Last week, I stated publicly I was going to try and increase the number of followers I have. Amazingly, this appears to be happening.
If I said this had happened solely via the medium of offering free stuff, it would not be far off the truth, but I watch incoming followers quite closely. It wasn’t just the incentives, and the number of ‘trash’ accounts (robots picking up on hashtags and keywords) is, it must be said, at an all time low. This therefore gives me hope that building an audience may yet be possible, and if I could retain 10 new people a week going forward, that would certainly be a starting point. I’ve found a couple of ways to engage outside the obvious imagery, but starting this week I’ll be using that as a means by which to stimulate discussion. Undoubtedly, this is the way to poke your already present audience into interaction, and to encourage them to tell friends about you.
Of course, Twitter would love you to spend money to build that audience. In fact, it is rather hoping more people do this long term rather than using the platform as a free chat client, but that’s the downside of any Social media space built organically. When gaming companies build chat frameworks around IP and Apps in the hope you’ll use them even when you’re not playing games, well… it all boils down to the same, basic theory. Once you have a ‘platform’ is it enough just to exist within it, or should there always be expansion? In this case, do I want to remain an echo chamber of my own ideals or is it time to allow the opposite viewpoints in. I’d like to promote discussion, in any form, so that means that accepting dissent has to be a long term goal, as well as promoting people generally to turn up and take part. That’s why all this work is done in public, and not via Private Groups or password only Discord, because down that way, inevitably, exclusivity lies.
Of course, if I followed everybody that followed me, I’d probably be in five figures right now and close to a nervous breakdown. I should remind the new people that Twitter serves as my long-term writing tool and therefore having too much crap to wade through daily is a disadvantage. That’s why Lists are going to become a thing going forward for certain topics, but why also I keep 900 followers as an extremely intentional line in the sand. Curation has become an indispensable tool in making sure I’m listening to receptive people, but still there are moments when people leave and I’m sad, even now. It is the very nature of this platform that you get attached to individuals way more than is true the other way. I think that’s just human nature and there’s nothing that can be done about it.
However on the flip-side, this means other people end up obsessing about you far more than is healthy. I’m still seeing the fallout from the last particular incident of this even now, the slow drip away of people who followed me because of a certain person and now have decided I’ve changed without them around. I have, like it or not, and that evolution will continue as a constant theme going forward. Asking people for money has made me a sell-out, I promised I’d never go there, and once you break a promise like that…? yeah, I’m just like everybody else. It happens. Principles are great, right up to the moment you need to feed yourself or make a career late in life.
Sometimes, you have to accept you were the one who was misguided and just move on.