It concerns me a little bit, as I get more involved with Twitter, that I'm noticing a trend. The broadcast Twitterer (my own word). Twitter is supposed to be (like the Internet in it's most basic premise) an interactive experience. I've noticed more and more that many folks broadcast out their information on Twitter, some of it very useful and informative, but still mostly one way. I've even noticed that some folks do get the concept that the micro-blogging idea is an interactive activity and they'll ask questions, but never actually acknowledge if you take the time to answer their quesitons. Now maybe they are so innundated with responses that they can't get back to everyone personally (thru an @keithpape or by DM'ing). If this is the case, then kudos to them, but a generic response to all saying 'hey - thanks for all the incredible responses I got - they are so numerous I can't get back to each one of you individually'. Has Twitter just replaced the banner ad as a new way to get your brand in front of a maximum number of people?
That brings me on to the 'ears' issue. I call it 'ears' because it reminds me of those old vietnam war movies where they always have some nutty soldier lopping off the ears of his enemy as a collection of his conquests. I'm wondering about the thousands of people that some folks follow (and the correlation to the thousands that follow them). Are people just following others so they'll get followed? Is that the etiquite that is being established? Is that okay - or is it false pretense and doesn't really follow the pretense of relevancey that we all talk about so much in search. It seems like search is the reason we do the #xxxx and the overall purpose of blogging and micro-blogging.. right? Relevant information. Are these the shadow server and white font games of early SEO. I'd hope we learned something from those early endeavors.
I don't necesarrily have all the answers, and just because it's a good ideology that we only follow people we are really going to/ or are interested in reading (can you really read the tweets of 1487 people that you follow?) or is it just a branding tool, and the game is played by following everyone, hoping that they will follow you, and you will then have the biggest numbers, and therefore 'win'?