My 2010 Twitter motto: flag the creeps and block the perps.
Now I don't actually know Lawrence Bland, but his opening tweet to me, his pickup line if you will, is awful. I think it is our duty to unfollow and REPORT folks we think are abusing the system. Lawrence might be a nice guy, he might be "bland" and he might be a bot.
What Lawrence is not, is he is not a friend or someone I would suggest you follow. Yours2buy, same story.
So one strategy is to not UNFOLLOW anyone. And certainly not BLOCK anyone. That's one strategy.
Another strategy, which I have been writing about and practicing for about 5 months is follower clarity (paying attention to WHO is following you as well as how many) as well as keeping your following clean.
One way folks get a lot of followers, is ramping up their follows, to the max. Twitter gates you after the first 2,000 "follows." After that there is some mystical ratio. Follow to many people, you'll get an unhappy message from Twitter.com saying you have been prevented from following any more people. This is the process that most people are familiar with.
But as a social media educator and advocate, I think we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. If pornsters and scammers are following you, their idea is that people following you will look at who else is following you and follow that. Does that make sense? Do you follow?
Twitoria A simple tool for unfollowing people who don't follow you back.
Friend or Follow (built by local smarty pants Dusty and Ceasar) does a great job of showing you the pictures of all the people who you are following but are NOT following you. You can also see who is following you but you are not following. In the uber.web 2.0 function, you can export the lists as .csv files to use later. Kudos to data portability.
TweetSweeper – a great service for auto-deleting known spammers from your list. Works in the background with or without your help. You might watch the deletions for a while to make sure none of your critical peeps are unfollowed by accident.
TwitBlock.org – my favorite tool for unfollowing folks with a less than stellar rep on Twitter.
TwitCleaner – a very nice service that will do the work of identifying spammy tweeters. You have to pay $5 if you want the owner to do the unfollowing for you. Had some mixups with paypal, and his system. He unfollowed all the people on his report, then refollowed. He tweeted me the second I interacted with his site however, so a great person. I'd work with him again. I think he killed 1,200 followers in one day. NICE!
As you go for quality over quantity, you will begin to see even spammy followers create problems for others. Why not rid more of the spammers and scammers from the tweetstream for everyone? Do your part, flag the creeps and block the perps.
Note: What about people that block me? Back in the summer I had a TweeSpat with a resident Biz Blogger. And guess what, seems like *somebody* went on a block @jmacofearth jihad. In fact, that person was pretty effective at writing mean things, writing untrue things, and basically starting a campaign of blockage. No problem, but what about people that BLOCK me? Coming soon, the cleaned up version of the TwitterSniper posts, with all the names and players protected to protect the protected. (grin)
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