My team and I make it a practice to look at the profile page of every single person who follows me on Twitter.

We do this for several reasons:

  • I don’t want people who are just hawking their wares and publishing what I consider to be Twitterspam following me. Call me crazy, but I want no parts of these people/brands.
  • I don’t want people who are peddling porn following me. Enough said.
  • I also don’t want people with protected Twittersteams following me.

So, my team blocks these people. And, yes I know when we block them, it reduces the number of people who are following me.  In the case of the spam and porn, I don’t rightly care; I’ll gladly leave those folks in the dust, but it’s the ones who have protected Twitterstreams that concern me. I don’t understand them.

I’ve looked at a few of these “protected” profiles and most of these people appear to be normal, law abiding citizens and yet their Twitterstreams are protected.

Here are my thoughts:

Social networking is primarily about communication and sharing information. How can you be doing either of these things if your Twitterstream is protected?

For the most part when a Twitterstream is protected, it’s the stream of an individual, but I have seen a good number of companies with protected streams. And, I wonder what the point is?

Many people say that they just want to be able to control who has access to their “thoughts” and “intellectual property”. That attitude is so 1995. And, people wonder why their approach to social networking doesn’t work?

My question to these people would be:

Is your “need to control” so great that you’re putting a barrier in between your company and the people who could potentially cut you a check?

The other thing I’d feel almost compelled to share with these “protectors” is: if someone can steal your “intellectual property” from your 140-character Tweets, Twitter is the LEAST of your problems.

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