Let me just say, right off the bat, that this is not a rant. Rather, it’s a simple, and hopefully, enlightening missive about why, even though you are following me on Twitter, I am not following you.
There are a whole host of reasons why I may not choose to follow you on Twitter, so perhaps it would be useful for me to lay bare my vetting process for you, the prospective followee.
First, I go to your Twitter page. I check out the contents of your last ten tweets, look at your background, visit your website if you have one, and then make my decision. My choice to follow or not depends on a highly scientific formula that I have developed. No single factor, unless overwhelmingly large, tips the balance in favor of a “No Follow”, but a combination of any two, and things do not look so good for you. Here, in order of importance, are the 7 categories that determine your following fate:
1. Children Tweets
You tweet about your toddler 27 times a day. I do not care about what little Billy has in his mouth or the contents of his diaper. Please email your parents about this. Grandparents are paid to care about such things. I do not.
Better: If you were instead to Tweet about the pair of pants that you made for Billy and link to the pattern and a picture of the little tyke wearing them, I just might give you a try.
2. Etsy Tweets
Bad: You tweet about your Etsy shop 103 times a day. While I am sure that your newest steampunk assemblage earrings are the world-beaters that you claim they are, sadly, I will never see them. You see, the great majority of people who tweet about their Etsy shops constantly, have nothing to show me. I don’t need any of your stuff.
Better: While I’m not in the market for a baby blanket or knit lingerie, I am always interested in how they were made. The value for me in your stuff is not the stuff at all, but you and how you relate to it. Twitter, at its heart, is about people, not items. We’d all do well to remember that. Show me something interesting and the probability that I will tell other people about it skyrockets.
3. Non-Descript Linky Tweets
Bad: “OMFG!!!!!! This is so awesome! http://bit.ly/vZXc” In this, the era of consumption, people are in need of guidance. It takes time to click over to a website and it’s very disappointing if your version of “awesome” isn’t the same as mine.
Better: “OMFG! @dudecraft has the most amazing electric unicycle! Awesome! http://bit.ly/1MHvMc ” You see, now I know what you’re about. You’re a total freak, like me, and so now I will gladly follow you for as long as you stay good and freaky.
4. Gifty Tweets
Bad: “I just sent you a bunny hug using TwitHug! You should send me a hug back!” Uh, no. I do not have time to send you a hug. I’m not even sure that you deserve a hug. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that you will never receive a hug from me, bunny or otherwise.
Better: There is no better, other than, just don’t send things like this. Please.
5. My Life is So Awesome Tweets
Bad: “Drinking a ChiChi in Lahaina. Maui sure is relaxing. Whoops, gotta go! Time for my massage.” Yeah, if I had a hammer and I saw you on the street, I don’t know that things would turn out so well for you. You see, while I am happy that you are taking care of yourself, I am sitting in my cubicle, which looks nothing like Maui and there’s little chance that I’ll be getting a massage anytime soon.
Better: “Going on vacation. Won’t be tweeting for nxt 2 weeks. Have fun while I’m gone!” See, now I can pretend that you’re going to Cleveland to visit your mother in law.
6. My to do list Tweets
Bad: “Rarin 2 go! Pick up Johnny @ daycare, soccer practice, buy wine, cook Thai, then fall into bed exhausted! Good day!” Now, I don’t mean to be nosy, but why did I need to know that? Those are tasks. I’m glad for you that you are busy. It’s nice to stay busy. I, however, am also busy and I think your to do list should be distributed on a “need to know” basis.
Better: “Finished octopus costume (insert picture link here), now picking up where I left off on crocheted navel gazer (insert picture link here), comments welcome.” Now you’ve engaged me. You’ve offered me things to look at and asked my opinion.
7. Emo Tweets
Bad: “Listening to The Cure. Rain.” Yep. You sure are and it sure is.
Better: “Just snapped myself out of my depression. Who wants a present?!” Yes, please!
I hope this has cleared up any possible misunderstandings that may have occurred concerning the follow/no follow question. Suffice to say, if you do not tweet about any of the items listed above, I will probably follow you. Unless, of course, you’re mean, racist, sexist, or just plain nuts (in the bad way).
Oops. Gotta go. It’s time for my massage!:-)