Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 26, 2011 6:57 AM

Social Media Automation, Respect, Credibility And Robots

It's easy to automate Social Media. It's easier to automate your online engagement. I'll caution against it.

An online connection recently introduced a new service that enables people on Twitter to bring together a small group of trusted Bloggers that will automatically retweet out to everyone's network all of the Blog posts that the group of Bloggers creates individually. On the surface, it seems like a cool idea: you choose the Bloggers you know and trust, and all of the content created by this collective is shared within the entire collective's Twitter network. The spirit of this platform sounds great: ensure that great content gets shared and gets attention.

It's not for me. I'm not a robot.

I don't want to automate my tweets - even ones about Blog posts from people I know, like, respect and follow. The truth is, I don't get a chance to read everyone's Blog posts all of the time, and it seems disingenuous to recommend something automatically to my connections without spending some time with a piece of content and thinking about if it would add real value to the people I am connected to. It seems like automating this process is a little spammy and it feels wrong to recommend something that I may not have seen at all.

It's easy for me to say, I have a nice-sized network already. 

I don't need a service like this. I have an audience and it continues to grow on its own, but what about the Bloggers who are just starting out? How do they build audience? Well, if I only had a handful of followers on Twitter, I would probably be less interested in this service. If I only have a few people who trust me enough to follow me and connect with me, how would I ever be able to build up a network of trust and credibility if I'm automating this process for such a small/close-knit community?

Can this work?

The concept works and can scale if each person within the network truly does read and follow every Blog post that every Blogger within the network posts, and feels that every piece of content is always worthy of sharing with their audience. Does that sound reasonable? My years of experience Blogging says, "no." People are inundated with content and a place like Twitter adds a more human (and real) way to curate and edit content. If everyone winds up automating that process to tweet out like a robot every piece of content, Twitter becomes nothing more than another RSS reader where your connections are choosing your subscriptions (instead of you). I follow people on Twitter because they act as amazing curators, not because they're retweeting out every Blog post from the people they respect, but rather the best Blog posts from the people they respect.

Gaining credibility and trust online is not about automating the process. It's the same reason big brands struggle to make credible connections as well.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Ben
    Mitch Joel

    A fair assessment and I believe this is how many of my followers are feeling at the moment.

    I have had great results from my blog posts being seen by a lot more people, but I'm conscious that sharing every post from all the blogs in a group may get overwhelming.

    I think the benefits for the people whose links are being shared far outweigh the benefits for the followers of each person not using the service, but who will see all the tweets anyway.

    I've written a detailed review of this service on my blog looking at both sides. Basically, I think some quality content is needed to reduce the number of posts going out.

    Reply
  • Posted by Kay Ross
    Mitch Joel

    In your tweet about this blog post, Mitch, you asked: "Can you build credibility by automating your tweets?" I say no. When I see (or even sense) that someone's twitter account is automated, it's an instant turn-off for me. I want SOCIAL media, not automated media. For the same reason, I don't like the automated paper.li "Daily" online "newspapers" that I see on twitter, where the content is generated by a robot rather than curated by a human being.

    Reply
    • Mitch Joel

      I agree, Katy. Those Daily papers drive me nuts. The authors actually do choose what to include in their paper, but the robots tweet it out. It's almost like spam when I'm mentioned in one of those things.

      Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    I'm with you, Mitch. The social web is a here and now service. If you're tweeting, you should be there to interact with people.

    Here are my exceptions. Not right or wrong, but perhaps different.

    If I schedule blog posts into the future (I often do) sometimes I'll schedule a tweet when it goes live. That's actually pretty rare.

    I do also have one automated post every day. I created a reservoir of about 40 of my most interesting posts from the archives, and tweet them out at 11am ET every day. That's unless I leave town or the country in which case I pause the stream.

    I picked this tip up from Michael Hyatt so some of that great stuff in the archives doesn't die. I'm very against the plugins that go into your archive and randomly tweet out multiple times per day without any direction. That seems useless and somewhat like spamming.

