I’ve got almost 3,000 followers on my Twitter account … and it’s starting to become a problem.
You might be wondering why it would be bad to have so many followers. Isn’t it perfect for building the Carsonified community and communicating with them?
Here’s the trouble – a lot of my followers ‘@ reply’ to me in a conversational, chat style. For instance:
“@ryancarson good luck with FoWA this year, wish I could make it”
I’d love to reply to this in-kind with a response like:
“@lazzurs – Thanks! Hope you can make it to the show.”
However, the problem is that replies like that are no fun for my other followers to read. It’s a bit like butting into someone’s private conversation and having no idea what they’re talking about.
I receive roughly four @ replies every time I tweet, so responding to each one would make my entire Twitter feed a series of @ replies – thus making it impossible to understand, follow or enjoy. I could ‘direct message’ everyone who @ replies to me, but that would mean I’d need to follow a ton of people, which goes against what Twitter is all about – keeping up with your friends.
So here’s my theory: Microblogging services like Twitter break down if you have more than 100 followers. People like Jason Calacanis might disagree, but I’d argue that by him following 26,672 people he’s obviously not actually interested in what those people are doing (nor would it be possible to actually interact meaningfully with them).