Saturday, August 14, 2010

You Holla, We Follow Our Favorite Jock

Anyone been keeping up with the MTV Twitter Jockey thing? Yeah, me neither.

So, anyone who is friends with me on twitter knows that I follow about four times as many people as I am followed by. This is something I actively tried to avoid when I first got a twitter. No, seriously, I did. I felt it would be strange to be following so many more people than I am followed by. I felt like people would judge me for it. I mostly thought this because I judge people for it.

Why the judgement? I honestly have no idea.

Maybe it's something about appearing to want to have lots of friends, but really only managing to have a few. Or appearing overeager. Or desperate. Or something... Really, I can't pinpoint the reason, but it definitely bothers me.

However, something has occurred to me lately. Couldn't it be seen as better to follow more people than you are followed by? Wouldn't that show that you care more what other people are saying than who is reading what you say? Sort of like being primarily a listener rather than a talker.

Don't get me wrong, I am pretty vocal on twitter and have more than my fair share of completely pointless tweets. Yet, I think my unbalanced follower-following ratio indicates that, despite frequent tweets like the ones linked to above, my predominant use of twitter is to see what other people are saying.

Assuming the paradigm that the only people I'm directing my tweets to are the people I actually know, the following chart implies that I am doing much more reading than tweeting and that my main use of twitter is to keep up with the world, not to broadcast my life to it.

Who I Follow On Twitter
I keep my twitter page open whenever I'm online and check it on my iPhone compulsively, but I don't actually post a message every time I check it. I look at the trends to see if there's a huge news story I'm missing (remember last summer when there was a new deceased celebrity in the trend everyday? I still freak out anytime I see the name of a celebrity I admire in the trends in case it means they died) and scroll through my feed for announcements of events happening around town, concert ticket giveaways, contests and typically some brooding quotes from Yoko Ono or Shakespeare.

A few months ago, I blogged about Such Tweet Sorrow, which put Romeo and Juliet into a modern day context and tweeted the play as if in real life with actors tweeting each of the characters. Aciman and Rensin have also live tweeted books in a more modern day context and now there's a man taking three years to tweet the entire Bible by summarizing a passage each day.

There's so much to do on twitter besides tweeting about my salt and vinegar addiction that, at this point, I don't even know how I could be expected to garner as many followers as accounts I follow. All of the people who I follow that I actually know (i.e. not internet celebrities or companies) follow me in return. I mean, I'm not famous or anything so why should anyone who doesn't know me have any clue that my twitter account even exists?

At any rate, this is just something I've been thinking about lately as I try to justify breaking 200 in my following list and barely scraping a deck of cards worth of followers. What can I say? As much as I don't like that new "who to follow" feature, it kind of sucked me in.

1 comment:

Chrissy (The New Me) said...

Well, I'm now follower 202. Not bad!

I've never looked at my twitter stats, and I just checked. I'm actually followed by more than I follow, but I think a good number of those followers are spammers. I'm not sure. I do know that I read twitter constantly and use it as a newsource like whoa. Way more reading than updating on my end as well, which is as it should be!