    Here's how I get my scheduling to work.

    http://www.coachradio.tv/i-schedule-my-tweets-how-to

    Reply
  • Posted by Nancy Davis
    Mitch Joel

    I do not want to automate my Tweets. My boss has another company and he automates most of his tweets and to me it looks very spammy.

    He not only automates his tweets, but those blog posts also hit his Facebook wall and it just becomes overkill. I have tried to caution him that I think it could be done differently, but I am not getting anywhere with that.

    I have 200 followers on Twitter, and when I retweet a blog post or an article, it is something I read, liked and (maybe) commented on. When my blog does launch, I will tweet my blog posts, not a machine.

    I also really hate those auto DM's. They make me want to unfollow people. If I want to know more, I can visit your blog or website on my own. Please don't hit me over the head with a sledgehammer. My head hurts

    Reply
  • Posted by Kate Brodock
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch,

    I really love these thoughts, and mostly agree with them. I want to make just one counter argument though. In some cases, I might consider using this service with a select few colleagues who consistently produce fantastic content. For instance, Aaron Strout (http://blog.stroutmeister.com/) or David Armano (http://darmano.typepad.com) - side note I would likely put you in this category too - I may not read every single one of their posts (although, eventually I really do, sometimes I have to play catch up!), but I can guarantee you with almost 100% certainty that each post will have a good deal of value, and it's something I would support regardless.

    In this sense, I feel there are people who's FULL body of work, I wouldn't be opposed to supporting in this way because they are consistent and valuable.

    Cheers,
    Kate

    Reply
  • Posted by steve macalpine
    Mitch Joel


    I think that we all have to regularly revisit our reasons for engaging with our online audience however small or large that audience may be.

    I was motivated to take the plunge to engage after watching an interview with Seth Godin and Tom Peters. They encouraged people to blog and get involved with an online audience - with an attitude of 'humility and metacognition.'

    Automation is synonymous with an lack of authenticity, which obviously defeats the purpose of engaging in the first place.


    Reply
  • Posted by Nathan King
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch - Great post. I agree with your point of view. Obvious automation is a turn off on twitter. I've always hand selected who I follow and I always do any replies and DMs myself. I do, however, schedule tweets related to my blog with the exception that I'm there to listen for responses. I've found that these automated posts were the beginnings of many great conversations and have led to great confections as well.

    Reply
  • Posted by Chris Eh Young
    Mitch Joel

    While I definitely see how this could benefit the blogging community. I'm with you. I don't like to share blogs unless i've had a chance to read them first. Even someone I know, like, trust, and respect, can put out subpar content once in a while. Heck, they may even write a post that I don't agree with or believe in. How does that affect my reputation and integrity?

    Reply
  • Posted by Joshua Moran
    Mitch Joel

    I only tweet or post blog articles that I actually read, but I will schedule my tweets about them throughout the day to provide spacing. If I read a few blogs in the morning, I do not want to send them all out at once. So automation works for this.

    I agree that the automatic posting of RSS Feeds is just too impersonal overall, but I do follow one or two twitter aggregators because the convenience of not having to read from 5 different RSS feeds is nice.

    The hardest thing I find that makes automation a temptation is finding a good social media engagement and monitoring software that does not cost $350 per month. Right now I use MarketMeSuite after switching from HootSuite last week, and still not satisfied. Anyone have suggestions for someone who wants all their RSS Feeds in the suite so I can read the blogs I love and individually choose to tweet them?

    Reply
  • Posted by Gini Dietrich
    Mitch Joel

    I belong to Triberr, mostly because I wanted to see what it was and how it worked. And that's why I invited you to join...to see if we could make sense of it and make it valuable to our followers. Guess I know now why you didn't accept the invite.

    I've always automated my news feed - the blogs and articles I want to be sure my followers see for two reasons: 1) I'm only on Twitter really early in the morning and toward the end of the day. So if I sent out all of the blogs and articles at once, I'd inundate my followers. And 2) It allows me to engage and talk to people, instead of sending stuff out, when I am on Twitter.

    At first, my reaction was the same as yours - I don't know if I like automatically tweeting these bloggers. But it's stuff I already read and would tweet anyway. On the back-end of things, my Twitter followers has increased significantly, with people I would target anyway, our traffic is up 42 percent (granted, I'd like to take some credit for that because of content), and our subscriptions have increased (I don't have the percentage in front of me, but will have it on Monday).

