#advent2012 blog 10 – generousity, truetwit and twitter

Twitter is a micro blogging site. I use it, (@sch3lp). it is simple and can be highly entertaining, although on one notable occasion I got into trouble through using twitter. Is it is an open forum. I am named on the site and take responsability for my views. If you don’t like what i say, or I overstep the mark, I can be easily identified and we can have that discussion. One of its redeeming features was demonstrated in the notable occasion above, i was able to publically apologise, when the option to apologise personally had been denied.

Twitter is technically it is simple. You search for someone you know, or know of, and you click the follow button on their profile. You follow people and they might follow you back. You have to ask to follow someone, they do not have to approve you. Unless they choose to make their profile private. At any time you can block someone from following them should you wish.

I like this way of working, you make the effort to follow someone, As the person being followed, you don’t need to approve your followers. You just know they are following you because you are saying something interesting, or they want to hear what you say. This is a good system. It is open, generous, giving validation and inquiring, encouraging people to be social. This has been questioned as I have started recieving messages, requests from a service called “trutwit” to “validate i am a real person” and not a spam twitter account.

I am uncomfortable about this for a number of reasons.

To have as your first response, when someone clicks to follow you, “well are you a real person” seems slightly rude. It is closed and seems ungenerous.
(you can follow me only after you prove you are a real person.)
The TruTwit website is seperate to twitter. I am uncomfortable with having to validate i am a real person with twitter and then with someone else before you let me follow you.
(you can follow me only after my doctor has said your a real person. But you have to go to his practice down the street.)
I don’t see the point of the service. If a spambot follows your account, you never have to interact with it, You do not need to follow back its spam. I am a youthworker, I try and ensure I am not followed by inappropriate spam for under 18’s. I choose to block the spambots.
The only point of this service if is you fail the turing test, or if you are not willing to engage with the social side of this social media tool.
(you can follow me only after my doctor has said your a real person. But you have to go to his practice down the street. OH, but don’t expect me to make the effort to look at you. I dont want followers to get in my way/take my time/ etc.)

Once you get over a certain number of followers it gets hard to keep a grip on who’s following you. (I don’t have this problem so I am imagining.) Using a service like trutwit says to me as a follower, you don’t care about me, you are not willing to take the time to look at me to the extent you cannot make work out if i am a real person. It smells of complacency, a lack of generousity of welcome & a missing spirit of inquiry.

I find that disappointing. If you ask for a trutwit validation, I am not sure I want to follow you.

Days 10s moment of Christmas music zen.
SHAKIN’ STEVENS – Merry Christmas Everyone