Stop Doing Follow Friday Wrong

Only two hours into the day on the East coast, the #FF Tweets are already flowing through my stream. I tend to not pay much attention to these, as they seem to be the same every single week. It’s not that I don’t want to find new people to talk to – I do! But you’re doing it all wrong, guys. Those boring demands could end up making me unfollow you, instead.

Fun fact! Follow Friday was originally started by Gnomedex speaker Micah Baldwin.

Don’t send out a message telling me to #FF as many names as you can fit within the 140 character constraint. When you do this, you aren’t adding a single bit of value. Why should I follow Kimmie or Ron or Mary or Blake? What is it about these people that make them so spectacular? Choose instead only one person to promote. Give me their name, and explain to me why I absolutely need to pay attention to what they are saying.

Asking people to send out a #FF with your name attached is even more wrong than spamming me is. Hello? Have you ever paid attention to a single thing any social media expert has ever said? Being this self-serving is going to cause your numbers to drop faster than almost anything else I can think of. The Internet is not all about you, no matter how good or deserving you think you are. If someone out there feels that you have something to say that others need to hear, they will automatically tell their followers – without you begging them to do so.

Along those same lines, what’s up with RT’ing every #FF post which has your name in it? The people who will see this are already following you. They don’t need to be told to do so again. I had hoped the purpose of this was to get your followers to also follow the others mentioned in the same Tweet. Sadly, I asked a bunch of users for clarification. Each and EVERY one of them said they did it to show that someone felt they were worthy of following. In other words, they were showing off. *facepalm*

Lastly and most importantly, remember something my Community Manager Kat once said: “Community isn’t about connecting people to you… it’s about connecting them to each other.” THAT is the sole purpose of Follow Friday: connecting people to each other. This, in turn, creates more conversation in your own neck of the woods. Use your powers to connect users to each other instead of trying to gain more followers for yourself. You’ll be amazed at the results.

I promise.

Think Before You Tweet

Twitter is a great place to say what you think before you’ve had a chance to think about it. Oh, how true that seems to be every moment of every day in my Tweet stream. At any given moment, I can scan through Twitter and find things that make my eyes bug out of my head. My mouth will drop open in that “WTF?” shape and my head begins to spin. You know what I’m talking about, right? You’ve seen the Tweets that make you wonder if the person who typed it has temporarily lost their mind.

People spew things on Twitter before they stop to think about what they are typing. As we all know – once you put it out there, it’s there for good. Deleting your inane or drunken comments doesn’t really work. Someone – somewhere – has already read your message, and they likely took a screenshot to prove it. Twitter – and all social media sites – would be a much nicer place if users thought twice (or even once in some cases!) before they post.

Quite often, people try to be funny online. We will send out a quick Tweet to share something we find humor in, only to have people asking us what the hell we’re talking about. Sometimes, we may even have followers who take offense. They don’t get our humor. Our inside jokes simply don’t work in a medium such as this. Before you attempt to amuse your community, ask yourself if your message is funny in general – or just to you. Is it something that others will understand and appreciate the humor in?

Another culprit is anger – too often I see people vent their frustrations through their Tweet streams. Hell, I’ll admit it – I’ve done it a time or two, as well. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to do this… sometimes it can actually be effective. Before you bang out your mood via the keyboard, take a moment to compose yourself and your missive. Is your anger directed at a company or product? Make sure your message states what, who and why. Tell them you’re angry – but make sure you tell them why. This helps your followers as well as perhaps the company the words are aimed at.

If you need to carry on an actual conversation with another person, Twitter isn’t really the place for it. One-on-one communication still works best in other places, such as your email, an IM client or even a telephone. People will go crazy trying to figure out what you’re talking about, who it’s directed to and why the heck you aren’t including them.

It’s simple, really: just think before you Tweet. Your followers will thank you for it.

Do Your Tweets Make Sense?

Life doesn’t always make sense, so why should all of our Tweets? One fun new site is sure that you will agree with that sentiment. The premise behind That Can Be is a simple one: input your Twitter name and allow the service to compose your next Tweet. The results are often hilarious, usually head-scratchers and sometimes NSFW.

The hot new service quickly scans your Twitter timeline and randomly pulls words you have written together into a new message. The process takes only a few seconds, surprisingly. If you aren’t happy with what it comes up with, you can just click that “get your next Tweet” button again. A new missive will appear nearly instantly. As soon as you’re satisfied with the results, go ahead and push that “post this tweet” button – I dare you!

Disclaimer! I have never written anything about Steve downloading or installing any type of illegal booty. I swear it!

Website such as this are popping up all over the place lately: simple little things that quickly go viral. They leave us trying to figure out what the hype is about while we’re busy using their service every chance we get. What’s the pull behind things such as and others?

I’ve heard some claim that these services are just another way to get attention and promote ourselves. Still others dismiss them as “innocently fun time wasters.” Whatever you attribute the success of viral sites to, one thing is clear: they work. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to pimp yourself out by shining up an About.Me profile or clear your head by playing mindless games. These hip services do what they were intended to do from the start – suck you in and hold your attention.

What other services out there making the rounds tend to grab you and make you want to sign up? What is it about such simple little sites that cause you to go completely insane over them?

Borders, Bieber and WilsonTech1 – Thanks for the Memories

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Today is Lamarr’s last regular video on Lockergnome, and he used the opportunity to discuss another sad story: The death of Borders. According to the Wall Street Journal, they are preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy which will affect a good potion of their 674 stores nationwide. eReaders and eBooks are to blame for their demise, although the store itself may be to blame for not jumping on the digital bandwagon like Barnes & Noble did.

It’s a bit ironic that this huge chain is being destroyed when they did the same thing to the mom & pop book stores years ago; that’s Karma for you!

Lamarr loves Borders and hopes that they can pull it together; after all, where else will crazy people go to sniff books? (Seriously, there are people out there who love the smell of books; weird!)

Lamarr would like to thank all of the Lockergnome supporters that he’s had over the last year, Chris Pirillo for his extreme kindness in allowing him on the channel, and of course Kat Armstrong for being the behind the scenes person who dealt with him and his demands (smile) on a weekly basis. She’s the glue that holds this community together… the cheese to our macaroni… the peanut butter to our jelly… and yeah. Kat just rocks.

Lamarr – thank YOU from both Kat and myself. You are a great friend and have been a lot of fun to work with each week. We’re looking forward to watching you grow your own brand and will always be cheering you on.

PS – You’re probably wondering why in the heck we included the word Bieber in this post title. If you’ve ever spent five minutes browsing Lamarr’s Tweet stream, you’d understand!! Go on – check him out and subscribe.