    So I'm going to keep testing it out. If I feel like it's too much or becoming a disservice to my followers, I will stop it.
    =

    Reply
    • Mitch Joel

      Gini, See I would argue that what you had been doing is scheduling, not automating your tweets. Like you said, it's stuff you want to make sure you share that you think your followers would enjoy, value .. so you select, curate which posts to share and schedule that info throughout the day.

      Doing this does make it more efficient and give more time during the day for engagement. I've revised my Twitter policy to differentiate between automation, something I won't do, and scheduling, something I do a little now. For example, I'll save the RT on this article for Monday, when more people are reading Twitter. I'll also ADD my own little something to the RT, to benefit MY followers as to why I'm sharing the post.

      Think I'm with you Mitch on this one. I love your blog Gini, and Danny's and Mark's, so many others ... but I won't Automatically RT them ALL just because, site unseen. FWIW.

      Reply
    • I think there's a deep chasm between stuff I would like to read, so I send it to everyone I am connected to versus sending out content that I have read and that I know my community would appreciate because I've gone through it and I know it is worth their time. I love your Blog, Gini (and I love the Blogs of those people you mentioned too), but I'm only willing to share with my audience the stuff that really struck me.

      My point?

      It's easier to just let people know to follow the people we all admire (Follow Friday and Blogrolls are a great example of this) instead of just filling the feed with automated content that we haven't all, personally, vetted. Again, that's just my opinion and it's different strokes for different folks.

      Reply
      • Posted by Gini Dietrich
        Mitch Joel

        Yeah - I lean toward what both you and Davina are saying. It bothers me that I'm tweeting stuff I haven't yet read. I am going to give it one more month, to see if traffic and subscriptions continue to increase and we don't lose anything for it. If that's the case, I'll likely switch Triberr to @spinsucks so I can continue vetting the stuff I tweet beforehand.

        Reply
        • Posted by Chris Eh Young
          Mitch Joel

          My biggest concern is what happens if someone writes a post that I may not agree with and I auto tweet it before I read it. What does that do to my credibility and integrity in the eyes of my community?

          Reply
  • Posted by Lori Finnigan
    Mitch Joel

    The only automation I use and really like is scheduling a tweet: an upcoming event for where I work or a repeat of something I have read myself and like. Social media is supposed to be social, and it's the interaction with others that I love. So many people I would have never met, with similar interests or who do things I admire or would like to do - that's what it's all about.

    Reply
  • Posted by Fazal Mayar
    Mitch Joel

    Well, it's not a bad idea but on twitter, you are supposed to tweet about your life, or some things that aren't related to your business. You don't need to tweet each second, which is something i find annoying when i see that.

    Reply
  • Posted by Mary Rarick
    Mitch Joel

    I was astounded when I first say this new "service." In fact, I first thought it might just be a pseudo tease into an article on engagement. They clearly don't "get" Twitter. @Mary_Rarick

    Reply
  • Posted by Dino Dogan
    Mitch Joel

    I am humbled and honored to be featured (in spirit) on your blog. There are many twitter automation tools out there, but you wrote about Triberr, and I really appreciate your take on it.

    Triberr's mission statement is simple. 1% of top bloggers receive 99% of attention. We want to change that. Why?

    Because attention = traffic = opportunities = book deals = speaking engagements = many other benefits.

    So far, Triberr is working for people like Gini. And its certainly working for the hordes of small/medium size bloggers who have been toiling in obscurity and writing amazing content that no one was reading.

    At the same time, I dont think its for everyone, but then again, what is?

    I do have a challenge for you Joel.

    1. Come into my Mighty Jaffa tribe (with Gini, Mark Schaefer, Dany Brown, Aaron Lee and few other awesome people.)
    2. Build out your own tribes of people you love and trust. Get more familiar with the way Triberr works.
    3. Give it two weeks and then write a post about it. The good, the bad or the ugly.

