General Etiquette > Techno-quette

New to Twitter - Followers?

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This new follower can see you haven't tweeted, so I doubt he/she's expecting anything from you.  You're also not obligated to follow anyone you're not interested in.  I think you're fine just going about your business.

Tea Drinker:
No, there's no obligation to tweet. I poked around a few months ago and found someone complaining that I had the username she wanted and have only tweeted something like ten times (I like being able to write paragraphs, and I haven't really taken the time to get familiar with whether/how I can make Twitter work for something I want). But that's her problem, not mine.

I've been using Twitter for ages now, and this is pretty typical.  I get new followers at a rate of about one a day, and most of those unfollow again after a week or so.  Some broad categories of people who might follow you:

1) actual friends and people who care what you have to say

2) webcam services (usually easy to spot because the profile pictures have few clothes on)

3) other scammers/spammers, hoping you'll follow them back out of a sense of social obligation - they tweet spam on a regular basis and if you follow them, that spam goes into your Twitter feed.  I hadn't heard about them trying to steal your password, but I guess it's possible.

4) businesses (both national chains and local stores) - if you include the business Twitter handle in a tweet, you may get auto-followed back.  When they follow you, they can send messages @you but you won't see them unless you go into your "connect" menu.  This is actually kind of nice sometimes - I ranted about AT&T and was contacted by an AT&T customer service rep within a few hours.  Also, some businesses will auto-follow you based on keywords in your tweets - if you tweet about batteries, Rayovac will auto-follow you and try to send you coupons.

If you want, you can also chose to set your account to private, which means only people you follow can see anything you tweet (if you do). This also means you are notified if someone wants to follow you and can chose whether to approve their request, so you can chose not to approve the request.

POD to Margo.  I love this option.  I will occasionally "unprotect" my Twitter feed for a discussion group where I have something to say, but I then find that a half-dozen product feeds are following me that I do not welcome.  At that point, I recloak and block the Twitter feeds I do not want to read what I have to say.


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