Do I Really Need to Follow 14,000 People on Twitter?

26 Jan

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in this fast-paced, high tech world. Especially for a gal who was born the same year that the Russians launched Sputnik I, the first earth orbiting satellite.  (Go do your research).

I’m fairly computer savvy. I take care of my own website, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, I own a Nook, an Ipod and can text on my phone. Are you impressed? You should be. A lot of people my age throw up their hands and claim they have trouble with e-mails. But I embrace all of this new technology. It’s exciting, and I figure if I don’t jump on the IT train, I’ll be left behind.

What I don’t understand is the point of following thousands of people on Twitter. That’s like trying to make conversation with a football stadium of people. It can’t be done, not in a meaningful way.

Currently I follow 164 people. About the size of a small lecture theater of people. I’ve read most of their profiles, so I have some idea where they’re coming from. I follow them because they’re interesting, and they have something to say that I like to read. A lot of them are fellow writers, but not all. They don’t all follow me back either, but that’s okay. Ultimately, I just want to have a conversation about stuff with people who get me.

How about you? Do you know who you’re following? Do you care? Why or why not?

12 Responses to “Do I Really Need to Follow 14,000 People on Twitter?”

  1. Stacy S. Jensen (@StacySJensen) January 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    I don’t think you need to follow tons of people. Unless it’s a really, really interesting person, I don’t follow people with 50K followers, etc. I figure they won’t have a convo with me. If that person has something interesting to say, other folks will likely retweet it. I do follow 2,239 as I type this message. I use the list function now when I follow someone. So, I can look at my lists to see what various groups are saying. If I can’t tell from a person’s bio, what he or she does — I typically delete them.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon January 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      That’s a great idea, to use lists. At least then you can categorize people.

  2. the writ and the wrote January 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    I’m really picky about my Twitter followers, both who I follow and who follows me. I get a lot of random, unrelated to anything in my life followers and I decline nearly all of them. Also, if we aren’t already connected in some way (like having a lot of common followers) I won’t accept. My tweets are also protected, which I’m sure annoys people, but I don’t really care.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon January 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

      There’s a website called ‘True Twit’ that allows you to screen people to make sure they’re real and not spammers. I’ve found that helpful as well.

  3. trjensen January 26, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and supporting my blog. I nominated you for an award. You’ll find the rules at http://narcissistsblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/aww-shucks/

    Congratulations and I hope you’ll spread the love.

  4. Selena Robins Musings January 26, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    I have about 400 plus followers and I follow them back. It took me a long time to get these followers, because I check each one out. If someone is following thousands of people or even 25K, then I don’t bother accepting them. They’ll never have a real conversation with me anyway, not that 400 people will, but I have met some wonderful readers and writers on Twitter.

    Okay, I admit, I do follow a few celebrities, but they followed me back! LOL I was so excited when Ellen Degeneres and Jann Arden followed me as well. I love their tweets, because they are both funny women, and when they tweeted back to me, it made my day. Not that I think they follow every tweet I make, but I thought it was nice of them to acknowledge my existence.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon January 27, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      You have amazing luck when it comes to talking to celebrities. If I followed a celebrity, they’d probably have be blacklisted.

  5. Ellis Vidler January 27, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    I follow a lot of people, nearly all because I found something interesting in their profile, blog, or website. I always look before I follow to see if I’m likely to be interested in their tweets or they mine. I’ve met some really nice people that way and have one whom I invited to do a guest blog. Mostly I follow writers, but I also some follow political commentators/public figures (they don’t follow me back, which is fine), photographers, and travelers. When it sounds interesting, I follow links they post and have discovered some great sites and information.

    Whether any of this is worthwhile for selling books, I don’t know. But unfortunately for use of my time, I enjoy it. There are some super people out there that I’d never have found any other way.

    Good post, Nancy.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon January 29, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      I totally agree, Ellis. It’s a great way to meet interesting people. I probably spend too much time social networking, instead of writing. But I have to be in writing ‘mode’ and I haven’t been since NaNoWriMo. I have a new book coming out in a few months, maybe after I launch that one I’ll feel the need to finish the next one, LOL!

  6. limebirdkate January 31, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    Hey there Nancy, 4am/limebirdkate here (sometimes I wake up not even knowing who I’m going to be for the day!)

    Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of Twitter for that very reason. I don’t get on it and read all the little blips that people put out–mainly because I have found 98% of the blips are self-promotion. I don’t care about that in and of itself, but it’s like you say–there is no meaningful exchange of information or dialogue or conversation. I follow about 500 people, but most of them followed me first and I like to reciprocate out of manners. (My mother taught me that. 🙂 ) But I always check to see who they are first. If I don’t like what they’re promoting or their profile, I won’t follow at all.

    But the best thing about Twitter is that you can reach a lot of people super fast with just a few words. And sometimes that’s all you need. Other times, like this comment for instance, requires more time and attention because I really care what I’m saying and who I’m saying it to.

    Anyway, that’s my relationship with Twitter.

    Cool post!

    • nancyelizabethlauzon January 31, 2012 at 9:44 am #

      Thanks, limebirdkate! Yeah, I just get overwhelmed at the thought of all those people yapping at me. It would be like having thousands of people in your back yard, all waiting for you to come out of your house.

      Great that you stopped by!

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