    If you find it bad or ugly, I will present myself for public flogging at a location of your choosing :-)


    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by Dino. Other readers should know that we both have tremendous respect for one another (along with our passion for #hairnation ;).

      The reason I can't/won't accept your challenge is simple:

      1. I don't always catch every Blog post from all of those people.
      2. When I do catch Blog posts, I don't find all of them worthy of retweeting to my audience.

      In the end, I'm not concerned about sharing everything I read from all of the smart people I follow online. I just want to ensure that I'm retweeting something that I have read and felt my audience would get something out of.

      My way is definitely not the best/only way. How do I know this? I don't have that many followers compared to others. I just find it disingenuous to tell my audience to read something that I haven't taken the time to read and/or think about myself simply because it's a good traffic boost for my own Blog.

      Reply
      • Posted by Dino Dogan
        Mitch Joel

        Seams everyone has an opinion about it and everyone seams to have strong emotions tied with it. I think you got yourself a topic here for the next podcast. To automate or not to automate. That is the question.

        Reply
  • Posted by todd
    Mitch Joel

    Glad Dino was able to weigh in. I was intrigued and lucky enough to be able to get in on it thanks to Gini.
    She is the example that proves why you should at least try it.
    If you trust those fellow bloggers, why NOT send out their info automatically?
    And you are getting the same in return, whether you need it or not.

    Reply
  • Posted by Ryah Albatros
    Mitch Joel

    I use Triberr and I 'get' Twitter. To imply that because I use a tool or service to make my life easier I'm somehow less real, authentic, engaging or just plain don't care what I send out to my followers is a big assumption to make.

    The tribes are small, and we either choose to be in one or we invite people to join our tribe. I've not seen my stream suddenly inundated with tweets from the members in my group, maybe at most 3 tweets per day. At most - there are days when none go out. So I can safely say I'm not sending my followers tons of stuff they are not going to read or becoming an annoyance to them.

    I visit the blogs I tweet, read and leave comments when I can. Is everything they tweet really of no interest to my followers? Well, I would more than likely tweet what's going out anyway, and I've picked it because I think it's interesting and SOME of my followers might think so too.

    But not all of them will find it interesting or useful; I expect my own blog content isn't always interesting and useful to them every time either. Should I stop writing or tweeting completely?

    We all pick and choose what to read from what comes across our screens. Some days an article will strike home immediately, other times we may give it a cursory glance because we perhaps have something else on our minds. As a 'curator' I do my best to give my readers a choice; I try to pick the best, most relevant articles but just because I was in a mood where the Happy Sack (Unclutterer http://awe.sm/5HL6T) made me howl with laughter doesn't mean everyone I tweeted it to found it equally hilarious.

    Finally, I make use of Triberr's automation, and also scheduling tweets (which I know most of you think is OK), so that I can be MORE active on Twitter. Yes, sounds daft I know, but it's true. It is a physical effort for me to type, and painful, so if I've just written that tweet you respond to I'm probably not going to reply back because I need a bit of time to work up to typing again.

    However, if I scheduled that tweet earlier in the day, before I got too tired, and I'm hanging around Twitter when it goes out I've got the energy to reply to you, to be a bit more social and in the moment.

    Similarly, because a blog post I would tweet has already gone out via Triberr, well now I've got the energy, or typing credit, to leave a comment. It's not an either or choice any longer, I can do both. Suddenly I find myself engaging more with people because I'm using tools and services than enable me, rather than disable me.

    So tell me, am I really less credible than you? Less authentic? Less deserving of respect?

    I hope the answer is 'No.' I've spent almost 45 minutes typing this, because I thought it important to engage with you and share my point of view. It's heartfelt and sincere - please don't write people off because they make use of tools you have no need of or choose not to use. Sometimes there's a good reason, and yes, maybe that's a rare occurrence in the noise of Twitter.

    I'm one of those occurrences, and I don't deserve to be written off.

    Reply
    • I simply find it disingenuous to tell others to read something that I, myself, haven't read/thought about through automation. I'm glad it's working for you and I'm glad it helps you to build traffic. I prefer to personally curate and spend time thinking about the things that I think those connected to me might care about most.

