Saturday, 21 July 2012

Will Someone Please Explain...

I've recently become fascinated with the rash of people who've been offering me followers in exchange for various favours. 'Follow me and I can bring you 1000 followers in a day' 'Follow ME and I'll bring you 5000'. Whoa.

I just about refrained from having a party when I hit 1000 and I'm planning to sacrifice my son at 2000, but to have 5000 wow, wonderful, amazing, incredible but...

What do followers actually DO?

Well yeah, of course they                                                                      but what exactly does that mean? What do I want it to mean?

I have three expectations, no call then desire from twitter

1. To meet interesting people, have fun and make new friends.
2. To meet interesting people, promote my work and gain sales for my books/greater recognition as a writer
3. Promote other people who may very well become rich and famous one day and will remember who helped then get there... not really, just to help promote others because we're all in the same boat and that's what we should do for each other.

This is where the idea of the 'instant followers' confuses me. What purpose do they serve. Whilst there may well be many interesting and useful people in there, what are the odds that I'll actually get to meet them. I certainly won't be checking out all their blogs like I do now, so how will I find the interesting ones?

Well 5000 followers are going to promote my books at least right? Well, I'm not so sure about that either. Building up slowly as I am now, I'm getting a 'feel' for my followers, people I like, people I can have a laugh with, people I admire, those I share a (slightly sick) sense of humour and even those I flirt with (Gods forbid). 

Although I try to read everyone's blog and promote all of my followers that clearly isn't possible. So who do I promote? The people I know and like and am interested in and have spoken to or admire or seek to emulate or are just crazy fascinating interesting guys (and gals) The key point is, and this has been brought home to me recently making lists, that I actively promote the people I know, and promote progressively less actively those I don't know, haven't spoken to and haven't had anything particularly outstanding to knock me off my feet.

Consequently, I spend a lot of time and get a lot of pleasure from promoting from a fairly fluid and comparatively small group of people. I don't just re tweet, I read blogs, leave comments now and again and exchange words with other authors, artists, musicians, nice people, strange people, poets... well... people.

Even now, with 1150 followers I don't, and can't promote them all and I am certainly not promoted by all of them because presumably they have the same methodology as me... promote who I know or what I like.

With 5000 new followers in 1 day surely what will happen is this

1. My 'pool' is diluted so it's harder to see the people I'm really interested in.
2. Everyone else's pool is diluted so it's harder to see me.
3. I'm not going to be able to get around to reading 5000 new blogs so i'm not going to get to know any of the new people so they're not likely to get promoted much if at all. 
4. None of the 5000 are really going to know me and, if they've been 'acquired' then they're not really going to be interested in me. Okay maybe i'll get 5000 shout outs but if no one's listening what's the point

Right now my preferred method is the chipping away... or filtering through... one. I get new followers in a small but steady stream enabling me to at least look at the blog of each new follower, make at least one post in support and add to my lists anything that interests me. That way I'm keeping control of my pool and i know everyone who's in it.

If there really is some hidden benefit to the follow five thousand then please let me know because right now I really can't see it and I can't see how the mere number rather than the quality of the followers is really of much assistance at all other than to make you feel good when you log in.


  1. Well, being a follower got me to your blog!

    1. Yes, but would it if you were one of 5000 'bought' so to speak. Don't get me wrong. I love followers and it makes me incredibly excited every time I get a new one, but I like to get them a few at a time so I have a chance to visit everyone's blogs and find the ones I love... like yours :)

  2. Nephy, when you reach the magic number of 20,000 blog followers, you achieve instant fame, wealth and success as an erotica writer and can choose to retire to a villa in the south of France if you wish.

  3. yeah having loads of followers is overrated imo these days I followback authors that follow me or people who say they read but i ignore everybody else cause I know there is no point other than saying wow look at me I've loads of followers

  4. I think you follow too many people already. Twitter is full of crap self promotion with the attitude of "follow me and I'll follow you." Plus there is that god awful Triberr that authors sign up for, sucking even more genuine connection out of twitter. I only follow ppl back that communicate with me directly anymore. I could give a shit about them hitting me back. I want connections, not o be spammed with "buy my book".

    1. I like the followers I have and the people who follow me. They're an eclectic bunch from homeopathic practitioners to someone who takes beautiful pictures of blow jobs. Lots of writers in there too. I hate the ones who are just pushing their books but so many are witty kind and helpful. If I don't follow then I'll never know which kind they are :) And once I follow I don't have the heart to unfollow. Who knows they might just be a little slow in the friend stakes.

      I hold true to my original premise though. I like it personal and I don't think acquiring thousands of followers in one fell swoop does any good. I like the personal touch (okay the more personal touch :) ) I have to consider publicity as well but it comes in second

    2. I don't mind the ones that push their books a little bit but the ones that post nothing but 'buy my book! buy my book! pleeeaase buy my book!' drive me round the bend!

  5. I prefer personal, too. I'd much rather be followed by someone who's interested in me, whether my stories or myself, than someone who culled my name off a list and is building numbers. I follow back anyone who seems genuine. The first thing I do when I see a new "follower" is check how many people they follow and what their conversations look like. If they follow thousands of people and their tweets consist of promoting their books/albums/shows, then I don't follow back. They inevitably drop me a few days later. I spend only so much time on Twitter, and I would rather keep up with interesting people, rather than read a bunch of ads. And, yes, you're interesting. :D

    1. Awwwww.... I like your last sentence best.