Being A Twitter Suggested User ‘Makes No Difference’

Consider this a warning about Twitter ‘gurus’ and “increase your followers” spam:

Anil Dash, blogger and self-described geek, was added to Twitter’s list of suggested users to follow shown to people joining the site for the first time. It surprised him, because “I’d like to think I’m not a terrible tweeter…but I’m obviously not a better tweeter than 99 million other Twitter users, I never asked to be on the list, and it’s never been explained to me why I was chosen.”

He goes on to explain in his blog that most of his new followers probably treat his non-sequitorish updates “like a notice that their new Windows computer has cleaned up the icons on their desktop.” Something random, unexplainable, and nonsensical. Which means: “Being on Twitter’s suggested user list makes no appreciable difference in the amount of retweets, replies, or clicks that I get.”

Why? Because the extra followers (sometimes 2-3 a second) don’t care about him, don’t understand him, and don’t know why they were asked to follow him. He’s noise.

This reminds us of the Wired piece from last month where writer Evan Ratliff tried to “disappear” (while still remaining on the grid, somewhat—it’s not like he hightailed it to the mountains to live off possum and wild berries). As part of his new, incognito persona, he created a fake name with a fake Twitter account. (Of course.) And to make his Twitter account look real (aka “have a lot of followers”): “I set about finding people who would accept my friendship automatically, and soon my profile was overrun with multilevel marketers and inspirational speakers.”

Then what are you left with?

Someone who can give you a job? Someone who will buy your products? Or a meaningless number to trumpet around?