      Reply
      • Posted by Mary Rarick
        Mitch Joel

        Well put, Mitch. I agree wholeheartedly.

        Reply
      • Posted by Ryah Albatros
        Mitch Joel

        You still believe me to be disingenous? You still think I'm insincere? Or as the dictionary adds, falsely or hypocritically ingenous?

        When we tweet are we really "telling" our followers to read it? Are we not merely suggesting they "might" find it interesting and worth reading? I certainly don't view either the tweets I send out or those I receive as must read items. They're suggestions, and I expect people choose to read as they feel like it.

        Do my readers think less of me because I send out perhaps 3 more tweets a day? Well, if they do they'll vote with their mouse and leave. Do my readers like the diversity I bring to them? Well, they often tell me they do.

        One final thing, I never said anything about doing this as a traffic building exercise. I do it simply to connect with some lovely people and spread our collective thoughts.

        Reply
        • I believe two things happen when people connect on Twitter (I'm not talking about following an aggregator or a company - I am talking about individuals):

          1. It is implied that the individual is writing those tweets (and that they are not automated).
          2. That if a person says to check out a link, they are doing so because they (themselves) have checked out the link and found it worthy of sharing.

          If you are reading all of the links from your "tribe" and find every link worthy of sharing, that's great. Again, I have not had this experience. It's not that I question the quality of the individual Bloggers, but I do have to review the content. What if the Blogger is suddenly disparaging a client? What if the Blogger suddenly talks about an issue I'm not comfortable with (maybe they're asking for money or dissing another Blogger I agree with)? What if the Blogger is promoting content with affiliate links that I have not had a chance to experience? What if I feel there is too much talk about SXSW and suddenly that is their entire focus of content for a whole week?

          The other part of this system is that you have to play along - you have to retweet everything. I prefer to have a choice and curate. As you said, if it's only three links and they're worthy of sharing, I can find the 45 seconds to write a personal tweet about why it's worth checking out.

          Your mileage may vary, and if this helps you to connect and spread more content, more power to you.

          Reply
          • Posted by steve macalpine
            Mitch Joel

            Amen..

            " I prefer to have a choice and curate."

            Reply
          • Posted by Ryah Albatros
            Mitch Joel

            Mitch you said '1. It is implied that the individual is writing those tweets (and that they are not automated).'

            Twitter is about making connections, getting to know people. My 64 followers know me, and know I have some physical disabilities. Because of that perhaps they'll understand my using a tool to make life a bit easier for me; isn't that part of connecting with someone? Understanding them a little better?

            If something went out over my stream I didn't approve of, I'd do the obvious. I'd apologise, just like other people do when they're up to late and had a little wine. We let instances like that go by, because we know it's not the norm.

            And it's what friends do: they understand, they support and they forgive.

            I find it terribly sad that there seems to be no room for compromise, no middle ground, no understanding of why I make use of services or tools the way I do. I'm not the only one who needs these inventions to assist communication, there's lots of us with all manner of difficulties, and we're no less honest or genuine than you.

            Well, I've enjoyed the chat, but now I need to spend my typing credit elsewhere, so goodbye and best wishes to all.

            Reply
        • Posted by Mike Cee
          Mitch Joel

          I'm finding it hard to believe that this is even a debate. Is it disingenuous for a real human being to automate their tweets and recommend that people check out other Bloggers posts (whether they have read them or not and regardless of whether or not they are great posts) because there is a backdoor/hidden agreement between a group of Bloggers to retweet everything the other Bloggers post? Ummm... yeah, that's pretty disingenuous and it feels like spam to me.

          Why are people constantly looking to game the system? How hard is it to take a minute to write a personal tweet about a link you really enjoyed? I gotta say, I'm having a hard time even believing that any serious Blogger would agree to these kind of backdoor shenanigans.

          Reply
          • Posted by Ben
            Mitch Joel

            @Mike Cee - not all of us are great marketers. I will say I'm generally happy with how I write, but I have had serious problems getting my posts out there. Those people who do find my posts have given mostly positive feedback.

