Follow Friday Revisited

9 Mar

When Twitter was in it’s “early adopter” stages, it was helpful to know who to follow and why. Follow Friday was a meme that grew like wildfire. The tweet that started it all was back in January of ’09:

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And the rest, as they say, is history. People started to look forward to Friday as a way to show gratitude to followers and help others find great people. Most of the time there was at least some reason or purpose given to why you you should follow certain tweeps.

Then came Twitter lists, and now Follow Friday has become, in my opinion, a bloated string of unrelated names, usually exactly 135 +  characters long, and defined by superlatives like “fun” or “engaging”.

…..I’m sorry, but I’m not really that into Follow Friday as it has evolved.When  I see my name sandwiched in between @JoesAuto and @Oprah in the same exact order for 67 weeks, I’m not especially flattered. I am grateful, and I say thank you: But I know I”m on a list, and the only reason I’m being mentioned is because I’m on the list. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to make the list, and it beats the alternative. But as Twitter continues to evolve and improve, so can Follow Friday.

Take a look at your Follow Friday list…. is it a who’s who? When was the last time you truly collaborated or reached out to them in any sort of way? What makes that person stand out among all of your followers? Why should anyone want to follow this person? Really Why? Not in 140 characters….try to get it down to a phrase.

Today, I chose to highlight a woman, @NubianOR I met on Twitter a few months back. We are passionate about our cheese, and sustainability, and we struck up a great friendship. Last week she sent me a postcard. From South Africa. It touched me so that I tweeted:

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This took me all of 30 seconds to put together, but it got my point across, and her reply says it all:

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And that, my friends, is how Follow Friday goes to the next level. Now, if you want to knock it out of the park, then look no farther than @Leaderswest. Jim Dougherty, who has this great blog knocks my socks off with his friendship and level of engagement. He has made adorable videos, touching blog posts, and even a funny animated short, courtesy of Go Animate

GoAnimate.com: #FF @bethmcshane by jimdougherty
http://goanimate.com//api/animation/player?utm_source=embed

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It’s free and fun!

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11 Responses to “Follow Friday Revisited”

  1. Azure LaRoux March 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I can empathize with your post. I’ve managed to make it onto a few lists that post strings of names not only on Friday but throughout the week, often with a few words that aren’t even in a language I speak attached. While I appreciate that my account is listed it’s hard for me to grasp the usefulness of being one of 7 or 8 posts that read like a phone directory of someones account.

  2. thyroidinfo March 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Azure;

    Thanks for taking the time co comment. I feel kind of ungrateful coming out and saying that #FF has become a farce, but its how I feel…. 🙂

  3. Laura Comiskey March 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Your timing with this entry is too uncanny. I have been in far too much discussion as of late with my spouse, friends, and peers, about the etiquette of “Follow Friday” or #FF on @twitter and have just in the last 6 weeks or so felt myself looking for ways to make it more impact-ful, but by not coming up with anything, thereby I’m not participating as consistently in extending the gesture to my Followers, to those whom I follow, or who I notice have “like” interests, and acct. purposes. To participate in #FF It felt like a chore, to not do so, it felt like I was not doing my “part” so to speak. “Go Animate” until today, I had not heard of. While, I’m not abandoning the #FF forever, I am looking forward to giving recognition more selectively, with impact and “Go Animate” may be the option I take.

    • thyroidinfo March 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      It doesn’t HAVE to be “Go Animate” It could be as simple as a heart felt tweet….. One week I did a (cop out) version of #FF using the old “I’m going on a picnik, and I’m bringing..” …then I list a food that starts with the letter of the follower…. for example “I’m going on a picnik and I’m bringing Linguine for @LauraComiskey (you get the idea)

  4. Laura Comiskey March 10, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    Definitely. That is another good suggestion for me to consider. I guess it is time for me to think outside of the box a bit.

  5. sandysview March 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Totally with you on this. I do all mine personally and sometimes vary it a bit and do a #FF121 as I have branded it. I try and introduce like minded people to each other. It is mostly successful and it’s focussed. I hate being lumped in a handful of strangers who then say thankyou for to each other with your id included. Rubbish! Ive never followed any of them. I’m very fussy about who I follow. xx

    • thyroidinfo March 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      exacgtly!!

  6. cherop April 18, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    This is a timely blog post as I’ve recently been wondering whether #FF was still a “thing” on Twitter. I’m not a consistent user of Twitter but would like to make more time for it. I’ve also been wondering about the etiquette of thanking tweeps who follow me. What about if I don’t want to follow them back because I’m thinking of being more strategic in my following and that means I’ll be deleting a lot of tweeters. Another area is Lists. What purpose do they serve? I am on a bunch of lists and subscribed to them but don’t actively engage on them. If a person is on a list I make or subscribe to does that mean I will automatically get their tweets on my timeline? If you can shed light on any of these questions, that would be great.

    • thyroidinfo April 18, 2012 at 3:58 am #

      Cherop…..

      I think lists are still useful for organizing groups of people you want to follow in doses, but not all at once. Lists of people do not show up in your timeline, unless you are following them individually on your account. Therefore,I personally make lists of people I don’t necessarily follow on my timeline, but might want access to at times… for example local media tweeps….. does that make sense?

      • cherop April 18, 2012 at 7:17 am #

        Yes, what you say about Lists makes sense. Do you have any thoughts about the etiquette of thanking new twitter followers or not following people who ask you to follow them but don’t give you reasons why it is in your interests to do so? I’m not looking for the highest number of twitter followers. In fact, I want to delete a number of them and start being more strategic about who I do follow.

      • thyroidinfo April 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

        There is an entire subculture of Twitter users who seem to want nothing more than to grow their followings to redunkulously large numbers. Why? I’m not sure… but I am generally turned off by the “follow me and I’ll follow you” or “follow for follow” mentality. I think of Twitter as a fun cocktail mixer, and there are just some personalities I don’t mix with. It is not a law that you must follow anyone, so feel free to be selective 🙂

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