Following Twitters

Why is it that when I get an email from Twitter informing me that someone is now following me and they have a lot of followers and they follow a lot of people (normally in the thousands) and I in turn follow them, that I soon receive another email from Twitter telling me that another person is now following me, and again they follow a lot of people and have a lot of followers?

It does not seem to matter if I immediately start to follow them of if I wait several days to follow them that I always receive another email from Twitter shortly after I agree to follow them telling me that another "large" follower is now following me.

Is this some sort of bot or scheme for these people to gain a large number of follows? Just curious. Has Twitter turned into a rat race -- whoever gets the most followers wins? How can someone pay attention to all those followers... I am now having trouble paying attention to the less than 100 people I now follow? Might be a good time to do some Twitter housekeeping...


Sreya Dutta said...

Don, thats really intersting to hear. I do feel bad to have few followers :) Jokes apart, yes it will take me a while to understand the asymmetric relationship thing that twitter establishes. I read a couple of articles that helped me make some sense of twitter. I think one should have a manageable number of people they follow atleast so they can get more value rather than be lost in the information dump happening there. i think some housekeeping may do you good, though while writing this comment i was debating on whether I should start following you.:)


Donald Clark said...

Sreya, well, I think I would get a lot more out of following you than some of these others who seem to do it more for marketing purposes than to follow or create real conversations -- in fact I just tried to follow you but twitter is really slow right now -- probably too many marketers trying to get followers ;-)

Right now my Twitterrific feed is filled with tweets from someone who is at at conference, which would make a better blog post than tying to follow his 30+ tweets intermixed with the other tweets.

Tony Karrer said...

Donald - yes there are a ton of tools out there that can help people autofollow other people based on keywords, following activity and many other things.

I've struggled finding Twitter models that will work for me. Initially I had a small group of people. Now I have a larger group, but I use TweetDeck to group them into people I more closely follow and those who I do things like search for "RT @" or "help" or "please" - I find that I mostly end up only talking to my close friend list.

All of this makes me wonder if Twitter is going to turn into something else in the future.

Donald Clark said...

Tony, I thought so -- this was strange because I would get a request to follow one of these "super-twitters" and as soon as I did then about two hours later I would get another message from a different super-twitter.

I guess I was being too nice -- following people who followed me unless I thought they really had nothing in common with me. It must have been the "following activity" of mine as you noted.

I did "clean" them out to reduce the noise to information level -- much better now.

Also, not to discourage anyone out there -- if you are truly interested in learning, ID, training, etc. -- I will follow you.

Sreya Dutta said...

Don, thanks for following me. I will look forward to you comments on my blog posts if you find them relevant.