Followers on Microblog
Today there has been a discussion on Microblog about discovering people to follow on the site. Reading the thread got me to thinking about what I have done while using the platform.
In the beginning it was evident to me that it was gonna be a very quiet place unless I started following people, so their postings would appear in my Home stream. So I clicked on the Discover tab and saw the list of users given there. There were only a very few names that I recognized, such as Leo Laporte and Brent Simmons. How was I to decide who to follow?? I decided that, at least in the beginning, I didn’t care what any of these people were gonna post about. I just wanted to be able to read some posts. So I followed everyone on the Discover list. Now as it turned out, some of these folks very rarely posted anything on Microblog.
But some did and that gave me something to read. Then some of them would reply to users who were not on the Discover list, so a second strategy evolved. Any time a new name would come up in one of these replies, I would follow the new name. That has given me plenty of people to have a decent amount of activity on the Home stream. All along I figured I could always unfollow people, if I found there was too much activity for me, or there were some with really obnoxious posts, but that has not happened. I’ve never unfollowed anyone and just keep following new people when they appear.
I used a third strategy for a while. At the bottom of the Discover page there are images, with the user names of the people who posted them. I looked for names I didn’t recognize, clicked on those names, and if I wasn’t already following them, I would immediately follow them. I haven’t done that for a while, I suppose because I’m getting plenty of activity in my Home stream.
There is a fourth strategy, which I have not yet tried. One active user on Microblog has posted the user names of folks on his own blog who have responded to his postings. I could check this listing for any I don’t yet follow and then follow them. But I have not yet done that.
Comparison to Twitter
Microblog has become an important micro-blogging platform for me. I post directly on the site with my Chrome browser, not as a cross-posting from anywhere else. I have no particular ulterior motive with this. I just wanted to try out a new platform that is independent of the silos. I’ve tried to post things that might be of interest to others, to elevate the mood and inspire, when possible. Mainly I am interested in what I might find on the site.
By contrast the game for many people on Twitter seems to be to be interesting, in fact, to be as interesting as possible, or at least noticed! Twitter supplies a scoreboard for that, with displays of the number of likes and retweets on individual postings and an overall score of how many people each user is following and how many people are following them. It makes it very obvious for a Complete Unknown like me to be spotted right away as just that, an unknown user and not a very popular one either. I find that whole game uninteresting. In Dylan’s words, “I just get bored.”
Twitter discourages my Microblog strategy of following everyone, because there is a limit to how many folks you can follow there, in comparison to how many people follow you. So I have always tried to keep those two scores fairly balanced. I’ve noticed many Twitter users game this regularly. They will come along and follow me. If I don’t follow them back fairly promptly, they will unfollow me. Clearly they have no real interest in anything I might post. They just want to beef up their following scores. I’m just someone who might help their scores. It’s fine with me if they go away.
There are no visible scores on Microblog. This is a very good thing. It means I can just concentrate on posting things others might find interesting and then being interested in things I might find posted by others. There’s no way to tell who’s popular, nor a way to game a system to look more popular. I hope that doesn’t change.
Des Paroz was the first to comment upon this article, by posting one of his own on his blog, which made for a red letter day for me, especially when he used the words real gold in his comments! Then Colin Walker also wrote some very kind words about my article. Unfortunately I can’t find those right now. I think they might have been posted on Microblog, rather than his own blog and there is no search function to find things on Microblog. This is all so new to me that it did not occur to me to update my article with these comments, before it was too late to find them.
Then Jack Baty posted his own ideas about this subject on his own blog and then blew my mind with several comments made on Microblog appearing at the bottom of his posting, capped off with a webmention from Colin Devroe, who had replied to a comment I had posted on an article he did about my article on Webmentions. Are you following all of this??
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