Everyone who has used Twitter for more than a couple weeks has surely seen, and likely participated in, #followfriday — Don’t! The once productive and effective way to recommend to people to follow has turned into an unsustainable self promotional orgy that is clogging the arteries of twitter. Although this has been percolating in my mind for some time, Seth Simonds opened my eyes with his blog post, Out With #FollowFriday, In With Connected Communities
As Seth points out, one of the problems with #followfriday is that so many people recommend others for the sheer goal of receiving a reciprocal recommendation, I’m guilty! This has resulted in a significant increase in number of #followfriday tweets, as well as, a great deterioration in their quality. #followfriday recommendations now compete with each other and it has become very difficult to identify recommendations that would bring value to your twitter experience. In effect, what once helped us increase the quality of our networks has become a tool to simply increase the quantity of followers. People add as many as then can regardless of the effect upon the greater experience, as if the quantity of followers signifies their importance. Well, I tell you it does not. It also does not signify your ability to mobilize your network to achieve any specific result. The key to both these things is building a network of quality followers who engage and take action for things in which they believe. I guarantee taking this approach will provide you with a richer more manageable Twitter experience and allow you to provide more value to your followers.
I will take the following approach to recommending people that I believe will add value: I will tweet whenever I interact with an individual that adds significant value and tell my followers why. I will use #rec as the hashtag and will not recommend more than one person per tweet. I will also try not to recommend more than three people per day. This will ensure the quality of my recommendations.
I hope that others will adopt a similar approach and share this with others so we can all build more sustainable high quality experiences and interactions. If you like this approach, tweet about it so others will know. You can also tweet with me @andrewmueller about this.