Firstly, I have to apologise for the break in blogging. I have been spending so much time over the past weeks trying to manage the companies that I am responsible for that the actual ‘doing’ of social media has had to fit in around that. I know more about sales targets, spreadsheets, PAYE and marketing budgets now than I have ever known before, but it has meant that some things have had to have been set aside for a little while.
During the hiatus, however, I have started to notice a bit of an uncomfortable trend in Twitter and people signing up for it and using. It isn’t at all unexpected – when something becomes hugely popular, you are going to find that more and more the people will adopt it who have perhaps missed the point, or who are using it for things that don’t always enhance the community (remember MySpace?), but I have just noticed the quality of new people following me is starting to decline.
Now, before anyone gets offended, this is a trend – it isn’t something which refers to everyone. I gain plenty of really good quality followers each day, most of whom I will immediately follow back. However, because I am the kind of person who looks at every single new follower and makes a decision about whether I want their tweets in my stream or not, I can’t help but notice the decline in quality.
I am getting more people whose total tweet output is broadcast, broadcast, broadcast (no, really, I don’t want to buy your product).
I am getting more people whose tweet output consists of atrocious spelling and completely inane updates (I, of all people, am certainly not going to want to see that every day).
I am getting more people whose accounts have been suspended by the time I go to take a look at them (spammers most likely, so well done Twitter for catching them early).
And I am getting more people with “Following: 1534 Followers: 2″ and three updates in the past 3 months (why??? Really? Please explain to me what on earth you are trying to achieve?)
I haven’t recorded this trend scientifically, I have to admit. I go through my email folder every few days which gathers my Topify messages regarding new followers and make the decision there and then whether I will follow back, and I am only writing this on the basis of the general sense I get. But does this mean that all the good people are already on Twitter and now ‘all the rest’ are signing up? Or does this mean that many of the new people signing up just don’t know? Either way, it simply has to affect how valuable the general Twitter stream is going to be, and reinforces my belief that you are better off using Twitter Search, and being very careful about who you follow.
Thanks to sciondriver for the image