Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trying to understand social media

Ok I understand Face Book, well sort of.  I mean I know it's where I can hook up with friends and get spammed endlessly for help whacking someone in mafia wars or fertilizing a friends farm in farmville.  Yes I've played those games and many more.  But Twitter....twitter is another animal.  Ok no games, that's a plus, and I'm limited to 140 characters - microblogging I get, it's hard but I get it.  I understand retweeting and I'm just starting to understand the # labels on things.  I even understand follow Friday.  Lists - I understand the concept. 
But what I don't understand is why why why I'm being followed?  I currently have 75 followers and they range from people I know like @scupperlout (Melanie) @thefirstcarol (Carol) @theclassiccarol (Carol's sistah) and so on.  There are people that follow me because of the whole writer thing or the foodie thing and then there are the ones I have no clue about.  Portland Roofing is following me.  I don't think I ever mentioned in a tweet I needed a new roof. It's nice to know that if I do I have a follower that is into that sort of thing, but... it's kind of creepy in a way.  I'm piling up followers (and yes I do cull the crew from time to time).  Do people follow to see how many folks they can follow?  Do they have software that will automatically follow anyone in a 25 mile radius?  Do I care?  Should I care?  I mean I follow people I don't know, but I don't do it randomly there's usually a reason I decide to follow.
I followed Mayor Sam Adams and was then stunned when he turned around and followed me.  Poor guys twitter feed is filled with my banal tweets about using Parmesan rinds in soups to add flavor or my retweeting tweets.  I don't even LIVE in Portland!  I guess, in a way, twitter is kind of like writing.  You write a book, or I suppose a blog, and put it out there and then perfect strangers will read it.  But still....a roofing company?


  1. They have a lot of overhead. They have to drum up business somewhere. But I wonder...did you ever tweet about your dogs barking? Roof, Roof.

  2. I have ceased trying to understand why people follow me. Religious specific Tweeters, someone from the Netherlands who doesn't type in English, golf people (I guarantee I never said anything about golf before Tiger stuff), Resers (why, because I write about the Beavers?), OregonMusicNews... If they all want to read what I say, I can't think of any reason why I should dislike it.

    I think part of it is also that people create these feeds with their business in mind, then realize it's more than that and just find stuff they enjoy. The roofing people may just find you entertaining. :) Actually, that's part of why I have two...