You might have noticed that the Law School's main twitter account has a lot of Twitter followers (nearly 5000 as of this writing), and also follows a lot of people. But we don't follow everyone who follows us. Why not? Because we feel that Twitter is as much about listening as it is about broadcasting, and we want to be able to hear what the people who are interested in our content are saying and to be able to converse with them when appropriate. To do that, we need to be able to slow down the firehose and filter out the signal from the noise. While we have no hard-and-fast rules and each decision is made individually, below are some of the things we consider when we decide whether or not to follow someone back.
In general, we will follow you if:
- You appear to be a real person. Hint: a photo and a bio go a long way toward establishing that fact.
- We know you are a student or an alum.
- Your feed consists of more than links to other people's content. We are especially excited to see you in conversation with other users.
- You are following us because you are interested in our content. If your feed provides evidence that you are engaged in the sorts of issues we tweet about, we'll be a lot more eager to add your stream to the river of tweets we encounter every day.
In general, we will not follow you if:
- You are a spambot, or your account is used purely for the promotion of goods or services. We tend to see a lot of follows from law firms whose entire feeds consist of "So-and-so provides personal injury counsel in the area of Such-and-such County," over and over again. We do make an exception for other law schools and libraries, who usually provide links to quality content that may be of interest to our community.
- Your account is protected. We figure that if you don't want most people to see some of the stuff you're tweeting, you probably don't want us to see it.
- You have never actually tweeted. Not much point in us following you, then, is there?
- You tweet primarily in a language other than English. This is entirely our failing, rather than yours. We wish we had staff that could read the dozens of languages spoken by our followers, but alas, we do not. Tweets in languages we can't read could quickly begin to drown out those that we are capable of interacting with, and we would all be the worse for it.
What do you think of these lists? Do you have guidelines for which accounts you will or won't follow?