Discussion: To Friend or Not To Friend (Is It All A Popularity Contest?)

The other day I realized something: I am following WAY too many people in pretty much ALL of my social media outlets.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but every day I open up Twitter and want to see what my blogging friends are up to. Well, when I opened up Twitter that day, I noticed that there was a lot of unnecessary retweets, a lot of self-promo crap, and just a lot of things I certainly was not interested in.

So why was I even following these people?

Good question.

That day, I went through all of the people I was following on Twitter and “unfollowed” about 60% or so of them. Who was I deleting? Mainly:

  • People who I never talk to;
  • People who only retweet information or auto-post blog posts and nothing else;
  • People who never respond to anything, ever; people who never @ anyone, or never RT anyone, or never seem to engage themselves in any kind of discussion, and;
  • People who seemed to only use Twitter for self-promotional purposes.

And this is only to name a few.

After I purged, I felt great! I could actually log into Twitter and start a conversation with people because the people who MATTERED remained and showed up right there in my timeline. Naturally, since then I started losing followers, but these were probably people who never said anything to me anyway.

A few days later, I received notification from Goodreads that I had become friends with someone – someone who I didn’t know, who didn’t have a blog, and didn’t have anything in common or any connection with me whatsoever.

To this I said, “Whaaaaat?

This made me go through my friend list, deleting the people who I had no idea about – were they bloggers? authors? publishers? – and keep, again, only the people who mattered.

You might be wondering, “Well, then HOW on EARTH am I supposed to be your friend on Goodreads?

Here’s how we will become friends (and I mean to say all of this in the least snootiest way possible):

  • I comment on your blog regularly and want to follow what books you are reading.
  • We are friends in real life.
  • You comment regularly on my blog and I feel that I “know” who you are.
  • We engage in chitchat on Twitter regularly.
  • You are a Canadian publisher I love.
  • You are an author I love.

This might come across as me being insanely picky about who I’m friending in certain places, but when I looked at the amount of people I never talked to on Twitter or on Goodreads, it made me wonder: Is it all a popularity contest?

Book blogging is one of the latest and greatest things. Everyone and their dog has a book blog and the book blogging community can be one of the greatest (or sometimes one of the suckiest) places around. If you are my friend in this community, I THANK YOU for encouraging me to blog and to keep me going even when times get tough in the community.

To me, though, it seems that there are a lot of people out there who want to have ALL the Twitter followers or ALL the friends on Goodreads and I wonder if these people are actually taking the time to form meaningful online relationships with these people.

Of course, by “meaningful online relationships” I’m not talking about dinners and dates, but taking the time to comment on each other’s blogs, chat on Twitter, promote each other’s blog posts and whatnot. It’s one thing to have that HUGE number as your friend count, but if you’re not taking any time to get to know anyone, what’s the point?

Here’s what I want of my Twittering and Goodreading experience:

  • I want to be able to see your name or picture and say, “Right! That’s who you are and you own THIS blog!”
  • I want to be able to comment on a book you’re reading and have you comment back.
  • I want to be able to say something to you on Twitter and have you respond.
  • I want to be able to visit your blog and leave meaningful conversation, and to have you do the same on mine.
  • I want to chat about ALL THE BOOKS and feel a sense of camaraderie in doing so.
  • I want to have “friends” but only the friends who reciprocate the friendship.

Friendship in real life is hard – friendship online is just as hard. Perhaps even harder. We have no idea who’s on the other end of the computer, which is why we have to take extra steps to be sure we’re friending the right people.

In that same sense, I understand that being a book blogger, you may feel like a product online. You’re offering services with your book reviews, right? You WANT to gain followers, you WANT to have people visit your blog, which means you must friend ALL THE PEOPLE! But if you never engage in conversation with anyone, that’s not the best motivation for others to visit you. To me, it’s like visiting a blog and consistently commenting on their content only to NEVER have that person comment back. Ever. I get that people are busy, which is why we need to take the time to make things matter.

