Just so I’m sure we all agree, paper.li is basically just a spamming service at this point, right? Does anyone use this site for anything actually useful? I’m not actually going to link to them; feel free to look them up yourself if you like, but the site has attracted my attention twice now, and I haven’t liked it either time. The first time was when they published a photo of my kid that I’d put on my blog and shared it under the “Adult” category for no clear reason. I locked the picture down, putting it behind a password, and removed links to it from Twitter.
This morning when I got up I had a notification that someone had retweeted a tweet that mentioned me– although oddly I hadn’t gotten a notification of the original tweet. That message led me to discover this:
I hope it’s obvious to anyone who reads me that I did not write that nonsense, nor have I heard of the book I’m supposedly “sharing.” The site has a “prevent mentions” function, although to use it you have to tweet at them, so I’m a little skeptical that asking to keep my name off of their site is going to do anything. But this is annoying as hell. I tweeted at the person who RTed the original tweet and haven’t heard anything back yet from them.
The other thing I’ve done is that I’ve started using the JustUnfollow app. I don’t like that it occasionally tweets for me but I delete them when it happens (hint, guys, I’m happy to just send you money if I like your service) and I think the functionality is worth the minor occasional annoyance. I had a conversation with a few folks yesterday about whether an auto-reply to people who follow you is worth the time it takes to set it up and ended up deciding it wasn’t, but the base Twitter app doesn’t seem to be telling me about all of my new follows anymore and I’d like to keep up a more or less 100% follow-back ratio for a while.
(For those wondering: this means that at the moment I’m following close to 1900 people. It means that the main Twitter feed is a firehose that no one could pay attention to. Basically the rule is that if someone interacts with me or if I notice them consistently they get added to a much smaller list that I pay attention to consistently. TweetDeck is wonderful for this purpose, even if there’s not a mobile app for it.)
The other good thing about using JustUnfollow is it makes it a lot easier to aggressively grow my follower list again, which I’ve been looking to do lately. I can pick people who have already followed and/or interacted with people I already know and scoop up a whole bunch of ’em at once. It’s not the most targeted way of acquiring followers, I know, but at least I’m grabbing people who I can reasonably suspect might be interested in what I’m doing over there. So if you’re seeing this because I followed you recently, I did that because you’re already following someone who I think I have stuff in common with. Hi!
Ultimately, I want to get to a point where if I send out a Tweet it’s got a good chance of being seen by a few hundred people, and then I’ll stop worrying about growing my follower list as much. Right now my average over my last 20 Tweets is 111.5 impressions, so I’ve got a way to go yet. I figure I’ll get there right about exactly when the service either shuts down or finds a way to make itself radically less useful (coughfacebookcough) so we’ve got that to look forward to.
(Follow me here, if you aren’t yet.)