There’s been much contemplation as to what to call these… whatevers who follow 1000s of people on twitter, but with few followers. In a previous post, calling them a “spwitter” was an idea, but I agree, that was a little too cute and there’s very little cuteness about these… whatevers. “Spit” (spam + twit) is a good name for it. It’s nasty; it should have a nasty name.
There’s actually a real word that matches up closely: “twaddle”
twaddle |?twädl| informal
noun trivial or foolish speech or writing; nonsense : he dismissed the novel as self-indulgent twaddle.
Frankly, I still have yet to figure out what they’re doing with these feeds. They do have some followers, but they’re likely just other follow-bots like themselves.
Well, anyway, found a useful site if you want to see the stats of the folks following you. It has a great name for these… twerps: TwerpScan. That’s such a great name them.
It’s useful, but does take a little while to zap out your twerps because every block prompts you with an “are you sure?” back at your twitter site. That’s not a total deal breaker, though. Just have to come back to it chunks.
Hope that helps!
Update: Here’s a more helpful run-down of how it works.
Join the discussion 3 Comments
wait a minute here… Am I a spammer then?
My initial excursion into twitter left me with a blank feed. So I had to start following somebody. None of my friends use the service. So I started just following random people. At first I just tracked conversations, then interesting icons, at one point I just started farming Scoble's list of people he followed.
Point is, in a few days I was following some 1200 people – out of almost shere random intuitive clicking. And I had less than 30 people following me.
But that's how I plugged into the network, that's how I experimented with the service, that's how I put my ear to the ground to find out where the herd was.
I mean yes, maybe I should go backwards now – my interaction with twitter is now pretty much a random jump into the stream to see what's going on in the main party room. I enjoy and find value in that – but am I dragging the system down?
None-the-less, the logic is flawed. Who cares if they're following you – if they aren't producing interesting tweets for you – unfollow them.. but to block people who have disproportionate follower ratios is like prohibiting people who have low rss subscriptions from reading your blog.. how much sense would that make?
back to me, am I being a selfish twerp by following so many people?
Hey Sedgewick, You bring up some really good points. In fact, I would love to hear more about your experiences with this approach. Especially because I've met you personally and know you're not a “twit-bot.”
I don't think you're dragging the system down. You may really be getting a personal value out of this and no, there's nothing wrong with that. Especially if you're giving back to the community. And I know you are from our discussions at d.b.a.
And actually, to your point, I don't always care who follows me, but there are some who are nefarious in their intentions and it is these folks who bother me.
Can you please share some of your personal experience with using Twitter in the way you have?
I made the analogy to a client today, that my twitter experience was like cultivating a ballroom of people(or voices) and wandering through the constant stream of chatter to become informed, to hear new ideas, to mingle, and to meet random folks.
It has been a means to find pace with the evolution of tech. Mainly online social medias. Finding media, good media, interesting content, blogs, ideas, and web-services/apps – was not something I 'knew' how to do. But by cultivating my ballroom (via Twitt and now FF), I have meshed into a network of brilliant people actively participating in shaping and strengthening a human web of innovators and critics. It's really valuable.
To maximize that for me, though – it has been about diversity – following a large sample size of folks in order to interface intimately with a greater field of the unknown (when I first logged on to twitter a couple months back.. I had NO idea who anyone was outside of Scoble).
I basically threw a bunch of seeds into the backyard with a bucket, threw some dirt around and watered faithfully. From that sprung some amazing stuff: connections, ideas, and inspiration.
Specifically I have been interested in following people from my geographic region(NYC). This has been great.. it has allowed me to gain a sense of the localized 'tech' culture: events, ideas, trends, venues. I've learned a lot, met great people, and tapped into a vein of folks I don't think I could really have gained the connection with otherwise.
Shooting from the hip worked for me. I now am learning the skill of balancing one foot in twitter while one in friendfeed.