Why #FollowFriday is a Joke

Follow FridayHello, I would like you all to know that I know Joe, Bob, Suzy, and Frank. I would also like Joe, Bob, Suzy, and Frank to be notified that I told a couple thousand people that I know them.

I realize that to simply say I know these people would seem a tad bit strange and mostly irrelevant, so I’ll tell you that you should know them too. I don’t really care wether you would like to know them or not. I just want you to know that I know them.

On Twitter, this quizzical behavior manifests itself in the following format:

#FF @twitter @users @I @would @like @to @suck @up @to

We see this happen every Friday. It’s a joke. So much so that I’m choosing to rant about it on a Wednesday. I just want you to be ready before this Friday rolls around.

#FollowFriday in Theory

It all started when Micah Baldwin tweeted the following on Jan 16,2009:

I am starting Follow Fridays. Every Friday, suggest a person to follow, and everyone follow him/her.

He then sent messages to several highly influential friends:

Please retweet this. Follow Fridays – suggest someone to follow / everyone follow / use the hashtag #followfriday

And so it began…

In theory, you pick some of your favorite tweeters, slap an #FF or #FollowFriday hash tag on there and send it out to the world. Your followers see the recommendation and follow those people. Kind of like real life when you suggest an author or a music group.

Some folks still treat the #FF this way. I lovingly refer to them as engagers.

#FollowFriday in Practice

Spammer. Love. Fest.

Bots and less Twitter savvy folks send out droves of names preceded by a #FF. Your feed literally turns into a wall of @ mentions. You get mentioned by 100 people who don’t know you, in the midst of a couple 100 people who don’t care to know you.

All so someone might steal your attention for a couple of seconds.

These people do it wrong. They are, what I call, enragers.

The #RealFF Challenge

Get ready for this on Friday because we’re making it happen.

Recommend people who make your life better.

You wouldn’t walk up to a friend and randomly assign them a list of 5 other friends that you think they should know. You wouldn’t speak in lists of names, so don’t do that on Twitter. Focus on providing value and creating a community.

Perhaps we could format it like this:

#RealFF @username (because/for/to) reason

I’ve provided some examples:

  • #RealFF @donmilleris because he is an incredible author.
  • #RealFF @michaelhyatt because he will make you a better leader.
  • #RealFF @jonacuff for a good laugh.
  • #RealFF @lifehacker for some interesting life hacks.
  • #RealFF @chrisbrogan to learn about the art of human business.
  • #RealFF @Tennessean to keep up to speed in Tennessee.

Let’s tear down the Twitter #FF spam wall and promote people who actually add value to our lives. I’m counting on you to make this happen on Friday.

Photo Credit: Teri Litorco

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