The debate over whether you should follow everyone who follows you on Twitter has raged on ever since the popular microblogging service gained traction. Some say following everyone eliminates the real value Twitter provides--connecting with others of similar interests. Others say that following everyone actually provides more value.
But if you consider some of the finer points of following everyone who follows you on Twitter, I think you might come to the realization, just as I have, that following everyone is not just a responsible move on your part, it's good of the entire community.
Nope, there aren't rules, but there is etiquette
There aren't any rules forcing you to follow your followers on Twitter, but that doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do.
If someone has found you compelling in some way, shouldn't you give them the benefit of the doubt and follow them back? It's not like you can't block them in the future if you think their tweets are inappropriate.
To me, Twitter is all about the community. And by signing up, that community has made the conscious decision to interact and share interests, ideas, and personal information. If someone follows you, they're saying, in effect, that they want to hear what you have to say and care about your ideas.
I don't see anything wrong in following them as a gesture of appreciation and confirmation that you're willing to hear what they have to say, as well. After all, if you want to become a part of the community, isn't it only right that you hold up your end of the bargain and give them the same respect they've given you?
The 'noise' argument holds little water
Whenever I discuss my reasoning for following everyone who follows me on Twitter, I invariably receive the same response from those who disagree: "following everyone is too much trouble and you can't find all the conversations you actually want to engage in."
I currently follow over 2,400 people on Twitter and I've never had an issue finding really interesting and relevant information. Sure, some of it has nothing to do with me--discussions about grilled cheese sandwiches, for one--but there's quite a bit that my followers discuss that I'm interested in. I'd say that more than 80 percent of all the updates that flow through my stream are worthy of discussion. And I don't think I'm unique.… Read more