look forward to future additions.
    As for me, last week I started using Mr. Tweet for recommendations and plan to continue since I think it’s more helpful than the #FollowFriday lists (and I don’t currently have a blog).
    Have a great weekend Brian!
    Becky

    • bkmacdaddy

      Another vote for Mr. Tweet! I’m thinking that might be one of the better in the multitude of Twitter apps that are springing up all over the place. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://lambsios.vox.com Lambi Lentakis

    I also totally agree with your position on FollowFriday. From this week I will be using Mr Tweet to suggest names to follow & explain why I find them interesting.

  • Pingback: FollowFriday Recommendations Week 28 | Z3bb Blog

  • http://www.seopositive.com Seopositive

    Very nice post. thanks for the post.

  • http://www.seopositive.com Seopositive

    nice post

  • http://clutterlovers.countzeero.eu countzeero

    Here´s another one who appreciates the time and effort needed to compile a “non-list” like this. I too have been using Mr Tweet to recommend people instead of the blah blah #ff method which I feel doesn´t do justice to the cool people on my handpicked “friends” list.

  • http://www.faqpal.com Pliggs

    Ecellent article, we all have gotten caught up in the #followfriday thing trying to grow our followers.

    I generall recommend people who actually engage with me on Twitter. Thats my requirement for recommending people.

    Good post.

    @Pliggs

  • Pingback: What’s the REAL deal with #FollowFriday on Twitter? « Goodtravel Design’s Blog

  • http://www.ecstewart.com EC (Lisa) Stewart

    This is a great idea and much more authentic than just popping a name into the remaining 138 characters.

    Think I’ll follow suit!
    @ecstewart

  • http://skillz-community.net shurandythode

    I somewhere find myself in this article.

    It’s indeed a better way to compile and share some of your followers to others. I have been doing that since September.

    _http://skillz-community.net/blog/web-design/5-tweeps-you-should-follow-on-twitter/

    _http://skillz-community.net/blog/web-design/5-great-tweeps-every-designer-must-follow-on-twitter/

    I even came up with this idea I posted this week. It’s difficult for me to keep conversations every day with all my great tweeps because I don’t always have the time for it. But sometimes I do check up on them by saying hi and asking how’s everything. =)

    I decided to create a Millionaire Monday post to give thanks to the wonderful people we follow on Twitter. The name of the post says it all, a million thanks worth a millionaire Monday. You can check that post here _http://skillz-community.net/blog/millionaire-monday/millionairemonday-05/

    Long story short, I’m a fan and frequent reader of your blog. You always share inspirational and creative links. This article is another example of why I think you also deserve a million thanks.

    P.S I think I’m definitely quitting the ff tweets with all user names. Thanks for writing and sharing this article.

  • Pingback: Choose your next #FollowFriday using Koego twitter stats | Andrea Olivato's Blog