First, a word of explanation.
I don't think I've ever participated in Follow Friday before, but I was inspired to do so by this post by Chris Brogan. Brogan, while lauding the practice, saw some drawbacks in the way it was implemented.
Follow Friday has become a bit of a mess to look at on Twitter, because every Friday, many people start posting 140 characters worth of names of people they feel you might benefit from knowing.
Brogan proposed a solution:
My idea: turn Follow Friday into a single tweet with a link to a blog post of the people you think others should follow.
It solves two problems: It gives you more than 140 to talk about the people you recommend, and it also cleans up Twitter so that we don’t watch a stream of @someoneawesome names rushing by all day.
You with me?
Not entirely. You see, here's what Chris' Follow Friday tweet looked like:
My list of people to follow for this Friday - http://bit.ly/b8Fg3S
Now perhaps some may regard the lack of @names in the tweet as a refreshing lack of clutter, but to my mind they reduce the usability of the tweet. How will Twitter users @Ed, @MayhemStudios, and the rest know why they're getting the sudden surge in traffic? The critical information is buried away in a blog post.
Initially I simply stated my thoughts in a comment to Brogan's original post, but then I figured it would be better off to model my ideal vision of how this should be done. Hence this post, with its title "#followfriday why @MissKellyO @rahsheen @clydetombaugh @chrisbrogan."
Since I'm writing this in my music blog, the listed #followfriday people are all musically-related. Well, with the exception of Brogan, and perhaps he's a karaoke master or something like that.
Let's start with @MissKellyO, or Kelly Osbourne. Introduced to the world via reality television, she earned her place on this list via one song - "One Word." See my June 2008 post about this song - sadly, the lip-synced all-male version of the song is no longer available on YouTube.
Next we have @rahsheen (Rahsheen Porter). He's known online for a number of things, one of which is his music. Check out his music page or his last.fm page.
My last Follow Friday person is not a musician, unless he warbles Barry Manilow songs to his pet pig. @clydetombaugh is the Twitter handle for Gene "Bean" Baxter, a resident of the state of Washington who broadcasts on a Los Angeles radio station. Some people consider him slightly eccentric. However, there's no denying that as one of the deejays for KROQ's morning show, Baxter has been an influential music figure for the better part of twenty years. Don't believe me? Just ask Gordon Lightfoot. Or the author of this page.
Well, this was fun. Perhaps I should do this with some of my other blogs - anyone up for an Inland Empire Follow Friday in the future?
P.S. If you have an interest in music-related tweeters, all of these people and more can be found on the Empoprise-MU Twitter list at http://twitter.com/empoprises/empoprise-mu.\\
[UPDATE 2:10 PM]
Chris Brogan responded to my comment on his blog. Here is his response:
That would take away the reason why I recommended the shift. In my mind, the shift is about cleaning up all the @ traffic that just is a mention of someone's name, and it's a way to extend the relationship.
They'll see it when they see a boost of followers, or if they've got big ears (google "grow bigger ears").
When you Google the phrase in question (I haven't checked to see if you can Bing it), the first search result is for Brogan's January 2009 post on self-monitoring. The post provides an example of how you can use various free services to monitor mentions of anything - you, your brand, your competitors.
While I still prefer the explicit mention of the followee in the tweet itself (as long as it's supplemented by a "why" reason, either in the tweet itself or in an external source), there's certainly an argument that can be made for the other view.
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