Is this asking too much of people? How do you go about “friending” bookish people online? Are you choosy? 

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.

61 thoughts on “Discussion: To Friend or Not To Friend (Is It All A Popularity Contest?)

  1. I definitely agree, I follow so many people on Twitter that I hardly ever even talk to and that never talk to me, same on Goodreads. I think I may go through my lists and get rid of a bunch (not you of course!). I used to just add tons of people for giveaways, so I think I’ll also stop doing that because it just gets so crowded in my feed. Great topic this week!

    • Yes, please don’t get rid of me! ;)

      I used to add a ton of ppl for giveaways, too, and now I’m mad that I did. Too many people to filter out! I always feel like it’s my OBLIGATION to follow them because they’re book bloggers, but I’d rather have meaningful conversation, or at least SOME interaction, instead!

  2. I am so glad I was able to figure out most of this the first year of blogging. I came to the conclusion commenting and networking is the only way to go. I have a FT job and a 5 year old so additional social networking on Twitter and FB I just don’t have the time for. I do try to comment on Goodreads though.

    I have also said why does this person want to friend me on Goodreads and I realised it is an anuthor that either hopes I choose their book or gets in touch with me and offers there book for review.

    It is not about the numbers it is about the connection, totally agree.

    • Yes, the CONNECTION!

      It’s hard to do it all and I commend the bloggers who CAN … I really like Twitter and Goodreads, though. I’m still not too sure how to use Facebook for networking, other than linking up my posts each day, but I think that’d be too much if I tried to do things there, too. I’m happy where I am.

      Good for you figuring this out in your first year! I’m just hitting my first year, soon, but I know there will still be plenty to learn!

  3. Amen, chica. I recently overhauled my Godreads friends list a few weeks ago. It made me stabby. Why the heck do they have to make it so difficult? And now, I went through Twitter. I didn’t get as detailed as you, but I probably shaved 50+ off. Some haven’t posted since last year!

    New book bloggers are all about the followers. I think it makes us feel good, feel noticed. It’s exciting in the beginning. But after a while, you start to realize it quality over quantity – just like real-friends. ♥

    • Exactly! Just like REAL FRIENDS!

      I would much rather have a few friends on Twitter and Goodreads that I talk to, instead of a whole bunch of people whose blogs I can’t even recognize. I always feel guilty about deleting people, though, thinking that I should follow them out of OBLIGATION. I’m starting to realize that they probably wouldn’t even notice if I quit following them!

      You’re right — it’s very exciting in the beginning! And then a pain in the butt when you realize that it’s not what you should have been doing.

  4. I couldn’t agree more! I recently went through my Twitter list and grouped people into lists by category (book bloggers & writers, gamers, etc.) just so I could sift through things easier. And that way, I was able to remove a bunch of people I was following, making my main feed easier to read.

    How do you feel about giveaways that encourage/require you to follow people on twitter? I’ve recently added a bunch of people because of these, but some of them I really dislike having to follow (because of reasons you mentioned above). Not sure what to do…

    • Grouping people makes it so much easier on Twitter! Especially when you want to catch up on friends, but you’re not around all day.

      I’ve gotten really picky about giveaways, too. I pretty much only enter them if I know the blogger, or, if I don’t, I’ll enter only if it’s easy, like name and email, or a free entry. That’s why for my giveaways (which are few), I don’t require entrants to follow the blog.

      • Yeah, I think that’s really the best way to do it. I’m new to this whole YA book blogging world, and the amount of social activity is kind of daunting. It feels much better to stick with people I know, like you said. On that note – it’s nice to meet you. :)

      • It’s nice to meet you, too! :)

        As for the social activity, there’s no written rule that says you have to do ALL THE THINGS when you first start blogging. I think the best way is to start slowly and work your way up gradually, finding what works best for you!

  5. Haha awesome post! I’m with you I don’t follow someone unless I personally have come in contact with them and know who they are. The same with a blog. I won’t follow just for a giveaway. Anyways most of the time I forget to follow or check if I am I’m terrible at following due to laziness >.< I agree some people blog to get followers and nothing more. I personally love being social and gaining friends who share the same love of books and so far it's going awesome!

  6. What I love most about book blogging is forming connections with the people who book blog too. It’s been great getting to know people from all over the place, but I realized fairly recently that I only really talk to or interact with a regular group of people. It’s always fun for me to get to know people via Twitter and their blogs, and I think the whole point of book blogging, for me, is the connection.

    This is why I regularly go through my friends/people I follow on Goodreads and Twitter too. it’s always good for me to be able to see and read the tweets from the people I really want to hear from! Plus, I honestly feel like I form more solid friendships with the people who I interact with a lot and I don’t want to miss anything they have to say.

    (Tip for newbies: Don’t be afraid to start discussions with people you follow, especially on Twitter. I know in many cases that book bloggers are the most gracious people ever and will reply!)

    • GREAT advice for newbies! I know when I started off on Twitter, I thought the “bigger” bloggers wouldn’t want to spend time on me — we don’t bite!

      I’m happy that I’m finally forming some good connections through blogging — I can’t believe I was doing it wrong for so long! And it’s great to be forming some actual friendships, too.

  7. LOVE THIS! I have never been a follow for a follow type of person. I want to follow people because I WANT to interact with them. I typically will follow back on Twitter if people interact with me in a meaningful way. I’ll remember that we chatted before and try to reach out again. In the beginning of my blogging life I think I followed back a lot more but now I feel like my feed is out of control. I need to do an overhaul of it. And my goodreads friends…it was already out of control before I began blogging bc I moderated a pretty big group on there and was very active. That’s something I’ve been going through and deleting because it is out of control.

    I hate that a lot of time blogging becomes a popularity contest — because often times I end up feeling bad in a weak moment — even though I love my blog and my amazing readers and everything that I’ve done since I started June 2010. I mean, yeah, we all want readers and comments…but that only lasts so long when it isn’t genuine interaction and a close knit feeling. At least that’s how I feel. I wouldn’t trade what I’ve got to be the Most Popular Blog Ever.

    I’m big on conversation. Always have been. The conversation part of blogging has made me have some really amazing relationships…to the point where some of my dearest blogger friends were invited and came to my wedding this summer. When I’m having a bad blogging day & let the numbers get to me, I just have to remember the things that have been the richest experiences for me in my blogging “career” — most all of which involve interactions with other bloggers.

    Great, well-thought out post!

    • I never understood the follow for a follow — THAT’S when it gets to be a popularity contest. I would MUCH rather interact with people and actually CARE about who I follow, rather than it just be about HOW MANY people I’m following, or how many follow me.

      I really felt like my feed was out of control — it feels great to purge!

      Genuine interaction is key. You’re right! I’d rather have my dedicated followers and commenters, instead of a HUGE follower count full of people who don’t even interact.

      I LOVE that you had some of your blogger friends at your wedding — that just shows what wonderful relationships a person can form. I love your response!

  8. I recently added a “why do you want to be Goodreads friends?” question for people to answer when they added me as a friend on Goodreads (because I’m honestly tired of the authors and bloggers spamming their stuff), and you’d be surprised how many people DON’T ANSWER. It’s an instant “ignore.” And I probably ignore far more requests than I accept. I have also unfriended people on GR for spamming me with their giveaway invites.

    As far as Twitter goes, I am VERY picky about who I follow. I’ve not followed (or unfollowed) people because they use Triberr (it’s so spammy when SO MANY PEOPLE use it), they auto-post every single thing they do on every single site (Formspring, Tumblr, Klout, and Wattpad are common offenders), they don’t have proper grammar (yes, I seriously do this; if you tweet at me and you have a grammatical error in your tweet and I’m not already following you, I probably won’t ever follow you), they only post giveaways, they only retweet–especially when they retweet all their giveaway tweets or any time someone mentions them or their blog (or book, if they’re an author), the person is extremely negative or bitches about ALL THE THINGS in their tweets…. and so on. I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Allows me to cultivate quite a few pet peeves. (I have more, by the way, they’re just not relevant to this discussion.)

    Bout of Books netted me a lot of followers on Twitter. I’d get overwhelmed with them during the read-a-thons, and I honestly can’t pay attention to (or follow) all of them. I usually will only follow someone after they’ve talked to me a couple times, and they don’t do something I listed above. Which is why I think it’s important to just… TALK to bloggers. Start a conversation. People are here to talk and form connections. I try to respond to comments on my blog, comments on GR (though less so here), and mentions on Twitter. I know that I quickly lose interest in bloggers who never respond to comments or mentions.

    Also, this comment was somewhat negative with all my pet peeves. Sorry about that.

    • Ha! I did the SAME THING! I’ve only had a few friend requests since, but we’ll see how many people don’t put anything in the box. I hate Goodreads for the spam … I’m very cautious about what authors and people I friend. If you’re going to constantly spam me with event invites, I probably don’t want to be friends with you there!

      So Triberr is what posts SO MANY links on my Twitter timeline? It’s VERY annoying!

      I always feel like I should be following other bloggers out of obligation — You’re a book blogger? I’m a book blogger! Let’s befriend each other, but never ever talk to one another! Ever! — and really need to stop doing so. I like your approach of actually having INTERACTION with someone before friending them. I always feel guilty for unfriending certain bloggers on Twitter, even if we’ve never spoken. I don’t know what it is — OBLIGATION, I tell you!

      I grow so tired of people who never respond to ANYTHING. There are a few bloggers who are like that. One I won’t name, but I remember seeing them talk about Twitter and how a person should respond to tweets. I tweeted at them about the said comment (which wasn’t on Twitter, but on their blog) and they never responded. I was a little miffed.

      ANYWAY.

      I share a lot of your pet peeves!

      And I will be sending you ALL THE BAD GRAMMAR TWEETS from now on. ;)

      • Triberr tweets are usually “title of blog post, link, via @BloggerWhoPostedIt” I can completely understand that people are trying to get their posts out there, but I ignore automated tweets like that. I’d much rather see something, like what you do, where people tweet links to posts they’ve seen, liked, and want to share. I’m much more likely to click through then.

        I’m curious about the Blogger Not to Be Named. Will you share with me if I promise not to tell?

      • Yes! That drives me nuts! And yeah, I only share posts I … you know … WANT TO SHARE! Like a good discussion, or a stellar book review. I don’t understand the theory behind sharing EVERYTHING!

  9. Great Post! Twitter interaction is my weakest spot in my blogging life, in my opinion. When I get “real life” busy sadly twitter is normally one of the first things I cut back on. I love going on and chatting on twitter, but sometimes with lawschool and work and my blog it’s just not possible. I do try and always respond to mentions or anything like that on twitter.

    But I know what you mean, and I need to clean up my twitter following too. I know I follow a lot of people that I just don’t talk to or ones that are never actually on.

    I like connecting with people mostly through their blogs, goodreads, and email :)

    • Twitter is definitely hard when real life happens! I’m not a person who likes to use my phone for Twitter, so I just can’t keep up! It’s great that you still manage to respond to people on Twitter when you’re busy, though. That’s still great!

      Connecting with people is great! I love it!

  10. I agree with this. I don’t auto follow on Twitter. I follow authors I love, people/bloggers I actually talk to. I follow blogs that I discover from my blog or bout of books, etc. But I will cull my google reader every now and then if we don’t have similar reading styles. I like to leave meaningful comments and if there is no reason to comment why am I following the blog?
    I really need to weed out goodreads. I don’t interact much on there with other bloggers/users. I mostly use it to keep track of my own reading.
    I view blogging as I kind of view my IRL friendships. I’d rather have a few meaningful connections with people than play the numbers game.

    • I think I’m a lot like Jenn when it comes to Goodreads. I’m not really selective at all because GR is more of a way for me to keep track of what I’ve been reading. On slow days, I peruse through my list of “friends” but that’s about it. (Also, side note…what’s up with the creepy way we refer to these relationships. “Friends” is used rather loosely and “followers” uh, creeptastic!)

      I do cull my googlreader sometimes. But then I just add more because I get bored. And well, Twitter…I’m finding that completely unmanageable. I need to spend some time creating lists. #bloggiesta anyone? :)

      • ‘Followers’ is such a strange thing … kind of stalker-ish, but in a socially-accepted way? Ha!

        I’m happy to have finally worked my way up to weeding out my feeds … it feels great!

    • I tend to stop following blogs if I consistently comment on posts, but they never ever visit my blog in return. Admittedly, I can be bad about this, but I will EVENTUALLY make it there! I also dislike it when bloggers never comment on comments — that’s something I used to NEVER do, but now I have to do it!

      I try to interact with other bloggers on Goodreads in my timeline … I don’t usually go to the forums or discussions there, but like to comment on what other people are reading, or on their reviews — but usually only my Top Friends.

      It’s funny how many people will just friend EVERYONE, while it SHOULD be like in real life — real, meaningful connections!

      • I spent today weeding out my google reader (I’ve been trying do do that this week but they kept reappearing; so frustrating!) Once that was finally successful I tackled goodreads and twitter. It’s not drastically different but it’s more streamlined and I won’t have to skip things.

        I also weeded out my goodreads tbr. I figured if I couldn’t remember the book very well or why I wanted to read it, it had to go. So satisfying.

      • It’s hard to get used to, but you will. :) I love that it’s more streamlined!

        I need to go through my Goodreads wishlist … if it’s on my TBR list, I usually OWN the book in some format. My wishlist is for books I don’t own.

        You’ve been on a roll!

  11. I totally agree with this post! I don’t auto follow on Twitter and my criteria for following is pretty much the exact same as yours. I like conversations & interacting! I really appreciate the fact that people read my blog and leave such thoughtful comments. The best thing about book blogging to me is the community. I never imagined that I would meet so many great people.

    • Conversations and interacting are KEY! We read books to TALK about them! It’s not that hard to do on Twitter or Goodreads … spread the love!

      I never imagined I would meet so many great people, either — this is how I know I was doing it wrong when I first started my blog. These days I’m so happy with it!

  12. I do the same thing all the time…If I can scroll down my friends’ list and immediately recognize a person or a blog, it stays…that means I visit there often. I add blogs frequently too, but if I don’t form some kind of connection to that blog or blogger over a short period of time, I’ll go on and delete it and add another one :) There are enough of us out there to find bloggers who are like us individually with whom we can have meaningful conversations about books and life.

    • You’re so right — there are definitely enough book bloggers out there that we should all be able to find the ones that best suit our style!

      I also think that I should be able to immediately recognize someone in my feeds … makes sense!

  13. I know exactly what you mean! A few weeks ago I realized I was following a few authors that I didn’t even like their books, and all they ever did was promote them… wait, WHY did I follow them in the first place? There’s so much in my Twitter feed that I just skim past. I really should think about doing a purge like this soon!

    • That’s what started this for me — there were a lot of authors that just sent out annoying links, or the same tweet over and over again. I don’t know HOW I started following them, but I feel like I’m making enough meaningful connections these days that I really don’t need to follow them …

      I hope you can work up to a purge! :)

  14. I’m so bad at refollowing people on Twitter, but I’m also rarely on there because I have the hardest time following conversations on it. So if you removed me there, I wouldn’t blame you ..lol I will still continue to follow you everywhere else!

    I get a lot of random people following me on Goodreads, but I always check our books in common to see if they actually read what I read. I hate authors that just spam me with links for their books.

    I actually have an easier time making friends online than in person..lol. I’m shy, the internet gives me courage!..lol I have friends I met in World of Warcraft 6 years ago and I’m still talking to them now, and no one even plays anymore.

