Twitterscaping (verb) – to manicure one’s Twitter feed so as to enhance genuine relationships and remove unwelcome detritus.
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with certain practices on Twitter from the beginning, most notably the rituals of Writer Wednesday (#WW) and Follow Friday (#FF). I understand their purpose. I applaud any measure which allows people to recognize one another from a place of authenticity. However:
- It feels too much like picking teams for school gym, where even if all players are equal, they can’t all be chosen first. (And let’s face it, not everyone is equal.)
- By picking everyone, you pick no one, but merely contribute to the Twitter noise.
- Even if I were meticulous about my lists, I would eventually make a mistake. Then look out. People feel dissed when they know you’re meticulous and forget them, except this time they feel humiliated before an audience of hundreds.
Because of all these issues, I ceased the #WW and #FF practice long ago and made it a blanket practice. Everyone could feel equally offended, if they were so-inclined. I know people don’t always understand, but I believe they see my consistency as fair. Also, I take the time to publicly acknowledge people who recognize me in this way with a “Thank you for the #WW” statement.
I may have to reconsider this too.
Have you checked out TwitterBFF? It analyzes your Twitter conversations to determine your most frequent contacts. (Please note it doesn’t show you the results. Once you authorize the analysis, it posts directly to your feed without opportunity to edit or recall.)
In addition, with Twitter’s new suggestion list adding to my followers and followees on a daily basis, I’ve had a fresh onslaught of bots and followers who recommend me, but don’t bother to follow me. I can only assume this is an attempt to boost their Twitter rank.Anyway, I did this last night and frankly was shocked by one of the names on my lists and the inadvertent message I’m giving my Tweeps. I am not BFF with this person. It would be a stretch to describe them as an acquaintance. Aside from the #WW and #FF acknowledgements we exchange with regimental frequency, we’ve had no meaningful conversations I can recall during the past year.
I’m not interested in playing games. Since I don’t have time to sort out who’s sincere, and who’s not, I will stop replying to #WW and #FF as a blanket rule. If people want to say something nice about me in a personalized tweet, that’s different. Those efforts I’ll acknowledge. That’s a relationship. I yearn for authentic relationships.
As for my responsibility to take care of my community, I hope people can read between the lines.
Respect is a verb.If I’m having conversations with individuals; if they are specifically mentioned here; if I hyperlink to their article; if they have a place in my blogroll, then you know these are people I recommend.
So those are my thoughts. But what say you all? How do you feel about #WW and #FF? What compromise have you worked out with yourself? Is there a dimension to this conversation I’m overlooking?