So recently I acquired a positive Twitter ratio, which basically means that more people follow me than I follow. This of course is a nonsense metric, it is completely meaningless (but I must confess when I realised I was getting close I did get kind of excited, purely egotistical but I am only human!).

Having a positive Twitter ratio does absolutely nothing from what I can see bar two things;

  1. Your Klout score probably increases
  2. You get followed by more people

The first point is a guess, although I must confess I have a Klout account, I haven't logged on in months and I am not likely to anytime soon but having a positive ratio seems like something they would care about.

The second point is what I wanted to briefly blog about.

So I used to get a couple of new followers a week, normally when something I had written for another blog or publication went live, but since having a positive ratio I have been getting maybe 5 or 6 new followers a day. They hang about for maybe three days and then unfollow me.

The reason for this is that the algorithm that many Twitter management applications use to allow people to auto follow in the hope they will get followed back takes into account the ratio of the person to be followed, normally you want a positive ratio because it makes you look like a more valuable Twittizen.

Of course this entire thing is just balls, auto following people is a false economy and the amount of people that follow you isn't a metric that can be used for anything at all.

The amount of noise on Twitter is mind blowing, even ignoring the spam accounts there are just so many bot accounts and accounts owned by people who would have no interest in what you are doing and you would have no interest in what they were doing — auto following people is just a sure fire way of making sure there is plenty of noise on your feed, there is no reliable way (that I have seen) that a computer can make a call on who you would generally find interesting.

Stop auto-following and stop caring about numbers on your social networks — You don't still boast about how many MySpace friends you have, do you?