  15. Love this and all the responses! I’ll have to come back and read them all more carefully.

    I definitely need to cut down on my twitter, although I’ve already done that a little bit. There were a few people whose tweets always made me roll my eyes, and I realized I didn’t like what they had to say AND I barely ever agreed with their reviews? So I deleted them from my feed, and it automatically made me feel better. Just because it’s a popular blog doesn’t mean I have to follow them.

    I admit I’d like to forge some closer friendships beyond just basic level book stuff, and I’m not sure how to go about doing that. I definitely have some people that I consider friends, but it sometimes does feel cliquey with certain people being friends, and I wonder why that hasn’t happened for me.

    But, well… I’ll stop now before I get out a tiny violin for myself. ;) Mostly 100% YES, I agree with what you’re saying. I’d rather keep things small and personal and feel like I’m communicating with people who value what I have to say.

    • I had people like that in my Twitter feed, too … it’s time to take them out! And you’re right — just because a blog is popular, that doesn’t mean we have to follow them!

      I think the way we forge friendships online with other bookish people is the same way we would in real life … take your time, start talking to people, maybe send emails, or something. Help promote them and they’ll promote you and I think things would eventually work their way towards friendship. It takes time! :)

      And don’t worry about that tiny violin! I sometimes feel like I need one when I start writing these discussions. :)

  16. Sometimes I think I follow people on twitter who drive me crazy just to torture myself! Like, I don’t even have enough time as it is to be on Twitter sometimes, so why do I keep following people who’s tweets piss me off and/or people/bloggers who never respond back to a tweet? I know I’ve said this before, but it really bothers me when people don’t reply to tweets on twitter. It can be hard to reach out that first time on twitter! And then, to not have that person acknowledge your tweet, it kinda stings! I get you can’t respond to every tweet, but still…

    And you already know that I love bloggers that respond to comments :)

    This is sorta off-topic, but what about your friends in real life? Meaning, the friends you had before blogging and social media – do they follow and read your blog? Do you want them to, expect them to, or is it not important? Just wondering :)

    • I followed people like that, too! I’d constantly be complaining about THEM complaining … better to just cut them out!

      It bothers me when people don’t respond — I admit, I have to get more diligent about it (though I think I’m pretty good right now!). And yes! Bloggers responding to comments on their blog is a WHOLE other story! I do wish that I self-hosted, though, so I had the plug in that sends my replies to commenters … I LOVE that plug in!

      I think I’ll do up a post about blogging and real life for October! Leanne was asking about that, too. :) You’ll have to WAIT!

  17. Man, did I have to scroll to get down here to comment!! Haha. Anyways, I totally agree with you. Every time someone comments on my blog, I get excited so I always comment back. I don’t know why, but I’m always surprised that some people actually TAKE THE TIME to read my blog like I read others. I never really expected a whole lot of followers or anything, but I still hoped to meet people. Which I did, and I’m awfully GLAD!! :D

    I’ve had authors follow me and I look at their info and realize I have no idea what their books are about. And when I do, it’s not even something I’m into. I think now, a lot of people just blog for the popularity.. which sucks, because those people have great blogs, but sucky personalities. And they don’t reply to comments. I love commenting, and actually having someone reply to me, it makes me feel sort of special.

    I have a suggestion for a discussion post? Maybe.. if you don’t mind. But I was wondering if you tell any of your friends in “real” life that you have a blog. And whether or not they read it. I say this because every time I’m trying to tell someone how AWESOME you guys are, I also have to mention that I met you through blogging.. and also on-line, which makes some people freak out. It’s just that every time I talk about it, I sort of choke on my words and I end up mumbling..

    • This is so true, Leanne — I think some people just take their commenters for granted. Personally, if I consistently comment on a blog and they never respond to my comment, I’m more likely to STOP commenting. Especially if they never comment on my comment OR visit my blog. I know that sounds like me being the biggest complainer (maybe I should borrow Ashley’s violin?). I used to NEVER comment on comments — I didn’t think I had to! I don’t think it was until February that I started responding to everything. It takes time, but I feel that it builds community on my blog. I LOVE my followers! I want them to feel loved!

