Twitter's Follow Friday and the Quest for the Why?
What Does Follow Friday Mean To You?
I started with that question.
Actually the question was "what does #followfriday mean to me?" brought about by this interesting twitter practice, that uses either the #followfriday or #ff hashtags to recommend people to follow on twitter (on Fridays of course ;) ). At first I found it very helpful, especially when I saw the recommendations of other folks. I loved to see who people were talking about and often did just that: followed new people.
Here is a great article about Follow Friday, if you'd like to know more :)
As the practice evolved and Twitter grew, I began to see that on Fridays people who were recommending people were adding as many twitter handles as they could within 140 characters and often times not just with one tweet but using up to three or more tweets recommending quite a bit of people. Those meant nothing to me. I just started to see a bunch of names scrolling down my twitter timeline, with no value to me. I rarely got an insight into who these folks were that were being recommended. A lot of the time they weren't even recommended by the person I was following but the person was simply retweeting someone else's #followfriday recommendations. Any insight that I would have gleaned from the recommendation was lost, as often times I gained insight not only from the recommendations but from the person doing the recommending. There was some sort of exchange of something more than just twitter handles. That was now lost to me.
It was the lack of meaning and value that made me question #followfriday as a whole. I questioned whether or not I wanted to participate. I questioned if this whole #followfriday thing was worth anything? I do think that it's worth it. I came to that conclusion by simply asking what it meant to me, beyond just Twitter, and hashtagging. What I loved about this practice from the beginning was a deeper knowing of other people. I was missing the Why?
Meaning comes from you
So, I've decided to share, on Fridays a person, organization, company, or product that I find valuable on Twitter with more than 140 characters. I'll either write a blog post, share a picture or even some audio about the chosen subject and then twitter about it. There are so many incredible folks on Twitter, some that I know personally, some that I know virtually through Twitter, and some that I don't know at all, but admire from afar. It's in the sharing of these wonderful people or organizations in a deeper way that holds meaning to me. Follow Friday is about asking what holds meaning to me and how am I going to share this to add value for others.
It is in your own individual expression that the gift of social media becomes unraveled.
What are your thoughts about Follow Friday?
What does Follow Friday mean to you?
I'd love to know your thoughts!
Oh, and stay tuned for the special Friday posts :) Starting next week? Or maybe later on this beautiful Friday :)