#followfriday is a weekly-event on Twitter that’s a lot of fun: each Friday, you make a list of recommended Twitter accounts that you think other folk should follow, and share these via the #followfriday hashtag.
For me, each week it gets more difficult. As my follower count grows I continue to interact and engage with a lot of great people and sometimes despite my best intentions (and a wealth of recommendations) it’s easy to overlook a few people, completely by accident. Because Twitter moves so fast and because I tweet so much, it’s very easy to forget what happened yesterday, let alone a week ago.
Enter The Twitter Tag Project, and their excellent Follow Friday! tool.
Enter your username enter the input box and hit the Go button, and seconds later the site will return a list of your most active friends – that is, those people you most engaged with over the last 200 tweets you sent – conveniently broken-down into tweetable chunks. Better, it presents you with ‘Tweet This’ buttons which allow you to quickly and easily forward these results to Twitter (or copy and paste into your favourite client).
No adverts, no ‘powered by’… just #followfriday recommendations. This is all very good indeed, and takes an enormous amount of guesswork out of recommendations.
There are a couple of improvements I’d like to see. If you tweet as much as I do, an analysis of your last 200 updates is not in-depth enough – that could be a couple of days for me, and in certain periods on Twitter (for example, during the recent worm-related events) I might overÂ-engage with some of my followers far more than I would normally. It would be nice to have the option to change this number.
It’s nice that it’s not password-protected, and this is reassuring for many. But because it’s not, it’s very easy to check which folk other members of Twitter most engage with, too, which might upset some users when they don’t then go on to be recommended.
Moreover, as I hinted at above, just because you have engaged with individuals a number of times over the course of the week, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to recommend them to your other followers. This isn’t any fault of the application which is doing exactly what it says on the tin – but a mechanical approach to follower recommendations might not be the best way forward. Perhaps a blend works best – hand-picked recommendations of the very best of Twitter, and Twitter Tag Project’s code for reminders on those you can so easily forget.
It’s definitely worth checking out, and if you like me you often struggle on #followfriday to remember everybody, very much worth its weight. I sincerely believe that if this was re-packaged with its own web domain and a shiny front end, they could be on to something really quite special.