This is the face I pull every #FollowFriday

Back when the world was young and Twitter was new and exciting, a tradition developed. Every Friday, the users of the burgeoning social media site would take the time to promote their friends. They’d explain why a certain person was interesting, and tag it #FollowFriday.

And it looked a little like this:

Follow @Mr603 – he’s witty, handsome and writes a wonderfully useful copywriting blog. #FollowFriday

People would recommend one or two other users who’d added value to their Twitter experience, and in return they’d receive recommendations from other people. It helped networks to grow, and the people did rejoice.

Nowadays, we’re bombarded with recommended followers, Twitter directories and categorised lists. Telling people who to follow just isn’t necessary anymore.

So #FollowFriday died a quiet death, after a life of great service.

Except it didn’t. It became something different. Something infuriating. Something, spammy

#FollowFriday Fail Whale

#FollowFriday, in all of its glory

Now, #FollowFriday has mutated into a horrific spam-fest, where users list every single person they follow, tag it #FF and clog up feeds for hours on end. Friday is no longer a day of discovery. It’s a day of unrelenting horror, where no value is shared as people publicise their own address books. Nobody is singled out as someone who adds value, and no incentive is given to follow anyone.

And it doesn’t work. Nobody’s going to follow a whole list of people, meaning that the #FF lists serve no purpose.

So please. If you haven’t abandoned the obsolete tradition of #FollowFriday, why not take it back to its roots? Pick two or three people you follow and give them a Tweet each. Explain why we should follow them.

You never know. You might even earn them a follower or two.

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