      I’ve had a few authors who I was following who wrote books I wasn’t interested, only did self-promo tweets, etc. I think I started following them from giveaways — those darn Rafflecopter giveaways can get you following a LOT of people you don’t want to! Now I’m a bit more picky …

      As for your last question, Brie asked the same thing, so I might write something about that for October! Just you wait!

      • I like that I feel appreciated as a blogger, therefore, I should make my followers feel appreciated as well.

        Oh those Rafflecopters… I remember seeing giveaways where they made you follow a whole list of people, and I just thought “Yep, screw this.” If it’s just one person I’m fine with it, ahaha. But usually, I’ll go through my “following” list, and I unfollow a few people as well.

        I’ll be looking forward to that!!

  18. Love this post :-) I felt kind of bad a few weeks ago when I purged my GoogleReader & Twitter, but I was following SO MANY PEOPLE kind of for no reason. Way too many people who are just spamming about book deals and stuff. Or I would follow their blog or Twitter cause they seemed cool, but never responded to me or just stopped blogging entirely. And I hate when I see those bloggers who go on and on about their blog stats (how many followers, how many hits their blog gets, etc.) but you never see them branching out and actually talking with their followers. Or if they do, it’s the same couple people and they’re very clique-y.

    Also, I’ve been trying to get better about replying to each comment on my blog, which can be tough cause I don’t always get online everyday. But I don’t want people to think I’m one of those people who ignores my readers! And this just makes me feel even more determined to make chatting and blogging more of a daily priority.

    • YES! That’s something I hate, too. When a blogger constantly talks about their followers and promotes a ton, but never, ever responds to their readers. I want interaction, dammit! It can be VERY cliquey.

      That’s great that you’re working on commenting to your comments! It can definitely be tough — life can get in the way! This is one reason I like that my Twitter feed is culled down — I can go on and chat for just a few minutes and it’s EASIER — I’m not scrolling through a bunch of crap to find the people who matter.

      Even if you just have a few minutes a day, it’s still something!

  19. Very interesting post.

    I wonder if I`m in the minority here; I don`t just use Twitter for bookish stuff. I have at least this many categories of people I follow:
    -People I know IRL
    -Local parents (like a mom`s group) and parenting “experts” (ha)
    -News & Civic issues (local newspapers, blogs about local issues)
    -Feminism and other social issues (i.e. publications, feminist bloggers, local experts)
    -Marketing and market research (for work; companies and experts)
    -Food (local restaurants, cooking blogs etc)
    -Entertainment (celebrities, parody and comedy accounts)
    -Oh, and bookish stuff! Blogs, publications, websites like Book Riot, authors, etc.

    So, a lot of the people I follow, I don’t expect to actually interact with. With companies, experts, publications etc. I’m just looking to stay updated on stuff. It’s different with bloggers and local people.

    I did a big Twitter cull when I reached around 600 people I was following, but somehow I’m back up to 1100 or so?!

    I actually don’t use GR as a social medium, really. I use it to keep track of my reading. Maybe one day the social aspect will click for me. It took me about a year to really understand Twitter. I only used it for traffic updates for a looong time :)

    Looking forward to the follow up about “real life”. I usually link to blog posts on my personal FB. I think I get more clicks from Twitter though, which is kind of sad :)

    I have no issue telling people that I know someone online… but I think I worked through those issues when I met my husband on Lavalife nine years ago, when it actually WAS a little weird! I also go to mom tweet ups, so it all seems rather normal to me.

    • I think this is why lists are so nice to have on Twitter – it makes it easier to group all these people together for easier following.

      I did have another Twitter account where I followed non-book-blog people, but I’ve since disabled it. I found I liked the interaction more. I follow some local groups on Facebook for updates, or just do searches on Twitter once in.a while.

