It kind of came home to me over the last few days that there are only really a couple of reasons for following someone online. Either because I have an established relationship with them or they post interesting stuff. Sometimes I get lucky and get the joy of both 😉
Conversely, I’ve gotten into the habit of tweeting geeky, brummie, webby stuff because, well, most (but not all) of my followers are brummie social media types. If I were a celebrity (or more involved in the local scene) things might be different but right now I can’t bring myself to tweet my caffeine levels to Birmingham Bloggers.
Having said that, there’s enormous value in being able to dip into this crowd to pick up the vibe or lob an idea out there. It’s rather like wandering around a friendly convention or themed festival. You overhear stuff and can strike up conversations on anything that snags your interest.
I’m looking at getting my long-overdue second camera lens and it feels very analogous. I want to take in more of the picture but I also want to get the detail of my actual friends. The obvious Twitter hack (twhack?) is to create a new account under my actual name. This’ll be selective but get all notifications. Meanwhile, the original account gets notifications toned down but I’ll add anyone who catches my eye and — best of all — no-one has to suffer an unfollowing.
Update 15/2/10: the unusual ability of Twitter to change usernames (useful for brand bartering, I guess) means I can — and now have — made @sihammond my public, catch-all account whilst my original account is retained just for personal stuff (hence me not broadcasting it here).