            I see no problem with trying out a service to see how it works in practice - and I did see some benefits. However, now I've stopped using Triberr, and I'm now back to where I was before - lacking ideas as to how to spread the word about my blog, short of commenting on 100 blogs every few days, sharing loads of blog posts, or following thousands of people on Twitter, in the hope that a few of them might check me out. I get good search engine traffic on one of my blogs, but it's a slow burner - and less than ideal for posts that might not be relevant by the time visitors flood in from Google.

            Different methods of promotion work for different people, I guess, but I'm genuinely curious to know how to get the word out about my blog without coming off as a spammer.

            Reply
          • Posted by Ryah Albatros
            Mitch Joel

            Mike you said, 'Why are people constantly looking to game the system? How hard is it to take a minute to write a personal tweet about a link you really enjoyed?'

            Well, if you'd read my first comment in full you'd know that it's hard for me, as in painful effort, like most things I do. Just like I take pills to ease pain, I use tools to help me interact online.

            I'm not gaming any system, there's no floods of followers or traffic, I'm not spamming the followers I've got.

            Reply
            • If you're using a platform (any platform!) to overcome a disability, then there's nobody saying anything negative about it. Life is about great lifehacking and if that's what it takes good on you.

              Lastly - and I keep repeating this - if it works for you and it's great for your community, I take no issue with it, either.

              Reply
      • Posted by Dino Dogan
        Mitch Joel

        Triberr now has a manual tweet function which allows you to keep tweets in your que until you've read the posts and released the tweets yourself. Its under settings in your tribes. Enjoy :-)

        We will have the official announcement on Monday.

        Thank you for helping us fine tune the service and thank you Mitch for bringing the issue to the surface.

        Reply
  • Posted by Dan Cristo
    Mitch Joel

    Hey Mitch,
    First time on your blog, and I really dig the look and feel of the site. Seeing that the conversation has centered mostly on Triberr, I thought I would give my 2 cents - for what it's worth.

    I, like everyone else on Twitter, hate bots, spam and most forms of automation. The few exceptions are things like the Tweet Old Posts plugin - when done right.

    But here's the thing that everyone is forgetting... You don't need a tool to be spammy. There are tons of people who post irrelevant nonsense, or low quality garbage. Case and point... Those annoying #FF posts. Yes, it's human, and yes, it's SPAM.

    Now keep that in mind, then take a look at my Twitter feed @dancristo. Tell me when is the last time you saw a Tribr.it link on there? Probably days. That's because I keep my tribes small, and I only connect with powerhouses in SEO that post about once a week or so. I post about the same frequency on my SEO blog.

    Here's my point...
    With great power comes great responsibility. Triberr has given bloggers the power to reach a massive audience, but with that power they have a greater level of responsibility. They need to choose their tribe members wisely, post great content every time, and manually check their queue to make sure nothing of poor quality slips in.

    The other thing that I'd like to mention is that the site BEGAN development just three weeks ago. Anyone in the web dev biz will tell you that three weeks is hardly enough time for wireframes and a design comp.

    I say that to point out that most of the advanced features that give members more control over what's being sent through triberr is just not public yet. This week alone we'll be launching at least five major features focused on those types of granular control over what you tweet. And keep in mind that I'm the only developer, I still have a day job and that day job isn't in web development.

    The tool is still young, but I'm proud that so many people are loving using it. We've been able to help a lot of small bloggers get their awesome content in front of new eye balls.

    Do me a favor. Watch how Triberr evolves over the next few months. I think you'll be amazed at how well we walk that fine line of optimizing a users Tweeting habits while staying away from the spam everyone hates.

    Reply
    • Dan, I am watching.

      For me, I am curious to see both what the uptake is for these automated tweets and if the people connected to the individual get value out of the service.

      My concerns have been stated - multiple times - throughout the Blog post and the comments. In the end, if this works, I'm fine with it as it's a choice. I know there were many detractors when services like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter went online.

      Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Very famous names use automatic RSS-to-Twitter mechanisms, but I'll never do it. Ok, I am not gonna say that, let's say that for now I think it's not a good idea to use a system like that, I can't predict what I will do in the future of if the situation will force me to act differently.
    I do like to automate Tweets as far as scheduling goes, nothing more. Scheduling can be good for many reasons, but automatically posting stuff without some curation and interaction, not for me.

