So are you running for re-election, or not?

Speaking of Twitter — which seems to be my theme today — I really like this new feature that, each time you open or refresh your home page, suggests two users you might want to follow. It’s obviously based on whom you’re following already, and it seems to work pretty well. The last 20 or so people or organizations I’ve elected to follow have been based on those suggestions. Which is good, because I’m trying to build up my followers, and the way to do that is to follow more people yourself — I’ve found that I usually have a little more than twice as many followers as I follow myself (and I’ll consider my “brand” to be dying when the number I follow starts to catch up). But it’s hard, on my own, to increase the number I follow dramatically. I don’t like having my feed clogged up with stuff that doesn’t interest me. This new feature helps me build the numbers with relevant stuff.

But occasionally, I get a suggestion that sort of puzzles me. Like the suggestions to follow people who haven’t tweeted in 6 months — why not amend the algorithm to cull those out? And then there are those like this one (screen capture image above), which seem designed to push me away. (And I’m setting aside the turnoff from Twitter’s blatant number disagreement in that message.)

I mean, seriously — are you or are you not running for re-election? And if you are, why are you turning people who want to know more about you away?

Shannon Erikson is by no means alone in this. I’ve run across it before. Hers just happened to be the most recent example when it occurred to me to comment on this.

I just don’t get the thinking behind this phenomenon. If you are such a private person, don’t run for office. If you aren’t, throw open the doors and windows. Come on.

3 thoughts on “So are you running for re-election, or not?

  1. Shannon Erickson

    Hi & thanks for noticing that I tweet. I do watch who follows me on this electronic medium. You pondered the thinking behind this choice. I elected this option after I was followed by users who had highly suggestive user names that I did not believe my constituents would appreciate. If you send a request (with no profanity or anacronym-type user name that is not “G” rated) then I accept. As a mom, wife, daughter, teacher, neighbor, volunteer & yes, elected official, I am available in many ways to many people – Twitter is just one of them.

  2. Brad

    Thanks, Rep. Erickson! I appreciate you sharing your thinking on this!

    But to give a little advice based on what I’ve learned about social media, you know you can get rid of undesirable followers. I do it all the time. I’ve also found that often Twitter gets to them before I do (I’m thinking here of spammers trying to get me to look at their porn site or something.) In fact, it’s been awhile since I’ve had to dump one myself.

    But you know what’s best for you, of course. I just appreciate your being patient enough with me to respond.

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