Monday, August 20, 2012

Why I Won't Follow You on Twitter (with Lame Jokes)

A while back I wrote "My Twitter Manifesto (with Jokes)." I had to append that with "A Difficult Decision Regarding Twitter," which explains why I don't personally thank you for retweeting me. It's not because I'm a narcissistic jerk, either. I am, but that has nothing to do with it. Well today, I release the third installment in my never-ending quest to figure out how to most effectively use Twitter without going mad in the process.

First of all, I have to admit that the title is a bit of lie. (No, not that part. The jokes are lame). But if you're reading my blog, chances are I will follow you on Twitter. But when one gets a certain number of followers, a lot of the leeches come out to play. So for them (and for your amusement) here are the reasons why I won't follow you (but probably not you) on Twitter.

1.You do not have a profile photo. I realize that not everyone wants to reveal their mugs to the anonymous world, but put something in there, a picture, a cartoon, something. I don't follow eggs.

2. You have no information in your bio. You need not tell me where you live, where you work, what your children's names are or what debilitating diseases you're suffering from, but give me something that indicates you're a person I want to connect with. Something likeoh, I don't know"I like books." Or "I am a sci-fi nerd." 

3. You lead off your bio with a sentence containing any of the following words: marketer, marketing, entrepreneur, consultant, optimization, mentor, coach, e-commerce or followers. I reserve the right to add words to this list.

4. You call yourself a "guru."

5. You are the Twitter account of a business completely unrelated to what I do or in a location that is not easily accessible to me (sorry, dry goods store in Topeka, Kansas).

6. Any other damn reason I want. Seriously, though, I'll probably end up following back most of those who follow me. If you're into writing, books, sci-fi or speculative fiction in general or anything else in the realm of nerd-dom, I'll probably want to connect with you. If I have not followed you back, send me a Tweet and I'll rectify the situation. I would also suggest that if you think I'm an interesting person to follow, check out the people I follow myself. I don't go through and just follow random people, I try to find those who I would genuinely be interested in talking with. I think it's only fair that if I will not follow back those who have nothing to do with my interests, I shouldn't follow someone who mentions, oh, nothing but chainsaw sculpture in their bio just to increase the number of my Followers. Actually, chainsaw sculpture is kind of cool. I probably would follow that person. But I think my point is clear. I hope that together we can make our Twitter community a community of value. I'd also like to make a quick plug for the #BuyIndie hashtag. It's the brainchild of Benjamin X. Wretlind; search for it if you like to support other indie writers.

Michael K. Rose


  1. If I was to write this post, it would look a lot like this! There are about 2000 people following me who I won't followback because they fall into one or more of the categories you've listed. I don't believe 'following back' is an appropriate courtesy if the two people have nothing in common. And yet, I've been called rude for politely eenquiring what inspired someone to follow me1

    1. That's really interesting Ciara. I routinely ask new followers who I consider following back what lead them to follow me. Not surprisingly, 9 times out of 10, get no response and I usually find they've unfollowed me not long after. I don't find it rude at all - I just like to open a dialogue and part of that dialogue is to legitimately ask why someone might choose to follow me.

  2. Ha! I almost 'un-followed' my Mom because of #1.

    I follow people whom I find interesting. Doesn't have to be about things we have in common, either.

  3. Oh thank goodness, I was starting to get the impression I was some kind of electronic snob. Turns out, everyone is :-)

  4. My exact policy. (Of course, mine would not contain lame jokes!) *^D

  5. That's pretty much my policy. I follow people who I find interesting and with whom I have something in common (work, books, writing, martial arts, something). I will not automatically follow people back - and I tell that to people at least once a week. I also do not thank people individually for following me (I use a weekly "welcome new followers" approach, nor do I thank people who retweet me. I just don't have that kind of time to spend monitoring Twitter. I'd rather be writing.

  6. I'll often check out their latest Tweets, too. If they all contain tips to lose weight or save money ... odds on I won't follow.