On Twitter, if you follow back reflexively, the spammers win

Are you among those who believe that if you don’t follow someone back on Twitter, you’re being snobby and arrogant?  Then this post is meant for you. My purpose here, quite candidly, is to persuade you that reflexively following someone back is not only a habit which encourages spam, but is in fact a major contributor to making Twitter a thriving spam platform.

For those who reflexively follow, in other words, I ask you to consider the ramifications of your behavior to the greater community, especially when multiplied by the thousands or millions of Twitterers who may behave likewise. Basically, you’re helping the spammers win.

First, let’s think about this: why does anyone follow anyone else on Twitter?  Three main reasons come to mind:

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“Getting” Twitter, from the technology executive’s perspective

I don’t want this to be just another post about Twitter, the current hot trend of the Internet.  Rather, I’d like to relate this new Twitter fad to a long-planned important topic here.

Specifically, what can we in technology do to keep current and stay up-to-speed on our various areas of interest and expertise? There’s more out there than any of us can learn, and new technologies come along all the time.  Truly staying current, at a reasonable depth level, would be a more-than-full-time job.

Here’s how I’ve come to grips with that basic reality. These remarks are most relevant to the executive level, but to some extent they apply across the spectrum of roles in IT.
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