      I know there’s a lot of people who use Twitter like you! It’s great that you feel you’ve gotten the hang of it.

  20. Great post! I really want to be more choosy. Especially about my blog feed, I follow so many blogs and I don’t get to nearly as many as I want to – I can’t keep up with all the ones I follow. So I’d like to widdle it down to the people I have relationships with OR love their blog and want to form a friendship with. It depends on the social site HOW choosy I am. Like goodreads I’m not really choosy at all, I know we do read-a-thons and we get a lot of people following us that way who only do the RAT on GR, so I’m not sure who’s following us solely for that or not..so I pretty much friend whoever friends me on there. Twitter is a so-so thing. I follow people back who follow me if they look like they post interesting things. I’d really like to be on there more to get to know people better.. but I find it so distracting to get things done as well. I’m really thinking about getting out of Triberr, even though it is a handy way to share people’s posts I hate the idea of it being the only thing on my feed (since I’m hardly on there myself to CHAT.)
    Definitely need to do some thinking and re-evaluate! :)

    Seriously awesome post! :D

    • Thank you, April!

      I like what you’re saying about the blogs you follow – it can be so daunting to follow so many blogs, comment, and have that sense of camaraderie, that it really can be best to follow the blogs where you feel that bond has been formed already. I feel like I’m constantly going through my feed!

      Really, we all have other obligations AND we want to read, so why not make it easier on ourselves online?

      I didn’t even know what Triberr was until this discussion … you learn something new every day!

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  23. Awesome post! I think you said everything I thought!! My only thing is that I’m afraid I’ll miss some miniscule corner blog that has some fantastic author thingy on it and, well, I guess the world will crash around me. Yeah, that won’t happen. I’m an idiot. I need to be like you.

    And all those blogs in my Reader – a complete mess. That’s why I have my favorites folder and that’s where I go for my blog trolling. I think my Twitter is okay at 500 I’m following to 900 following me but I’m SURE I can boot some of those I’m following. I’m pretty shy on GR that I only accept people who have books in common (c’mon people, more than one!) and I rarely ask to be friends with someone – I am so freakin’ shy b/c GR seems so personal, for some reason!!

    I may jump off Triberr, too. It’s about the only thing in my twitter, too, like April and that’s not good in my book.

    thanks for the inspiration! I’m glad I actually found your blog!! I’ve been seeing you around (your pic). I found this post from Smash & Amanda

    • Hey, I feel the SAME way! I want to be able to see ALL THE THINGS, but then I feel like all I’m doing is spending all my time on the internet. This just makes it easier on me. :)

      What’s with Goodreads people asking to be friends when you have no books — or just ONE book — in common? I’d like to be friends with people I can chat with! I usually only chat within my Goodreads timeline, not really in the discussions.

      I’m happy you found my post! Smash and Amanda are great at spreading things around. :)

  24. I so love what you had to see here! There have been times where I’ve tried to talk to people on Twitter or I comment on certain blogs and never get a response and that can be really disheartening. I agree that by limiting the relationships and REALLY making those matter, you can form really great friendships. Also I’ve been “becoming friends” with a lot of people on goodreads too without even knowing how!

    • It can be SO disheartening! I totally agree. The great thing about blogging is the relationships and there are bloggers out there who show newbies that wonderful friendships can be formed. I’m happy you’re becoming friends with lots of people on Goodreads! It’s ALL about community!

  25. Great topic and I’m with you. I did a Goodreads purge a couple months ago and I probably need to do a Twitter one. If a person only uses Twitter to enter contests, then I probably don’t want to follow them.
    And yes, if a blogger does not respond to any comments, that tells me they don’t care about comments. Which is completely fine, but then I will not bother to leave any.

    • Yeah, no kidding! Some people seem to ONLY post contest links! Sure, they’re good if I’m in a contest-entering mood, but I like to see real things once in a while.

      And so true about comments! I love getting comments and I want my readers to feel special — I definitely don’t feel special if the blogger doesn’t seem to care.

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My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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