Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sometimes less is more.

 Follow Friday posts that are generated by some sort of automated program have been annoying me for quite a while. I thought it may have been because I am getting old and crabby but thanks to Carole Riley who directed her readers to a blog post, Please put a stop to the mass Follow Friday tweets, on this subject I realise that I am not alone.

This article clearly echoed my feelings and set out some guidelines fo Follow Friday posts. I am posting the rules put forward by the author (full details can be found in the post) as I believe that they are eminently sensible:

1) If you’re going to Follow Friday someone, make it just ONE person per #FF tweet per week. 
2) Say why you recommend them.
3) Just do it Friday.  

Joseph Ranseth says:
" The Right Way…

Follow Friday is an opportunity to share with our friends the people that we value. We are saying “this is someone that I get value from, and I want you to enjoy what they have to offer as well”. It’s about sharing, giving and providing value to others.

…and the Wrong Way

Follow Friday is NOT about getting more followers. Some people (either ignorant of the law, or possessing a lack mentality) will recommend as many people as they can for #followfriday in hopes that some of them will feel obligated to reciprocate that gesture. By accomplishing this, they hope that they will attract new followers. Sadly, they just don’t get it…"

A lot of my Twitter pals from the world of genealogy just don't get it either. After Judy Webster from Queensland  posted the following on Twitter last Friday there were a few tweets around the topic.


Bravo, Judy. I never take any notice of  my mentions in Follow Friday posts that resemble shopping lists and are produced by some automated service. It was pleasing to see a number of people adopting Judy's policy last week.

I was bowled over by a tweet from Shauna Hicks, who last week also abandoned the automated style and opted for just 1 descriptive #FF post. Shauna selected @geniaus as the one person for her #FF tweet. Thankyou most sincerely, Shauna, this Follow Friday post meant a lot to me.

11 comments:

Judy Webster said...

Good to know that I have some support! I agree with your comment about 'Follow Friday posts that resemble shopping lists and are produced by some automated service.' I'm pleased that Shauna singled you out with her 'one #FF recommendation'. You deserve it.

Geniaus said...

Judy, Good to know I am not Robinson Crusoe!

Joan Miller (Luxegen) said...

Thank goodness you wrote about this! I've been thinking the same thing, especially when it came to bot type programs to help people do the #FF!

The way it was going with me was I'd see mentions of myself in #FF, then I'd feel guilty I hadn't reciprocated and would fire off a few. Then I'd think this is ridiculous - why am I doing this?
I should have clued in there were others feeling the same way.

What I have started doing instead is promoting folks that are giving talks or have books or great blog post contributions for the better of genealogy. I think that is more valuable than #FF. And I can do that ANY day of the week :)

Thanks again for bringing it up!

Alex said...

Viva la revolution! I've always been baffled by mass #FF myself. Like everyone I only have a limited amount of time, so I only follow people who add something worthwhile to my day - if you want to know who those people are, anyone can click on my Following list and see for themselves!

Alex aka @wychwoodnz and @oneplacestudies

Aillin said...

feeling a little sheepish...that would be my Twitter account Judy replied to in that screenshot you showed...I had been sort of using the #FollowFriday to show whose tweets I found most interesting that week, whose tweets I retweeted etc. The ffhelper program wasn't exactly automated, it gave lists showing who you had retweeted or mentioned recently in your tweets and you could chose whom to include in a FF post. That said though, I will certainly be using the 'less is more' option from now on. Useful lesson learned. Thanks :)

Tanya Honey said...

I was also very happy to see your's and Judy's comments about #FF. Whilst it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling when you see your own twitter name (rarely for me I might add!), it did clog up Friday's tweeting. Posting one #FF will be a lot more interesting.

Shauna said...

I was also feeling a bit overwhelmed by #FF but then found it very hard to try and choose just one of the many great people that I follow. As someone said to me, it will take me years to get round everyone! That said, I still think it is a better way to go than the mass tweets we were seeing.

Judy Webster said...

To give credit where it is due... It was Carole Riley who started the ball rolling with this.

Carole Riley said...

I'm just now catching up on blogs and had no idea of what I'd started! I'd been feeling guilty about not returning the #FFs for ages, but then when I followed someone's link to an automated thing that found all my re-tweeters I used it and thought 'what am I doing????'. Never again! So when I saw that post I thought it was worth putting it out there.

Shelley said...

As above. What they said. :-)

Seonaid Harvey Lewis said...

I'm with a lot of you here. A year or two back, everyone did it, every Friday (it felt like). Now in my tweetstream there are only a few who did. But I still felt terribly rude and guilty if I didn't reciprocate.

Relieved to know that there is no need. :-)

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