Who I Don’t Follow On Twitter

February 8, 2010

I was going to call this Who I Follow On Twitter, but given my fairly liberal following requirements, I decided on what you see above. Basically, I follow any real people who follow me. There are exceptions, of course: anyone who isn’t really ‘using’ twitter, and is trying to scam or spam.

The (very quick) process I go through when assessing whether to follow someone who has just followed me is:

  1. Do they have a username that looks like a spam account (you know, the britney ones and the sexual terms)?
  2. Does the photo look like a spam account (nudity, usually)?
  3. So far, if all looks good, click on their profile. Are they following around 2,000 people (the limit), but have far fewer followers?
  4. Do they have many thousands of followers, but are only following a few hundred? (If so, they probably use one of those automated bots that follow lots of people, then unfollows once the person has reciprocated)
  5. Is their entire feed made up of tweets posted via an API, TwitterFeed, or some other automated system? I’m only interested in people who are actually ‘on’ twitter, not just feeding it, and therefore I expect to see at least one or two @replies on their profile page.
  6. Do they have tens of thousands of followers, and are on relatively few lists? I’d expect at least 1 listing for every 500 followers.
  7. And finally, I’m a little wary if they’re one of those people (usually ‘social media’ people) who have follower/following numbers up beyond 50,000, and yet I’ve never heard of them. It’s likely these numbers are mostly from automated bot following, and the person has ulterior motives for building their audience.

You can follow me at @zambonini – having read this, you’ll know whether I’ll follow back or not.

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