Twitter: what to do with a follower

I’m after a piece of logic to work out what to do with “people” who follow me on Twitter.  There are three possible actions (or inactions) I should take for a follower:

Ignore is the action associated with accounts that are harmless but whose content is unlikely to be sufficiently pertinent to inspire me.  Block is for harmful accounts or those with few morals.  And follow back is saved for those accounts whose contents is genuinely interesting to me.

Now there are three pieces of information pertaining to the follower that should be sufficient to determine an appropriate course of action:

Those three pieces of data should be sufficient to work out whether to ignore or block them.  If the algorithm determines that neither action is appropriate, then I the decision whether to follow them back should be driven by me, as I’d be uncomfortable this being automated.

I’d be happy for Twitter to learn from my behaviour to figure out the most appropriate tuning of the algorithm for my tastes.  In the meantime, any suggestions for formulae for ignoring and blocking?


One Response to “Twitter: what to do with a follower”

  1. Nick Robinson on January 5th, 2010 10:17

    Yep, I think that’s pretty much the algorithm I use.

    When it comes to number of followers they have and number of people they follow, I seem to have two criteria I’m operating:

    1) I rarely follow back any ‘broadcast’ tweeters – i.e. people who have significantly more followers than people they follow by a factor of several hundred. They’re either celebs (and should therefore be shot anyway) or it’d be better to buy their book and read the version with punctuation. Alain deBotton is one of my rare exceptions – his infrequent tweets are beautifully crafted;

    2) I rarely follow back anyone who follows more than several hundred other people, as I don’t really believe that they are going to read my tweets.

    Not sure how the part of the algorithm about content would work though. There’s a risk that twitter would be likely to come up with something where popularity is used as a proxy for good content!

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