Inform, Inspire, and Entertain – Twitter Traits

What do you look for when you follow people on Twitter? For me I look at Twitter as a great way to learn new things, get inspired, and yes for entertainment.

imageTwitter has proven to be a great resource to connect with old  friends and to meet new people. Not in the way Facebook or LinkedIn allow. Twitter can be a lot like meeting meeting friends and business associates at a trade show. Where you only see them once in a while and for short bursts of conversation.

Another thing I really like about Twitter is that it’s so easy to follow people that have a completely different point of view from mine. Not that I only look for this, but it’s a great way to get a new perspective. For me the three primary criteria I look for when I follow people are people that Inform, Inspire, and Entertain.

Not necessarily in this order and not necessarily all together. I’m sure you have your own set of criteria you use when you pick and choose who you follow and who you follow back.

Who has time to “Check Out” people they follow or follow back?

imageTo this I say --- Who Doesn’t?

I’m a lot like @vincenthunt because I do read the bio/profile before I follow or follow back.

The Twitterati – A few thoughts

Everyone follows them. Either directly or indirectly. For better or worse I know if I miss something they tweeted it will be retweeted dozens if not hundreds of times. The best stuff will rise to the top. There is a strong element of Social Darwinism evident in Twitter and across Social Media in general. A few examples of the Twitterati are listed below.

  • @chrisbrogan, Pete Cashmore (@mashable), @guykawasaki and a handful of others that are tremendously talented and prodigious tweeters. They deserve the accolades they have received. They work hard to stay at the top and it shows.
  • An Interesting Trend – Lately I have noticed a few of the Twitterati starting to falter under the load of their followers. This is not a bad thing and is expected as Twitter goes through the motions of Social Darwinism. Note: Don’t get too excited - I’m not referring to those listed above.

My Three Criterion – In Use & A Few I Follow

  • Inform – There are so many people out there that freely share what they know. A few I follow that get me thinking and introduce me to new stuff every day. @chrisgeier, @georgedearing, @freakonomics, @HarvardBiz and especially people like @chrispirillo (I'm not a mac guy, but I LUV his passion). There are too many people here to name them all, but suffice it to say there is so much more out there.
  • Inspire – There are a lot of people and organizations on Twitter that have put themselves out there. They go the extra mile to help people learn new things with insight into themselves and the world. A few at the top of my list are @vincenthunt, @danschawbel, @TED2009
  • Entertain – Sometimes you just need a laugh. I like @smuttysteff, @robinwalker, and @standupcomedy for the funny, insightful, and sometimes just irreverent comments they tweet.

Who do I follow that doesn’t follow me back?

If you want to see who I follow that do not follow me take a look at this link – this is from Friend or Follow. If you want to check your own stats. Click on the link and enter your Twitter alias in any Twitter alias to see following, fans, and friends. It’s a great tool and provides useful information about Twitter followers.

Follow Me or Not – that’s OK: If you are on this list and like what I tweet feel free to follow me - or not. My TwEgo (Twitter Ego?) can handle it. As long as you keep meeting my three criterion I will keep following you.

My Request To You: If you follow me and I don’t follow you back --- feel free to @ me. If you have a picture, a bio, and say at least a little about what you do there is a good chance it was just an oversight on my part. Also, I will look to see if you fit my three criteria while I check out your tweets.

imageTrue Confession:
I feel I get a lot more out of Twitter than I put into it.

I’m not trying to minimize or marginalize what I do. I do Tweet a lot, but there is so much good information out there that I find I am always learning.

One of the best things I like about Twitter is people freely share what they know. I have greatly benefitted from the information, inspiration, and entertainment that the people I follow have shared. Thank You!

To all those that follow me --- I hope you have a similar feeling and perception.

That's my story. What's yours? Who do you follow and why?

Post your comment here


Jeff is a expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He is an international speaker and writer on the Intersection of People and Process in Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet (IBM), K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax, Kodak and Winshuttle.

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Roy Scribner said…
The trade show analogy is a good one. However brief, Twitter does give us a method for connecting and staying connected, for those who engage.
Rachel Levy said…
Great post Jeff! I make my decision based on their bio (I'm usually looking for Social Media or marketing), location (I'm more likely to follow someone in Boston) and ratio (ensure their follower number is in the same range as followees). If someone I'm not following, sends me an @reply then I'll usually follow back.

I really like your Inform, Inspire and Entertain moniker too!

-Rachel (@bostonmarketer)
Angels Knocking said…
@AbuzzB I follow everyone that follows me, it's all about two way communications. You just never know what you can learn from another until you at least open that door of possibility and sometimes it's just nice knowing that their there. With twitter your connection just doesn't stop at that one person, you're now connected with all their friends and so on.
Jeff Shuey said…
Thanks to everyone who has commented here, on Twitter, and via e-mail. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

it's interesting that some follow EVERYONE that follow them. That's cool and understandable. For me, as I peruse the bio I also look at the tweets as well as the followers. If I see someone has 2000 following and very small numbber of followers it's a red flag. They could be new and I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Then I look at their tweets. If there are zero or just a few tweets with limited info I'm not likely to follow.

I'm like most people --- very curious and there are many times I'll follow just to see what might come up. As mentioned in a few comments - the beauty of Twitter is that there are lots of interesting, funny, and inspiring characters out there. I LUV it.
chrisg said…
I love being a part of the convsation, meeting new people and hearing different points of view, insights etc. Twitter has thus far been a great experience for me.