Don't Follow Grannelle On Twitter, Or Why @GuyKawasaki Bailed

There is fine Waterford crystal, that will ring elegantly when tapped no matter how thick and chunky it may look, and then there are Flintstone jelly glasses. You may drink your Dom Peringnon from either one, but friends, there is a difference!
-Stephen King

Grannelle, or more specifically, I, is/am probably not the first choice of many in the Twitterverse to follow. I'm always open to connecting on LinkedIn, and never ignore friend requests on Facebook (except the one time from an old lover-turned-stalker), but Twitter is an equine of a dissimilar hue... as well as a horse of a different color.


Twitter is unique in all of Social Media. The micro-blog service represents one of the major SNS on the Web. By limiting posts to 140 characters (includes spaces and punctuation), much must be said in a short space. Most professionals employ a desktop application, such as TweetDeck or Twhirl, to manage thier feeds, lists, and posts. Much easier, more efficient. So why don't I?

Twitter power-users are active adepts who must account for virtually every moment spent online. Metrics require that they be competent and business-like, economizing their activities and held responsible for their enterprise. I am beheld by no such strictures, as I don't have a boss (except for my beautiful wife, Nelle) and I certainly don't get paid for my efforts. That isn't to say I am aimless, far from it. I conduct my Social Media activities with the goals of increasing the Grannelle brand recognition as well as attempting to learn the finer points of the art and science that is Social Media.

Yet that doesn't explain why I don't automatically follow-back. When I engage on Twitter, I am focused specifically on the subject matter. I'm looking for information pertinent to my areas of study: technology, SEO/SEM, Internet marketing, business enablement, copy-writing-editing, IT, and of course, Social Media. So why don't I adopt the methodologies of the pro's? I'm old school. I enjoy what I do, and I take the time to do it in a manner which requires an elevated level of involvement from me, saturating me in the experience and minutiae. I spend at least an hour and a half of most of my days searching and seeking out relevant articles, avoiding posting where I am (at home) or what I'm doing (sitting at my computer). Unless I have something of importance to communicate, I don't enlist in conversation. I am there to do one thing, and one thing only - tweet. And read the articles linked to by others, but then only on occasion and when warranted by curiosity.

I'll grant that the day will likely come when I too am beholden to a schedule, that I must report my productivity for the betterment of Grannelle. Many argue that at such junctures it becomes paramount that the follower list become narrowed and focused. Or perhaps Google will determine the follower list becomes important in SERP (Search Engine Results Page), forcing my hand. But until that happens, I'll continue to be one of the less desirable feeds to follow, taking my time, enjoying and indulging myself.

Am I concerned those excess followers will read this, and, understanding my motives, decrease the gap and unfollow me? Not really. If my bit.ly results, usually numbering in the single digits, are any indication, not many access the links I post anyway, leading me to believe that few, if any, will see my sins spread out for the world to view.

Oh, as to why I mentioned @GuyKawasaki and why he unfollowed me. Two reasons: he was a long-time follower until recently, and I can only surmise that one of his staff (I'm hard pressed to believe one of his stature spends valuable time glued to a workstation hitting # and @) saw what could arguably be termed "gaming the system" by reducing the number of followers, making the ratio look like some kind of @mattcutts wannabe, and cut a trail. Also, I hoped by including his name, said staff member might read this post, realize I'm not in fact an @mattcutts wannabe, and come back into the welcoming arms of my fold. Yeah, right. I'm holding my breath.

Authors note: As is evidenced by the comment below, I've exhaled. (see the comments on the original post as to the reason for this statement)

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Tags: Media, Social, Twitter, bestpractice, blog, humor, opinion

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Comment by Gregory Stringer on September 11, 2011 at 8:27am

Many thanks, Lucy! I agree about the "numbers" game. In fact, I've studied and written extensively about Twitter use, particularly where optimizing the ROI of its use is concerned (Breaking News Via Twitter, The Aggregated Twitter Account, and Customizing Twitter Backgrounds, which has been reprinted on this site). I firmly believe that the power of Twitter has yet been untapped for commercial purposes, and my hope to is to find a way to fully leverage such. Thanks for your kind comments, and your obvious good taste.
;-)

Comment by Lucy on August 23, 2011 at 10:38am
Gregory, I really enjoy your posts! I think that if you follow someone it is for a reason but to expect a follow back I guess would depend on who you are following. Larger organization represented on the web probably could do an auto follow but are they truly "listening". No, so it that follow really worth it worth or is it a numbers game? I guess that is the question. (ok love these smilies)
Comment by Gregory Stringer on August 10, 2011 at 7:55pm
I should emphasize this was in fact a bit of humor where the pre-emminent Mr. Kawasaki was concerned, and further add that he was gracious enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to comment on the piece, which, as you can guess, thrilled me to no end.
Comment by Gregory Stringer on August 10, 2011 at 4:55pm

Thanks Raji and Joe for your input. The more I study Twitter, the more interesting uses for increasing it's ROI I find.

Comment by JoeM on August 10, 2011 at 10:06am
Interesting take on this. There is truly so much going all the time on Twitter and I understand the need for some businesses just trying to gather up as many followers as they possibly can but they can't honestly be paying attention to everyone. I think it is just understood. A smaller following you feel more in touch especially if they follow you back.
Comment by Raji on August 8, 2011 at 12:11pm
I completely understand your point Gregory! I think it can get out of hand quickly. There is so much back and forth that you have no choice but to use a tool. At that point, are you really engaging or are you just scraping? For the reasons you stated as to what you use your account for, you are perfectly within your needs. I look at Guy Kawasaki as a media hound who I think is not respecting his followings if he is doing a mass unfollowing.
Comment by Gregory Stringer on August 8, 2011 at 8:16am

I should further add that I use my Twitter account for academic/research purposes, and therefore cannot follow-back all users. A more expanded definition is given in the article, The Aggregated Twitter Account.

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