First, you must understand that Twitter allows anyone to follow 2,000 people. After that, they impose limits based on mostly-secret algorithms, based mainly (or wholly – I can't be sure) on how many people follow you in return.
At this point you may think:
2) You don't want to follow 2,000 people!
(2) They'll follow you.
|Twitter enabled me to tap into Jenny Holzer's fanbase.|
2) They don't give a damn about you, but by adding you Twitter will allow them to add two or three others they DO want to add.
In order to reach out further, I now have to pare down the list considerably. TweetAdder does that automatically, but I wanted to really 'see' the folks I was looking to cut. So I found an online tool called ManageFlitter for that task, and have spent the better part of two days cutting back to a much leaner mix of around 600 follows vs. 450 followers. (As I write this, I'm still not quite there.)
The next step will be to add new names. I'll pull some names identified by Klout and Pinterest as active social media users interested in sci-fi. I'll also grab names of Twitter users following writers who have created books roughly similar to Patriots. I'll hit Twitter's ceiling again, and again I'll see who responds, and pare back. Growing a following on Twitter - at least in the early stages - is a process of expansion and pullback.
I haven't yet addressed the 'following 2000 people' aspect of this. I'll deal with that in another post, where I'll discuss lists and other management tools. For now, I'll just note Linda Stone's observation that Twitter is continuous partial mindcasting, continuous partial friendship, continuous partial connections. As it happens, she just posted on the subject of balancing the many tasks our increasingly-connected world both enables and commands us to do.
The Zen of Twitter (series)