String @MissXXX = "Please don’t follow me"

This evening whilst checking my emails I came across two that were from twitter each informing me of new followers. Now I am always pleased to receive a follower as to me it symbolises that this person has chosen to follow you because they feel that you have something valuable and interesting to say and you are worth them requesting what is essentially a live update of your advice, interests and questions. It’s the reason I follow the people I do, it’s me saying “I think what you have to post is helpful and interesting and thank you for your taking time in your day to post it”.

Many of the people I follow – who post – have given me some great advice, thought provoking questions and links to information I never knew I needed. So on investigating my two new followers I find that follower A is an asp.net developer and has some very interesting posts, this is great and I’m privileged to have them follow me and indeed return the follow. However on investigating follower B I find their most recent post to read “Come see my adult profile”. I was disappointed. I don’t want “Miss XXX” to be following me and why is she following me anyway? I don’t want to be used as a ‘porn’ in her game of shameless promotion of whatever adult services she is trying to sell (I didn’t enquire as to what it was). I don’t want her to @reply to me about something that I do not want to be associated with (by appearing on her page as an @reply) or have no interest in. So it got me thinking how many people do you have following you like that? If they wanted my attention they don’t have to be following me to @reply me, sure I’ll block them, so why bother adding me to start with? Are they using me as access to people I follow or those that follow me? Or was she just adding me in the vain hope that I might be interested?

I’m aware that we can block users on twitter but how do we prevent those unwanted adds from adding us in the first place? I know I can protect my profile but I don’t want to force people to follow me just to see what I have written on my account. I’m sure twitter wasn’t designed to advertise adult services, that said it does have the intention of networking people so is it different when it comes to the adult industry?

I have no problem with an entity promoting services and products to me if I am following them, it’s what I expect and it’s what I requested and it does come in very handy. So this leads to me asking should service providing entities wait for people to follow them and then return that follow or should they go out and add twitter users ‘willy nilly’? Should there be a “What will your primary use for twitter be?” and “What is your line of business?” registration question?

Does it irritate you when an entity of no interest follows you or do you just remove them without much thought?

Filed under: Debate, ,

1 Response

  1. Mike Mackay Says:

    This seems to fall under the umbrella of “The nature of the beast”.

    Recently we had an internal company workshop on Social Networking where Twitter seemed to be the most talked about service. Just about everybody there agreed that the biggest pet peeve was exactly this sort of thing. I do think though that the actions you take as a user are somewhat circumstantial, let me explain.

    Indications show that the majority of the user base on Twitter are divided in to 3 main types:

    A) The commercial user – This could be a (corporate) brand, celebrity etc.
    B) The professional user – Those that use Twitter to speak authoritatively on a subject.
    C) The home user – These guys post anything from quotes, musings, friendships et all.

    While these Adult services would (without a doubt) be identified as Group A, a distinction “between the ranks” is generally quite visible. The commercial users that are able to to offer potential customers a tangible product or something that is capable of success and/or ongoing effectiveness will respect the privacy of other users and the general etiquette of Twitter, whereas the other ‘side’ to the group merely see Twitter as a means to target as many people as easily and direct as possible.

    It’s understandable that if you’re trying to maintain a level of professionalism with your account then being associated to these other users could be detrimental not only to your viability of the market/area you are trying to target but by going so far as to alienating your users views and perceptions about you. Protecting your updates would prevent the majority of people following your account but this is not an acceptable option for a lot of groups. The only feasible option is to block them out altogether but this is only achievable after they’ve associated themselves to you. Pretty much a catch 22 situation.

    I personally class myself as a typical home user, although I do occasionally try to make a handful of relatively informative and/or helpful updates. Looking through my followers list shows a few of these accounts but I’m not entirely fussed about removing them. Why? Not because I’m trying to get my follower count as high as possible but because I just accept that it’s going to happen and I know that I can spend my time better elsewhere instead of policing my followers list 24/7. While I’d agree it’s annoying, at this time there’s no easy way of avoiding it.

    I know that 99% of these accounts are automatic and have no “real” person behind them communicating but if they pull my account from the public timeline when I’m posting about something or other and they choose to follow me then so be it.

    Posted on July 29th, 2009 at 13:58

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