Twitter 103: Following and Being Followed

This post is part of the SMUG Twitter curriculum, and its prerequisite is Twitter 102: Creating an Account. To successfully complete this course, you need to have established your own Twitter profile.

One of the keys to Twitter is the people you follow, and who follows you.

Some people decide to just follow a few close friends in Twitter, while others follow more broadly, to develop an information-gathering network.

More on those philosophies in a bit, but for starters here is a video tutorial that illustrates the mechanics of how you can get started in finding people to follow to start building your Twitter network:


Now about the philosophies of following and being followed:

You could decide that you only want to follow family and close friends in Twitter. That’s a perfectly valid option. In that way you would be able to stay more involved on a daily basis with those who already are closest to you.

On the other end of the spectrum we have those like @Scobleizer (Robert Scoble) who follow and are followed by thousands (20,852 and 47,828 at present).

I would recommend you find a balance somewhere in the middle. By all means invite your family, friends and work colleagues to join you on Twitter, but you have much to gain by broadening your network. You’ll meet interesting people and learn of news that’s relevant to you, and will be able to participate in interesting discussions.

And when you have a question, you can just “Tweet” it and you’ll likely get lotsof good feedback, as I did when I was looking for Web hosting recommendations.


To avoid making this a two-credit class, we’re going to limit the homework and carry it over into Twitter 104. So for now your assignments are limited.

  1. If you haven’t already, follow my personal Twitter account (@LeeAase) and the SMUG University Twitter feed (@SMUG_U). I will follow you back.
  2. Pick eight more people to follow from this great post from Sam Bradley, bringing the total new people you follow today to 10. Note that if you follow too many new people in one day, it may raise suspicions with Twitter that you’re a spammer. But 10 is a nice safe number for starters.

Coming tomorrow is Twitter 104: Building Your Twitter Network, which will be a “lab session” much like I experienced in my college days getting a minor in Chemistry. It will take you through a process of building the personal Twitter network that’s right for you.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

@SMUG_U Twitter Profile Lets You Connect with SMUGgles

In addition to the SMUG Twitter Group, I’ve also established a SMUG_U profile in Twitter as a way to enable SMUGgles to connect with each other.

I’ll be logging into it regularly (probably increasingly as we progress), and may use Twitterfeed to automatically publish some links to posts from this blog, but one of the key benefits will be that you can see who else is following @SMUG_U, and you can follow them, too. That will be covered in Twitter 103: Following and Being Followed.

For now, just follow @SMUG_U.

If you’re a smarty pants who wants to skip ahead, you can see who else is following @SMUG_U and follow them.

And as you are tweeting, feel free to use the #smug hashtag if you think the item will interest your fellow SMUGgles.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine