Twitter & Friend Feed: The Pleasure of Permissions

So, when I set up Twitter in earnest a few months ago, I originally wanted to use it only for good friends, people whom I cared “if they brushed their teeth” as I put it to myself. To that end, I made it permissions-based; you have to ask to follow me.
I did the same thing a few weeks ago when I set up friendfeed.
What’s been interesting about that is that because I set up a permissions-based system, I have a much livelier and more engaged sense of who is *following* me than who is reading this blog, either here, or thru a newsreader. While I’m basically approving all (except for obvious spam) requests, responding to individual requests means I get to take a second, if I wish, and actually respond to the individual–in other words, I can look at their RSS feed, their FB, their twitter and try to understand if this is someone I’d like to be reading or following as well (and it is, about 50% of the time.)
So, for me, permissions-based following is supporting a greater sense of exchange with new people, and also giving me a sometimes ego-gratifying chance to notice when people whose work I respect, but may not know personally, want to read me(0r at least get the feeds).
And Facebook? Facebook is fast becoming the small, unfocused cousin of LinkedIn–while the tools are great (groups, events, notes); I’m losing my sense of focus of who I am linked to and why–in many ways, it is becoming a huge affinity and social web tickler file for my life, not much more.

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  1. alizasherman says:

    Interesting take on the permissions-based Twitter account. I have a slightly different take on Twitter but also have 3 accounts, each serving a totally different purpose. I do check each and every person who follows me – go to their Twitter page, read over a few pages of tweets, and get a sense of where they are coming from before following them…or not. And now that I’m following a lot of people (I initially said I’d cap it at 50, then 100, now…?), I still only really “see” or zero in on about 30 or 40 people’s tweets at any given time. It is a new way of communicating and a new way of digesting information.

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