Follow Policy: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et al.

Social networks are powerful, meaningful tools I have had the opportunity to leverage we ll for personal and professional benefit.  Just last week I was trying to find good camping locations and received several good recommendations.

I have also gone overboard at times with my virtual social life by,  for example, facebooking when I should be playing with my kids, or being glued to twhirl instead of my work.

It’s time to make some changes to who and why I follow/friend/add people to these networks.  In the past, I have allowed LinkedIn to be my most conservative network, but time and life dictates that I need to be much more selective about my other social interactions, too.

So, with a hat tip to Shel, here’s my Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (“TwinkedInBook”?) follow policy:

  • As a general rule, I only add/follow people I actually know. That means we have had some meaningful interaction and that your connection aligns with the things I care about.
  • I welcome conversations.  If I have said something you want to comment on, please do, but be real, and open about who you are.  I don’t have to follow you to hear you. This is the Internet. @robertmerrill me, and I will find it.  If you really need to reach me, um, my full name at gmail dot com is a pretty good starting point.
  • I get that networking is not just socializing [via @jibberjobber]. I like both, but I am primarilly online for networking in the sense of a professional relationship. I believe  networking is about what you give and get.  I wont follow you if I don’t think I can meaningfully give to you and/or that I can receive from you appropriately as well.  By the way, I still believe the appropriate balance is to GIVE 10x what you RECEIVE in any relationship, but I will not follow you unless you’re providing a relevant, useful and thought-provoking connection.
  • If I don’t follow you, or just stopped following you, please don’t be offended. Really. It’s not you. It’s me.
  • I will follow companies when I want announcements or information. I will follow people when I see relevance in what you’re talking about.  I will unfollow and/or block both when the conversation becomes you selling something, or regurgitating, or just “@username lol!” -ing all day long.
  • The things I say are my opinions and beliefs. Yours are your own. Keep that clear and we will get along just fine 🙂
  • I reserve the right to change this or update it at any time, or at no time, for any or no reason.

And now begins the purging of the accounts…


2 thoughts on “Follow Policy: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et al.

  1. A powerful tool that is often overlooked on twitter is lists. You can still follow all the people who follow you, as a courtesy, and then instead of following your standard timeline, click on the list of people that you really care to follow. This creates a new timeline that will have purged most all of the stuff you don’t really want. If someone starts to break your follow rules stated above, you can just remove them from the list and voilu00e0 no more tweets from them. This also works great when a person you are normally interested in following is attending a conference/meeting or #chat and tweeting much more than normal, filling your timeline with stuff you are not interested in. After the heavy tweeting is over (meeting/conference/chat adjourned) just put them back on your list.

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