Thursday, January 19, 2012

Truly a Twit? I don't think so!

Occasionally as I follow new people on Twitter, I get an automated response from them that goes something like this:

"Thanks 4 the follow! Please prove U R not a Bot & validate..."

The first part is good, although I've learned that adept users of the English language can still use complete sentences and words on Twitter, even with the 140 character limit. It's merely a matter of efficiency with language.

The second part is a little startling and mildly insulting.

You see, if I've followed you on Twitter, it is a sign that I respect what you have to say to allow your thoughts into my news timeline.  So asking me to prove something is a bit rude.

On top of that however, the link that is supplied leads to a service called "TrueTwit Validation System" that promises to instantly give you 10,000 followers. Without even having to register for their service (which IS a required step to be "validated") I can tell that this is...

Hogwash!

The principles of effective social media participation have to do with engagement, with participation, and with value provided in the network through contribution, mentions, re-sharing, and feedback. None of that results in the instant assignment of 10,000 followers.

I don't drop people I follow when I get this message, but when I'm in the mood, I do call them out with a mention.

If you don't use the service, I recommend not using it. If you do already use the service, I strongly recommend turning off the Auto Follow message.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's startled and alienated by it.