Twitter Follow Policy and Observation

Policies are guidelines, not cast in stone.  Nonetheless, groan, I feel obliged to explain what I am doing publicly and why, so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Just because I don’t follow you back, please do not feel offended.

I really enjoy connecting with other people on Twitter.  I enjoy following the news.  I enjoy researching markets and trends. And I’m curious about the people who decide to follow me. I really do look at every profile eventually. But I find that following everybody does not make sense for me. Politely reciprocally following somebody who shares one of my interests would prevent me from seeing posts by the people and organizations I joined Twitter to follow.

And then there are all the “no tweets” or “very few tweets” folks who have amassed a large number of followers, heaven knows how, and are of absolutely no interest to me… or you either, gentle reader.  The only folks I immediately block are the obvious porn queens and spammers.  Sad to think Twitter can be used as a pimp or to push crappy products, but there you are.  It’s a side of human nature.  Twitter is a social community and it reflects all parts of that nature, from valuable to objectionable.

I find a lot of folks tremendously interesting and intend to check back on their profiles from time to time, but want my Twitter stream to be the highest immediate value for me given the time available.  Time is, after all, our most seriously limited commodity.  I have found that, other than breaking news stories, I rather prefer to read a page or two of tweets from one person rather than the stream of small disjointed pieces that float by, so that is how I like to explore the contributions of others.

The first time I check out a profile I also check out the affiliated website, if one is given.  Sometimes the website is intriguing enough to make me follow a person or organization on Twitter just to remind me to check the website now and again.

Now, having said that, I wonder at the Twitter world.  It’s a lot like looking up at the stars on a clear night and wondering what’s out there.  Millions of people, dozens of languages, uncountable lines of thought and discussion.  Cool.  This way of communicating has to be one of most paradigm changing inventions after the internet itself.

Local is now global. Really global.  Twitter has changed journalism (Iran, Korea, China) and marketing and politics (or do I repeat myself?). New models of interaction are evolving. I look forward to seeing where this takes the human race over the next, say, 20 years.  My biggest worry is that we listen only to the people with whom we agree and that can further divide us into camps separated by ideology and (mis)information.

And that brings me to the observation that today’s media include propaganda channels like FOX “News” which add nothing to the information flow except a bad attitude. Their constant anger and opinions without facts are dangerously inflamatory.

From time to time I read someone pointing out that all religions (and governments for the most part) are basically similar human organizations that try to improve the lives of all.  –Sort of like the mafia, which wasn’t such a bad thing in its way other than the drugs, prostitution, gang wars, and a few other details. At least little old ladies could walk down a city street.  And that isn’t always the case these days.– It would be more valuable to life on this planet if we all worked for the common good. Everyone has something valuable to contribute (except maybe FOX News).

In any event, that is my Twitter follow policy and some related ramblings to go with it.  Just because I’m not following you doesn’t mean I’m ignoring you.


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