Not Following The Crowd
Much has been made over Twitter’s new “lists” feature they have been rolling out over the past several weeks. Instead of the tyranny of Twitter’s own “suggested user list,” users can feel free to create their own, add whomever they want, and share the list with others. A nice feature long overdue, if you ask me.
Of course, all we’re doing is trading one tyrant for another. Instead of relying on Twitter’s opinion about who to follow, you rely on someone else’s. That’s ok, if you agree with who they want to follow. Or even know the person exists, let alone their lists. How do you find lists to follow, anyway?
For me, I hardly see the point. I started using Twitter over three years ago, back when the service was SMS only and had no vowels in the name. I built my follow list organically, by meeting people talking to people I was following or whose blogs I was reading. Or even met in person.
I don’t need a list to tell me who to follow. I am already following the people I care about. I continue to add people to my follow list based on meeting new people either in person or through others on Twitter and elsewhere. I follow people that follow and engage me.
I don’t particularly care if the so-called “big” influencers are following me. They don’t know me from Adam, and, quite frankly, I don’t know them, either. I might get bigger follow numbers by appearing on one of their lists, but those followers don’t know me, either. Am I going to be able to realistically influence those people? I doubt it.
In the end, the number of followers doesn’t matter anyway. The right person has to be reading your tweets at the right time to be influenced. Sure, you might increase the odds a little by having more followers, but at what cost? How many people can you realistically engage on Twitter and still maintain a meaningful, two-way dialog with your followers?