Now, thus far in my ramblings there has been a certain proverbial elephant in the room that has gone unremarked upon. Said pachyderm, if I may extends the metaphor, sits at the heart of the matter of why one wants to be on Twitter in the first place. The time has finally arrived when one must acknowledge the mammoth and wrangle with it. What am I wittering on about? Only thus: which is more important for a chap when it comes to followers - quality or quantity?
The simple answer, and one that being a good egg you will no doubt have alighted upon already, is 'both.' To see the quality/quantity dichotomy as a clear-cut choice in Twitter is to rather miss the point. One tweets to get maximum exposure with the hopes of reaching chaps of the better element. The two, so to speak, go hand in hand.
Nevertheless, after following a thousand chaps or so, even if one has been relatively discerning, one does pick up a goodly amount of dross along the way. Twitter is awash with accounts that appear to serve no discernible purpose whatsoever (except to bulk up the Twitter follower count of the undiscerning). Please understand, chaps, that this is not an attempt to call out any fellow twitter users (at least not those of the human variety). Indeed, I wish to speak only of the so called 'automated' account that has become as prevalent and bothersome in social media as a cockroach.
The term 'cockroach' was selected with some care. These blighters appear in endless numbers and are devilishly hard to get shod of. Sadly, they do not scurry away when one turns on the kitchen light, so the metaphor does fall down a bit. But there it is.
Now, I shall appear to wander from the subject for a paragraph or two, but read on and all shall be made clear. Wheels within wheels and so forth.
In my post from two days previously I announced my then follower count was 696. That was following four days of blistering growth from a starting point of nil. Subsequent to this champion performance, however, things rather stalled. It was a dispiriting sight to see that from the 696 point the follower count climbed ever slower. Like a cat-burglar who had indulged in rather too much gin before setting out, it frequently struggled to climb at all. By this morning the count was only an anaemic 770, where it stuck fast and refused to budge for the rest of the day.
'What has happened,' I imagine you must be saying. 'Has this chap lost his vim? Has he lost his vigour?'
Hardly, my good man. Rest easy. After a brief explanation the scales will, so to speak, fall from one's eyes.
After a quick examination of my followers it became evident that chaps from all over the world were still queueing up for this chap's distilled wisdom. There was no lack of new blood, so to speak. The lack of overall growth was owing to a rather curious trend: as each new recruit was arriving on the scene, another from the old guard was exiting quietly through the servants' entrance, so to speak.
'The cads!' I hear you say. 'The bounders!' you exclaim.
Both cads and bounders, I agree, but only in the figurative sense. For, unless one is very mistaken on the matter, the rogue twitterers that were pressing 'unfollow' are the said fake accounts discussed above.
Why do they do this? One can only hazard a guess. Perhaps once they have garnered a few thousand follows, the fake accounts (usually featuring a fetching lass in scant clothing with a nonsensical pseudonym) are sold on to the twitter black market. With a mere few clicks the new owner may change the avitar, bio, and even the username. The blaggard may even unfollow the helpless thousand or so bystanders who had innocently followed the account, and voila: one appears to have a mob of followers and yet only follow very few. A faux celebrity account, in effect.
A nasty business this, and one should perhaps decline to discuss it in mixed company. It is the way of the world, however, and sometimes one must shine the light of truth into the darkest corners.
Bucked up by my realisation that while the 'quantity' may be making for the exits, the 'quality' still was answering the call, I instructed my manservant Perkins to pour out two fingers of single-malt and fire up the PC. It was time for a bout of serious pruning of the account.
Because a week had now passed since my account was inaugurated, a full 1,000 chaps (and I use the term exceedingly loosely here) were cut loose after failing to do the decent thing and follow back. It was not an action taken easily. Bracing oneself was required. But it needed to be done. As before, this was done with the invaluable help of Manage Flitter.
Quick off the mark after the deed was done, 600 new hopefuls were followed tout suite. As I was rather loosing patience with the counterfeit tweeps at this point, I was more disciplined than normal about only following those who appear to possess true flesh and blood. As you may have gathered, I am a chap in the marketing trade, so I used the search feature on Twitter to find chaps in the marketing, public relations and social media industries. Once found, I followed with abandon!
The follow count is now rising as a result, although not at the exceedingly fast clip as in days of yore. This is partly owing to the fact that actual human beings do not as a rule employ 'autofollow' programs. Nevertheless the count now stands at a healthy 817, a mere 183 short of the desired goal.
In future posts I will discuss further these bounders and their infernal false accounts. For now, however, let's apply the brakes. This has been a post of full of hot stuff, and I dare say you've earned the right to call for the manservant and order a stiff one. Well done!