I don't know how we get to the point of "meaningful" auto following. That seems hard to define.
If I post a tweet mentioning "photography" I get 5-10 new followers in a few minutes. Use the word "cock" or "pussy" and the auto follow rate is higher. Hash tags are vulnerable here as well.
In most cases, I've yet to see them come back and solicit me in any way, so I will never notice them aside from my wrongly inflated follow metrics.
Under what conditions could any automated system follow someone in a meaningful way? There is no way to tell context.
My suggestion is that the apps should bring in a list of suggested followers. The user of the app must review the list, and the corresponding tweets and decide to follow or not.
Further, after a follow has been established, you should not communicate with that person in an unsolicited way. Treat it like email/spam.
If I am bashing a brand and they want to make good on my issues, they can tweet me. They need not even follow me to start this relationship. If they want to DM me they can then start that relationship.
For Starbucks to auto follow because I said "starbucks sucks" is not meaningful.
To me, the nature of auto follow shows a wanting to use Twitter as a way to market, brand, and build relationships. That much is fine. But they want to do so in as easy a way possible. That is where I draw the line.
If you want to market to me, you must put in the time to learn about me and my value to your brand. Having a robot do it for you is dirty, and in the end, will probably hurt more than help.
If someone can tell me how automatic auto follow is not analogous to the end result of a spam network, my opinion may change. In the end, there is no easy way to build and establish relationships with your end users. Either do the work, or stop abusing Twitter.
* The above statements are a generality, the OP may have learned a meaningful way to auto follow that I am not seeing. I do not intend to call out the OP in any way.
-- Scott Iphone says hello. On Aug 12, 2009, at 5:17 AM, Dale Merritt <mogul...@gmail.com> wrote:
What is Twitters real stance on auto following? In there API they prohibit "mass following" so what does that mean exactly. More than 1, 100? In my app, I had planned on integrating some meaniful auto following