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Thursday, February 27, 2014

It's Time to Retire Follow Friday

Twitter is one of my favorite places to hang out. I love having conversation with people there and checking in to see what others are talking about, but there's one Twitter tradition that needs to be retired. Follow Friday.

Let me be clear, I appreciate each Follow Friday mention I receive, but there are authors and others who only do it to promote themselves. There's even a service that will do all the Follow Friday tweets for them!

That's not what Follow Friday (#FF) was intended to be.

In the early days of Twitter (and I've been on there for six years now!), Follow Friday was a way to help new people find others to friend. Someone would usually tweet the person's user ID and then a short reason about why they'd be fun to tweet with.

Before much longer, this morphed into tweets with just a list of user IDs and a #FF tacked on. The problem with this, though, is that it had nothing about why to follow someone. As this new list style became more and more pervasive, Follow Friday became less useful and fewer people participated.

But there are still some diehards who tweet out their list of names for Follow Friday every week, and in an aggravating twist, those who were part of this list began retweeting the #FF post.

Maybe it's just me, but the only Follow Friday mentions I see anywhere on Twitter right now are from the people doing it to promote themselves. With those they mention either retweeting the tweet (which means everyone who's friended them sees it) or my style, which is to say thank you and then put the user ID (which means all of my friends see it).

Again, maybe it's just me, but when I see a #FF with a list of names that fills all 140 characters, I don't even read it anymore let alone check anyone out to see if I want to follow them. This defeats the whole purpose of the hashtag and why I think it's time for it to end

The value to this type of tweet is long, long gone.

For Follow Friday to be worth anything again (as well as it's less well known cousin, Writer Wednesday (#WW)), it means that those sending out the tweets need to go back to adding a reason why I should care about following this person. You know like this: "#FF @Patti_OShea because she always retweets the best science stories and loves to say good morning to people."

And if I'm interested in science stories, I might check out this Patti O'Shea. ;-) But just a list of names? Um, no. We might as well call Follow Friday done and move on.

BTW, if you want to follow me on Twitter, you can find me here: