Calling an end to Twitter’s Follow Friday madness

Silly String your mom!

Silly String your mom! It's just as effective.

Damien Basile
just wrote this great post on why Twitter’s Follow Friday (#followfriday) is completely anti-social. I totally agree. Please, go read his article. While I’ve been thinking that something about Follow Friday is off, I want to make sure he gets credit for spelling it out so succinctly.

So, we started chatting about why Follow Friday just isn’t the right approach. Doug Cone and I both felt like we participated because we knew people who were recommending us, and we appreciated that. They have the best in mind. Eric Miltsch elaborated on how to make #followfriday more effective.

Okay, I’m going to take it one step further. Before Follow Friday, I used to simply notice that two people were talking about similar stuff, or that one had the answer another for which another was looking. It doesn’t take much to craft a 140-character message that says, “Hey, @person1, you really need to meet @person2, because…”

Heck, Dr. Bernard Harris met Converge Magazine by my meager Twitter introduction, and now there’s an article in Converge Mag on Dr. Harris’s work bringing science workshops to middle schools. It works much better that way, because social media operates exactly the same way as any other social interaction.

Please stop shouting your advertisements at everyone, and simply wait for the right opportunity to make the introduction.


15 responses to “Calling an end to Twitter’s Follow Friday madness

  1. Damien Basile

    Like Susan Powtwr says “Stop the madness”. Introductions are more meaningful than shout-outs. If someone tells the world about me then a person connects with me because of it it still feels not natural or organic. The question “who are you” still floats in the air. When we are introduced to each other it takes away the awkwardness and ties us together with common ground of a topic AND a person. Do what you would do offline online as well.

    • christybrewer

      Damien, it sounds like those of us who agree are in the minority, but that’s okay with me. I think you’re right… random introductions are awkward at best, and might actually backfire when it feels like someone is shoving a recommendation in your face.

      Thanks for clarifying the difference between the introduction and shout-out.

  2. Whatever

  3. I think it’s cool to sill have FollowFriday, but for chrissake, let’s try to keep it to one post per person!

    I’m guilty of sending out 2 or 3 follow friday batches each week, and I think I’m annoying even myself.

    I’m cutting it down to just one batch of people. Thanks!

    • christybrewer

      Sure, but I’m going one step further and restricting my recommendations to specific conversations. And I may even ask first, depending on who I’m talking with.

  4. LAME! keep trying…

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  6. Christy –

    This is the direction I moved towards in the couple of weeks after my post…

    If someone shouted a friend recommendation to me from across a parking lot, I’d shout back “WHY?”

    Sure, I appreciate the #FF bumps just as much as the next guy – but it doesn’t create additional followers for me. And, if that’s the intended result of the original action of the tweet, I wouldn’t want my good friends to waste their time on a simple exercise in futility…

    • christybrewer

      I guess I’m not one who counts my followers, but I otherwise agree with you. Some have tried changing the FF format to a simple, “recommend one person and explain why,” but I’m not even sure that is useful unless you’re specifically looking for what that recommended person has to offer. All the rest of the tweets are noise.

      I have found new people to follow simply by listening in on conversations, talking with others, and outright asking my friends to recommend others. I had no problems asking GM people for other GMers to follow… and they had no problems recommending them!

      THAT is how following should work. Thanks for the clarity.

  7. great idea! perhaps we can start a hash tag for it as well — #friendlyfriday! that is to be friendly and introduce folks to each other! I’ll get on it tomorrow 🙂

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