    Reply
  • Posted by George Williams
    Mitch Joel

    I’ve watched these automated content distribution networks come and go in various forms on different platforms over the years but they always seem to lend themselves to spam long term and eventually fade into oblivion. In the short term they can work to a point.

    An automated network could result in additional followers and more exposure for the bloggers involved, and those bloggers would convert a percentage of those followers to regular readers which could then be brought into their sales funnel.

    I suppose it could work long term in certain instances if you truly had the best of the best on a subject and the content was always vetted for quality, but as you mentioned, there are other ways to aggregate, read and distribute content.

    Using an automated form of distribution for a piece of content you have read and are comfortable in recommending to your network would be fine, again, to a point.

    Regarding Twitter followers, the actual influence of a Tweet does not generally correlate with the number of followers for a variety of reasons, especially when a large number of those followers are created via automation.

    I agree with you, keep your Twitter connections real and give them links to content you have personally read and found to be of exceptional value. You said it best in your closing statement:

    “Gaining credibility and trust online is not about automating the process.”


    Reply
  • Posted by Sean Clark
    Mitch Joel

    I think we have all played with automation but those that stay with the platform to really interact with others end up shying away from it.

    Then there is the level of automation. Scheduling tweets so you don't bomb others feeds is understandable as is scheduling to reach people in other time-zones. In my view both are practical uses of automation.

    But implementations such as TNWs use of spread.us adds no value and encourages others to follow along.

    If you really want to engage with others and make a difference then engage. If you just want to use Twitter as part of some get rich quick scheme then automate away.

    Sean

    Reply
  • Posted by Charles Baratta
    Mitch Joel

    First of all I don't think Twitter is the best way to have interaction with online connections when we can only send limited characters. maybe this is one reason for those automated tweets. The other thing is, you can't blame those Online business owners if they want more traffic to their websites and do spamming on tweeting I think they are doing this because no one is restricting them to do so.

    Reply
  • Posted by Kapil
    Mitch Joel

    I am very much in agreement with this post. Although adding speed to your social media activities is good, but it cannot be direction-less. It has to have some 'human' touch to it. I strongly feel that quality is much more important than quantity in social media marketing. This really proves correct when we talk in terms of social media site like Twitter. I have been asking this question on every platform -- What is more important in Twitter followers -- is it quality or quantity.

    Of late, we have seen business users are running behind numbers to prove success of their social media efforts. But I strongly oppose to it. Making a strong and subtle social media statement is all you need...

    Reply
  • Posted by Erica Allison
    Mitch Joel

    Hi Mitch,
    I read this post with interest and agreement over the weekend and rather than leave you a blog post size comment here went off to my own blog to put my thoughts down on the topic. Dino and other Triberr members now know how I feel about the topic: I'm not a fan of tweeting posts that I have not read....even if I adore you.

    Gini Dietrich is one of my all time favorite people and I adore her blog, but I don't tweet every post she writes. I feel that I have to read and often comment before I can recommend a post (or bloggers) to others - and that's what the RT is for me - a recommendation.

    That's why I'll be leaving my 'tribe'. My tribe was an experiment of sorts that loaded up as many bloggers as possible (I think Dino said it was 15) to see how size impacted the experience. I think now they're seeing we've reached, make that surpassed the threshold level for what's comfortable for a tribe.

    I've been asked to stay on board but move into a smaller tribe, but I'm still left feeling like I'm tweeting posts not yet read (no matter how small). If I'm able to resolve that issue, I might consider it. Until then, I continue to grow my network organically and tweet about posts (like this one) that I find useful and relevant. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Posted by Dan Cristo
      Mitch Joel

      Hey Erica,
      I've been talking with Dino about how best to address the concerns you, as well as others, have brought up. There's a change to the system going in very soon that will make you say, "Ah, now I feel comfortable again". And it's not moving from a larger tribe to a smaller tribe.

      Keep an eye out on the Triberr blog for a post with some more details. You, as well as everyone else on this thread, will 100% love it. I promise.

      Dan

      Reply
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