Is Chris Brogan Wrong?

Recently, Chris Brogan – a respected industry colleague and someone we’ve worked with on occasion, wrote “50 Power Twitter Tips,” a nice little post that’s been viewed about 10,000 times or so. It was also put into video form by one of his fans, as you can see here:

One of those 50 tips seems pretty straightforward: “Follow anyone who follows you (and unfollow spammers/jerks).” Now, I realize that this may not be everyone’s style on Twitter but with nearly 150,000 of his own followers (on just one of his accounts), I tend to think Chris’ advice is probably pretty solid if you’re looking to build influence. But lately I’ve noticed a lot of folks doing the opposite – or, more specifically, I’ve noticed a lot of long-time Twitter friends who have reached large follower numbers suddenly unfollowing massive amounts of their followers. It seems to be a trend – they reach 18,000, 20,000 followers and suddenly they trim their following list to 500, 200 or less. What’s with the new trend?

I asked a few folks and some feedback has been genuine “I’ve decided to only follow people I’ve met personally or who add value to my life,” and some has been esoteric, like “Just cleaning up.” Personally, I think it comes across as a bit narcissistic (of course, lately I’m feeling this way about a lot of social media) and disingenuous. It seems like these folks are building up to large numbers and then unfollowing to make themselves seem more interesting, popular or influential. It seems like they’re banking on the fact that most Twitter users don’t spend a lot of time managing their network and therefore won’t realize they’re no longer mutually connected.

Anyone else notice this trend? Any insights into why folks are doing this? Is social media becoming a burden and therefore people are changing their strategies? Personally, I’ve decided I like Chris’ advice. The reason I like it is that yes, following a large group of people could be cumbersome – if you didn’t know how to use tools to manage your lists and find what you want when you want it. But I use technology like Nutshell from Constant Contact (a client), TweetDeck, Tweepl and many more awesome tools to do just that. So I can always find what I need and track key words, trends, followers and more in a timely fashion. But I like to follow most of those who connect with me because in doing so, I sometimes find nuggets of information that I wouldn’t have been looking for – the more people I follow, the more interesting information comes my way. So for me, I’ll keep following my new followers … unless of course, they’re “spammers or jerks.”

What about you? What’s your Twitter following strategy?

Persuasive Picks for the week of 02/01/09

MC Hammer TransitionHow MC Hammer went from caricature to human being – the social media story
Jim Tobin from IgniteSocial.com shares a few simple lessons for corporate marketers citing how MC Hammer has leveraged social media to help build his business and reputation with social media marketing.

ROI (Results on Insights) of Online Communities
Beth Kanter consistently offers up excellent information on her social media blog for non-profits. This post includes several perspectives and great links to additional supporting posts around the topic of ROI and Online Communities.

8 Questions to Ask Your “Social Media Expert”
Using a product or service doesn’t instantly make you an expert. How do you differentiate between the knowledgeable folks and the snake-oil salesmen in the social media space? Dave Fleet offers up 8 questions to ask any “Social Media Experts” you might be considering doing business with. Be sure to browse the comments for additional advice and opinions.

The Importance of a Social Media Support System
Are you the sole evangelist for deploying a social media strategy in your organization? Have you given much thought to how much support you’ll get from the rest of the organization? This post from marketer Jacob Morgan provides some food for thought in that area.

B2B Social Media Marketing: Why should you start?
Kate Brodock from the Other Side Group highlights last week’s post B2B social media marketing post from MarketingProfs and expand on it in the areas of brand outreach and thought leadership.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/21/08

This week brings five picks on a variety of topics to dive into. Enjoy!

Overcoming key resistence to adopting social media
If your company still hasn’t adopted a social media strategy, then it might be due to one of the reasons listed in this post. However, Shel Holtz lends his expertise to show you why these excuses no longer hold water.

Personal Brand Statement Contest – Win The Full Issue 4
If you haven’t paid for a subscription to Dan Schwabel’s excellent Personal Branding Magazine, then this post will allow you to download a sample of the upcoming issue as well as enter into a contest to win the full version when it comes out.

Video Comments? No Thanks – 5 Reasons They Don’t Work
Earlier this week TechCunch launched the ability to leave video comments on blog posts as an alternative to a traditional text comment – courtesy of the new Seesmic plugin for WordPress. At first, video comments seem to be hip alternative to typing, but in this post, Josh Catone clearly reveals a few downsides to adopting video comments on your blog.

del.icio.us as a PR measurement tool
Andrew Careaga of the Higher Ed Marketing blog gives some incite on a recent experience using the social bookmarking site del.icio.us as a measurement tool when keeping track of media coverage. His advice could also be carried over to similar tools like StumbleUpon, Digg and Reddit.

Seven Types Of Highly Effective Corporate Blogs
In this post, Mitch Joel covers 6 styles of corporate blogs and provides examples of each. Does your company’s blog fall into one of these categories? Or perhaps one of these blog types will inspire you to get one started if your company still hasn’t joined the blogosphere.