Adam Kmiec enumerates what he looks for in a Tweet, and why he decides to follow certain people.
I’ll add my own criteria. Like Adam, I follow people who link to interesting content. They’re like scouts. I also like humor and on-the-ground reporting. (I enjoyed Ana Marie Cox on the campaign trail, and now I see her following has ballooned to 148,000.)
I follow a few French and Spanish writers, mostly because I enjoy their sentences, and I can imagine, if only for a moment, that I’m walking across the Pont Neuf or holding up my face to the Mexican sun.
When I check someone’s page and see a lot of @ replies, I tend not to follow, because they seem to be tied up in conversations that don’t involve me. No criticism involved. It’s just a matter of what you want in the mix.
The value of followers, logically, is inverse to the number of people they follow. If someone follows 20,000, each one of our tweets races their feed in the time it takes them to blow their nose. On the other hand, my colleague Steve Hamm routinely brings up things I’ve twittered. That’s because I’m one of only 20 people he follows, a member of an exclusive club.
I imagine some Numerati-type somewhere is doing the network analysis on the value of followers. If anyone knows who’s doing it, I’d love to find out.