Do you dread Follow Friday on Twitter?

Do you dread Follow Friday on Twitter? Fess up, you know the feeling I’m talking about here, you log into your feed & what seems like miles of canned #FF mentions of you scroll across your screen.Started by Micah Baldwin in Jan of 2009 Follow Friday on twitter was originally meant to be a way for one user to suggest other worthy tweeps to follow.Sadly,this tradition that began as a way to honor people for unique contributions rapidly became a social obligation.Folks eager to be seen began constructing lists of people to mention (As a Twitter novice I was guilty of this) in hopes of getting return mentions. Even Mashable posted tips & tools to help effectively leverage follow Friday.

Follow Friday Dread

You stare at your ever growing list of #FF mentions, noting  that often these tributes don’t contain any reason as to why people should follow you & often lump your twitter handle in with several others who aren’t even related to your industry or interests. The tweeps mentioning you obviously hope for reciprocal mentions, a twitter honor you used to look forward to has now become an ever increasing, time sucking obligation, you dread follow Fridays on twitter & realize your options are few.

  • Spend an ever increasing part of your day returning meaningful mentions
  • Make up (and maintain) scripted lists of mentions to tweet in return
  • Ignore the mentions & risk alienating your followers

Taking Back Fridays

If you appreciate your followers, IMHO you don’t want them to feel obligated to mention you & don’t want to increase anybody’s workload or fill clog their feeds with canned #FF mentions . I’ve begun implementing the following ideas to not only take back my Friday but to also give back to my followers

  • I use #FF sparingly & always give a reason for the mention.
  • I regularly let tweeps know my stance on #FF  &  let them know I don’t expect rote mentions.
  • I’ve begun a #SocialSat tradition, I visit sites, subscribe, leave comments on posts that interest me.

Is there a better way?

I really enjoy & appreciate the people who follow me on Twitter, I prefer to thank them for enriching my life by visiting their sites, subscribing & participating in conversations via my comments on their posts. I wish to respect the Twitter community as a whole by using #FF wisely & only when I can give a reason why the person I’m mentioning is worthy of your follow.

What about you? Do you dread Follow Friday on Twitter? How do you handle your mentions? In what ways do you honor folks who you feel make great contributions to twitter? Drop me a line here, let me know you thoughts!