The norms of twitter behavior are pretty much user generated. @ Replies, retweets, hashtags to name a few, were all invented by twitter users as a kind of behavior first, and then were turned to application functionality.

Such a kind of social behavior is Follow Friday too: each Friday twitter users tweet to their followers certain people as worth following. Such of tweets are tagged (or hashtagged, to be more precise) with a #followfriday tag (or its shorthand: #ff).

By suggesting people one feels are noteworthy and have something interesting to say and share, one gives the other twitterers the chance to discover new people to follow. If they do actually follow is depended on the trust and influence that a suggester can inspire and exercise.

Yet, I always felt reserved to get into the habit of #ff.

Why?

Simple: I follow people either because they are real life friends and acquaintances or because they have something interesting (to me) to say.

For friends and acquaintances, I  have no need of suggestions and  I do not see how could I recognize whether those suggest by #ff as interesting to me.

Over time, the only reliable method that I have come up with in discovering new people to follow, is by observing other twitteres’ retweets: if in the retweets that show up in my stream, I see someone appearing often and I do not follow her/him already, then I have a prospect.

Observing the frequency of appearance of a certain twitterer in retweets  over time, I make sure that I appreciate hers/his style, conduct and  interesting content. This way, I know before I start following, who and how is the one I am to follow.

The method is not infallible, but is far better than #ff.

One might argue, that #ff is not a science or a detective clue, but a form of social reward for those we really appreciate.

This is very true, and it is a generous and welcome gesture in this respect.

But then the same applies for retweets. And while a single retweet does not say much about the person retweeted, a lot of retweets say, well, a lot!

In conlusion: do you want to recommend me for #ff? Retweet this!

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