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How do you relate to your twitter followers?

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I sent out a status update this morning. It read, simply "I think I just quit smoking..." Within minutes, @StopSmoking_Now retweeted my message. I don't have a problem with that. However, within 3 hours, @QuitSmokingZone followed me and I'm unsure how to react.

You see, my twitter feed is public, so it's not like following me will help you, unless you're interested in what I have to say and want that delivered to you. I don't know why @QuitSmokingZone is interested in my feed - perhaps it's my insightful prose, or occasional use of the word "fuck".

The only reason I can think they're following me is in the hope that I auto-follow and build a relationship and their relative importance in the Twittersphere. I don't auto-follow, so that's not an issue.

Now I'm left with the question - should I allow them to continue following me, which could represent some relationship between us, albeit rather one sided, and also has a small benefit to me of increasing my follower count and increasing my perceived importance (not that I could care less about that)? Or do I block them for no apparent reason, at least none that I can rationally explain?

What do you do when someone follows you because the content of one of your Twitter/Status.net updates relates to their cause, irrespective of the general content and context of your status updates?

Comments

I have the same - diverse interests, and often a post triggers some new followers. I just let them, I think it's harmless... indeed I don't auto-follow either.

As a general rule I review all followers and they are categorised like so:

* Interesting People - I follow them back These are people who tweet on topics I am interested in and don't tweet too much crap.

* Less Interesting People - Leave them as is There are people who don't really inspire me enough to follow them, but don't annoy me enough to block them.

* Spammers/Scammer/Link Bloggers - Block These people follow based on keyword in tweets or are blatant spammers. I don't like them having an inflated following count so either block them or report them for spamming depending on how blatant they are.

If I was you I would block @QuitSmokingZone, if for no other reason than they seem to be keyword following.

I think it's a bit rude of them to follow you based on the content of a single tweet, but I think I'm atypical of the general trend of twitter users. In my case, I have a couple of spontaneous followers - by that I mean people I don't actually know, have never met, and am not likely to converse with - but to my knowledge they're based on interests shared due to what I've actually tweeted.

I've only blocked one user, and that's because they listed me in a way that I was identifiable geographically, and that was more of a security risk to my family and me than I think they'd guessed at.

In this case, it's clear that it's a bit of a marketing ploy. Personally I'd find that a little bit distasteful, since there's no existing relationship. But then again, maybe they genuinely hoped to offer some help?

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