Tweeter Getter, Tweepme and Twitter Popularity Contests

Been reading a little about tweepme today after it popped up as a buzzing and trending topic on twitter today and have been thinking about this popularity contest people call social networking.

A few months ago tweeter getter was introduced as a free service that “helps you” get new followers in what is really a ponzi game, you put your name on the list, you become a follower of the last X people to join, the next x people who will join follow you. When you join and at other point you automagically tweet:

RT @garymccaffery has a crazy idea 19,350 new followers in 30 days Check it out link

That link is used to track how many people you’re responsible for, which I’m sure determines how quickly you get new followers. After unfollowing anyone who was using tweet getter, I’d send out a tweet like this:

@nibbler has a crazy idea get new followers using your wit and charm instead of a ponzi scheme!

The interesting thing here is that this person lost a follower who is interested in what they are saying and is gaining new followers whose goal is to get more followers instead of being involved with the conversation. I wonder if our eyeballs have the same value.

Today, I started seeing buzz about tweepme.com, a service similar to tweeter getter except that there’s a fee to use it. This site has a little more polish from a visual perspective. Again, I question if it really does any good because I’d drop someone using it like a hot tomalley and you wind up only with followers that are looking for new followers.

There is a line on the site that makes me chuckle:

Tweepme.com uses Twitter’s API to automatically form friendships on our members’ behalf

For me, forming friendships is an active thing. Where there are some twitter peeps that I have friendships with (you know who you are), my average twitter peep is not a friend (sorry). I know this makes me sound old, but I’ve never accepted the web 2.0 definition of “friend”. The concept of an API forming friendships on my behalf just sounds creepy.

For a while I didn’t understand why people view twitter as a popularity contest. Then it hit me, for these folks, twitter is not a community, it’s not a place for discussion, it’s a broadcast platform.

My goal is always simple, I want to follow people who interest me and join in the conversation. I don’t care who follows me. If you want to follow me great! If you’re interesting I’ll follow you back and hopefully we’ll get something out of it. Where I do my share of self pimping it’s not the reason why I’m on twitter (I’d tweet if I wasn’t blogging and vice versa).