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Reaching 500 Twitter followers – Does it mean anything?

Update – 25.11 PM – Danny has followed up with his own response here.

I’m possibly a bit biased but when I hit 500 ‘Followers’ (people who have chosen to ‘subscribe’ to my updates on Twitter) I thought that was pretty cool. It begs the question though, what does it all mean, if anything?

It’s not really something that I presume people generally even give a moment’s thought about, but when I was gradually climbing to 500, I thought to myself, this was a milestone figure, something to be proud of, in the geekiest, self congratulatory way, there’s some people out there who value what I’m saying. It didn’t really mean anything but I wanted to say thanks to the person who clicked ‘follow’ and in turn made themselves my 500th follower.

Welcome, @dannywhatmough to the equation who works at Wildfire PR and their blog is here, and who also turns out to be a top bloke. I understand he’s been spreading the Twitter word around the company and getting a whole host of Wildfirers on board the Twitter train, welcome all. Hope you stick around.

At first I thought, I’d ask him what his favourite sweets were and send him a load of them.. Then I put a message out on Twitter, something along the lines of “How should I commemorate my 500th follower?” to which @KerryMG said “Make a cake shaped like the fail whale!”.. Brilliant I thought, that’s more like it. It got my creative juices flowing.. I can do better than a few sweets surely. I thought that the fail whale was a bit out of my creative cake making depths so for the next few days I wondered what on earth I was going to do. I’ve told him I’m going to send him something now! I’d decided it was going to be cake orientated because it has that celebratory vibe about it, a cake means a special occasion, it was perfect.

I fired off an email to Danny being as cryptic as possible yet asking a bit about him, his interests and hobbies, with a view to making a truly personalised cake..

He was a great sport throughout and I soon found out that Mr Whatmough was in to Tech (Apple) Football, Food and Tennis.. It was as if I was looking at myself in the mirror, it was bizarre!

Initially, I had visions of making a cake shaped like the Apple logo/motif type thang, in the colours of Hearts FC and with a mini man playing Tennis.. I was day dreaming about a cake, that didn’t even exist, a true sign of a genuine nutter. As time went by, I realised that it wasn’t really going to happen but soon after I ordered a cake, a cake with a champagne bottle, balloons, party poppers, brilliant I thought. Obviously I wasn’t aware of what it looked like until it arrived with Danny on Monday morning so I was quite excited myself as to how it had turned out.

So what dyu think to the finished product then guys? It wasn’t until Danny, sent me a tweet and uploaded a pic of the cake from his iPhone no less, using Twitterfon to tweet and then Twitpic to upload the pic. Danny I could tell was down with the kids, and I liked that!

PS – Here’s the original Twitpic link

It’s funnily enough proven to be a quite different kind of relationship building exercise. Who’d have thunk it? We’ll meet up for a drink in the coming weeks I’m sure and live happily ever after.

PPS – I wanted it to say @Dannywhatmough, Thanks for being my 500th follower. @LitmanLive – but character restrictions only allowed the above.. so it’s not perfect, but I think it still gets the message across 😉

Can anything be garnered from this whole thing? The world of social media does definitely bring up some utterly fantastic yet hugely bizarre scenarios that you’d never experience otherwise.

In a weird way, I think it’s great that our paths collided and I wanted to reach out and make something happen. I’m not sure I believe in fate and destiny and all that kinda stuff but then there are the odd occasions that you think, wow, right place, right time, it’s great to be alive. There wasn’t any gain from me, it was one of those genuine feelings of, I want to do something different, to reinforce the value that all these people have put in me for following me when there’s an unbelievable amount of people to follow on Twitter.

It was my way of giving something back, saying thanks.

7 replies on “Reaching 500 Twitter followers – Does it mean anything?”

I joined Twitter toward the end of last year so the number of followers I have isn’t something I think about at all. Ultimately, I think, the value of any social media “friends” is that you connect somehow or another in a way that is meaningful to both of you.

If you’re open to connecting my ID is: Machione.

I can from the Gonzo Social Media Carnival.

Excellent store! So glad I happened across it!! I’m glad you felt so happy at reaching your 500th Twitter follower.. I’m looking forward to the day I reach my 2000’th follower – just cos then it means I break out of some of the limits twitter imposes on me, for # of ppl I can follow!
Thanks for sharing 😉

Mike, Mike, Mike…

Once again, you have managed to crack me up with your Twitter obsession. Seriously dude, re-reading your post reminds me why we hired you.

I see that Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) has just awarded his 20,000th Follower a digital voucher for his new readings of Oscar Wilde short stories. Personally, I’d rather have cake.

But as Oscar Wilde once said… “I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones”. Touché, Messieurs Wilde, Fry and Litman…

Today in the office, we had a mini debate about ‘real mates’ versus ‘Twitter mates’ but what Twitter’s shown me is that you can develop real relationships with people who share a common interest rather than a post code or a geographic border with you.

You just have to show up at tomorrow’s ShoreditchTwit or next month’s DirtySouthTwit to see that we, the Twitterati are the most connected, pub-centric socialites that exist today.

Likewise, I can also name a surprisingly large list of people that I’ve really got to know through Twitter but have never met in the real world and may never actually physically shake hands with.

I guess the beauty of Twitter is that it really allows us to build a picture of what makes someone tick. Here’s a test: Select someone you’re following on Twitter and visit his/her profile. You don’t have to go beyond the second page of Tweets before you’ve built up a pretty good idea of what they’re about. All this, based on a series of 140 character messages tied to a specific time and (sometimes) a location (see: Twibble). Brilliant, huh?

The fact that the number of people you can follow on Twitter is limited somewhat by how much ‘noise’ you can mentally process means that you tend to be selective about who you choose to Follow. Which means that your 500th Follower is indeed something you should be celebrating, because it means that 500 people have decided that you are somebody that they find interesting or relevant to them.

It’s something that fascinates me, and although Twitter isn’t yet mainstream (although the day is near, my friend) – it is changing the way we connect to people and get to understand what makes them tick.

As for @dannywhatmough – here’s someone who has probably gained a few extra Followers from your outreach and in the process got to taste some sweet, sweet baked cake goodness.

You could say, he can have his cake and eat it.

Nice work Mike – lovin’ yer work…

To borrow another phrase from the great man Oscar Wilde… “It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.”. That’s what’s for, I guess…


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