Saturday, November 21, 2009

Twitter still being abused

Twitter has done enough little things to preserve its relevance and importance and make it the tool it has become today, but it's not free of faults. And I should clarify that the faults aren't Twitter's, they are Twitter users' faults.

Twitter has many benefits and applications, but like many social network marketing tools, has become nothing more than a popularity contest for so many. I see far too many examples of users simply trying to maximize the number of followers they have, as though it is some measure of importance. More on that in another post. Today I am referring to the blind followers - those that follow anyone - presumably in hopes of finding new followers (assuming the people they follow will in turn follow them).

To me that's evidence that they are doing nothing more than seeking to maximize followers. That's why I refer to it as a popularity contest.

Here is the most dramatic example I have found so far: A Twitterer called YouIsMe. This account makes no secret of the fact that they are just an experiment in Twitter popularity. Their description spells it out for everyone: "Mysterious Twitter Social Experiment". They have only one tweet that reads "Is this even possible?" Yet they have more than 12,000 followers at the time of this post.

That's 12,000 people that have signed up to learn absolutely nothing.

They've decided to follow because they think it's funny, or (more likely) because they're blindly following as part of their popularity effort. Neither reason is a good one.

There is lots of Twitter abuse out there, and this is an obvious example.

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