The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

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You'll barely regret this

Another Storify experiment, this time about my so-far 71%-successful effort to lobby for followers on Twitter.


I just started following every single person in this exchange.

I just want to point out that @roncharles was indeed watching us, as evidenced by his tweet to Anne and I: “Now stop that! My wife will find out!!” (see for yourself: ) – technically in response to a different set of tweets in which we were expressing our admiration for him, but still proof of his omnipresence.

And if he does follow you, Tim, without also following me, a little part of me might die.

Genius. But only ’cause your Twitter feed is awesome. If you were a social media marketer, I’d unfollow you so fast … 🙂

Tim Carmody says…

Exactly. And again, I picked the people I targeted pretty carefully — all people in my extended social network that I thought SHOULD be following me but weren’t, because I thought they’d like what I wrote and like being in contact with me, because they already were.

As I said today on Twitter, you’ve got to punch your weight. Date people in your league. Or something.

Now the transitive property thing — there’s actually something to it. Remember when Friendster first launched, and your network view only extended out to friends-of-friends? I think that was really powerful. That’s one of the things I like about the new notification/recommendation system Twitter’s rolling out. But in this case, it clearly had to be hand-curated too.

Here’s something, too: the new “social context” features on Twitter (the little micro-lists that show you who else [that you follow] is following the account you’re looking at, etc.) make this scheme work a LOT better. Somebody clicks over to @tcarmody, sees that he’s ALREADY being followed by 10 people they know & love… so it’s a no-brainer.

*follows Tim*

And then there was one.

Tim Carmody says…

Excellent! Thanks, Nathan.

As for the one holdout, last week I got a very nice email from Maria Popova explaining how she only uses Twitter as a link/RSS reader; my Twitter account just has too much non-link content in it for it to be really useful for her, but she does pop in to the Twitter site from time to time to see what I’m writing about. Which, I think, is a very reasonable and well-reasoned response.

I’ve actually had to start reprioritizing my Twitter feed similarly. Twitter people whom I personally like and wish to show my support to are different from Twitter *feeds* that I enjoy and can make good use of. The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, for instance, I was delighted to follow on Twitter, but after a while, I had to knock him out. A bunch of Digital Humanities people cross-talk and retweet each other too much — it just contributes noise to the signal. Some of Robin’s coworkers at Twitter, too, have the same probem.

And for me, unlike Maria, I actually DON’T like it when a Twitter account is just an RSS or Google Reader feed of another name. (Especially when it’s just duplicating their online content.) The presence of a person behind the broadcast, a voice that can speak to many contexts, has more value to me within Twitter than the data itself. But every tool has a different function for a different reader.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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