I guess for some folks it’s only natural to look to see how many people are following them. After all, it’s nice to feel wanted, to be popular.
I have to admit, though that I rarely look, and even now, without switching tabs and checking , I can’t tell you how many followers I have on any of the Social Media Services to which I subscribe. Rightly or wrongly I seldom look.
But auto-following? Why?
Firstly, I really don’t care who follows me. Well, that’s not quite true. I, like everyone else, like to see friends, family, and those of influence checking into what I have to say. Heck, I might even be able to have some influence myself too, one day, then!
But why do I want to blindly follow you without checking out your content first?
On services such as Twitter and Friendfeed, I get email notifications of new followers. Now, I fully realize that the ‘A’ list members probably couldn’t handle the amount of emails that this generates. However, I am happy to get a couple of dozen or so emails a day with such notifications, and I can go and check them out accordingly.
If you’re posting stuff that I’m interested in, then it’s fine – I’ll follow you. However, if you’re postings consist mainly of links to 13th century Tibetan poetry, then, I’m not interested. (I am not knocking Tibetan poetry here, but it’s an example of something I wouldn’t personally be particularly interested in).
Worse of course, is following those who post nothing but endless self-promotional links. If I meet those kind of people face-to-face would their only conversation be all about their own business, all about themselves, and nothing else? Much as I want to network on a business level as well as a social one, to continually talk about one thing all the time, quickly gets old.
Worse still of course, are the spammers. So far, my own experiences in Social Media Networking have led me to conclude there is a relatively low level of spamming activity. However, and this is my strongest point against auto-following – every time someone has auto-follow set, and they follow a spammer, it gives the spammer more fuel to carry on with their activity. If we were all to NOT auto-follow, then there would be a lot of Spammers, for example on Twitter, that would see their efforts are futile, and would be more likely to give up.
Also, with services like Twitter, following allows Direct Messaging, which gives the spam vermin yet another avenue from which to bug me.
I’d be interested to hear opposing views on this, but until I’ve been convinced otherwise, auto-following on all my services stays firmly off.
Social MediaWhat is your most useful Social Media App?
How does it work?
Unlike Facebook, you don’t have to sign up to anything. You can simply go to FriendFeed, and search for people. If you know their FriendFeed name you’ll get a page come up with everything they’re doing.
It works by collating all the feeds from all the networks that they’ve addd to their FriendFeed account, so you can can see what video they posted on YouTube, the images they uploaded to Flickr, what they just posted on their blog, and so on. There’s no advertisments getting in the way.
Facebook encourages you to add your ‘real’ friends and family. Ok, that’s nice, but lets be honest here, while some of them are very nice people, some of them are also very boring online. Do I really need to know what color socks my friend Igor is wearing this morning, or how long he had to wait for the bus? I don’t need, and don’t have time for 101 invitations to dig your ‘patch’. Ok, throwing sheep was fun for about five minutes, but it’s way past old now.
On FriendFeed, on the other hand, I ‘friend’ those that are writing stuff I find interesting, even if I don’t know them very well, or at all. I also, don’t expect them to return the compliment and follow me. A few folks seem to have an issue with that, but all I can say, is, get real!
It’s nice if some people do, as we all like to think we might be mildly interesting to at least a few folks in the world, but the high flying head of an SEO team that writes really useful stuff, probably doesn’t want to read about my relatively mundane existance.
Right now, I’m using FriendFeed a whole lot more than Facebook, for two reasons. Firstly, one click on a bookmark and I’m there. Secondly, there’s simply more interesting, easier to access stuff out there.
Of course who knows what’s around the corner, in the ever changing world of Social Media!
Tags: advertisments, blog, compliment, existance, facebook, fir, five minutes, friend feed, friendfeed, friends and family, images, invitations, media networks, nice people, opinion way, real friends, sheep, socks, whole lot