My new approach to Twitter and Follow Friday

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: April 23, 2010

Category: General

‘Follow Friday’ (abbreviated to #FF) is the title given to a project on Twitter started by Micah Baldwin about a year or so ago to get new users introduced into social circles. Basically what happens is that Twitter users write posts (known as Tweets) on the Friday of each week including the names of other users that they recommend to follow. This list of recommendations is identified by each ‘tweet’ starting off with #FF (followed by the usernames).

Personally speaking I think the whole ‘Follow Friday’ concept is a great idea however I  do have just a couple of issues with it:

  • 1. The bigger the list of people you’re ‘following’ becomes, the more #FF posts/tweets you’ll need to write as each is limited to only 140 characters.
  • 2. I always find myself in a bit of a dilemma not wanting to leave people out.

Social Media Guru Chris Brogan (Twitter username @chrisbrogan) who runs www.chrisbrogan.com made a suggestion recently which was rather than bombard Twitter with these #FF posts why not write a blog post with your recommendations and then post a single message on Twitter directing everyone to your blog?

Chris went on to say that there are 2 benefits to doing things this way:

  • 1. It gives you more than 140 characters to talk about the people you recommend.
  • 2. It cleans up Twitter so that you don’t watch a constant stream of @someoneawesome names rushing by you all day.

“Find the good people. Find people who matter to you. Share the locals. Use public Twitter lists (if the lists aren’t judgement-based, such as ‘smart people’). promote others.” ~ Chris Brogan

So with all that being said here’s my first #FF post here on the blog:

@zarias: Atlanta based editorial photographer and creator of the now world famous OneLight Workshop, Zack’s an incredible photographer now on the world circuit. Along with his wonderful wife Meghan, Zack has shown me incredible generosity and friendship and I was lucky enough to spend some time with them both in Atlanta last November.

@davidejackson: I discovered Dave and his work through watching one of Zack Arias’ Critiques. Dave is an incredible Portrait / Wedding Photographer based in the United States who produces stunning, natural and artificially lit images.

@aj_wood: I first met A.J. when I ventured over to Las Vegas for the Photoshop World Conference and Expo run by the NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals). A.J. and I immediately hit it off and I’m proud to say that we have become real good friends; regularly keeping in touch. A recognised Adobe Expert and Instructor A.J. runs Media Cats; a successful Digital Media Training company based in Dallas, Texas.

@picsby_mike: Mike is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer based in Galway, Ireland who definitely has an eye for making beautiful photos using natural light. I’m looking forward to spending some time with Mike when he ventures over from Ireland at the end of May when we have some shooting time together both in the studio and on location. I guess we may even manage to squeeze in the odd Guinness or two as well 🙂

@scotbaston: Now based in Devon, I first met Scot a couple of years ago at the first ever Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk that I lead in Windsor, UK and since then we have become good friends thanks to Twitter. A genuinely decent chap with a real passion behind the lens and a real nice new site and blog full of images from Landscapes to Portraits.

@rick_wenner: Talented New York based photographer who specialises in portraits for the fashion & music industry. Rick was also a Guest Photographer here on the blog during April with a ‘killer’ article! Looking forward to finally catching up with Rick for a beer when he ventures over to London later in the year.

@bertstephani: Bert is an incredible portrait photographer from Belgium who’s work I was first introduced to purely by fluke when I was browsing YouTube a couple of years back. A superb photographer and real nice guy, Bert is definitely someone worth following.

@noel_hannan: Great friend, great guy and with a great eye for photography. Noel is new to the Social Media scene but certainly making up for lost time; another of life’s ‘Good Guys’.

@erikbernskiold: From Gothenburg in Sweden, Erik is always willing to share his seemingly limitless knowledge of all things web design and software related. Definitely someone for whom the word ‘Genius’ was created.

@qhphotography: Based in Ealing, London I first became aware of ‘Huy’ after seeing a photograph he’d taken that had been posted on Twitter. Huy has since appeared as a Guest Photographer here on the blog writing a great article about how he made the photograph giving a walk through of his superb use of ‘off camera lighting’.

@lightroomblog: Sean McCormack from Ireland…Photographer, Sound Engineer, Adobe Community Professional, Lightroom Plugin Developer, Author, Bassist…is there no end to this guys talents? A regular ‘tweeter’ happy to share his knowledge; a real nice guy and definitely someone you should add to you list of people to ‘follow’.

@jurgenphoto: A very talented photographer based in South Africa, Jurgen has become a good friend again through the magic of Twitter. Always offering words of encouragement, support and positivity Jurgen is a great example of a good friend I’ve yet to meet.

@cuadraphoto: Based in Houston, Texas Andy Cuadra is a Commercial/Editorial Photographer that I have got to know over the last few months. Andy produces some stunning images making great use of off camera lighting and natural light. Really nice guy that I must meet up with in the not too distant future.

@celticcamera: Gareth, a photographer who is a regular user of Twitter is definitely someone to keep an eye on. I definitely recommend you take a look at Gareth’s profile then head over to his blog. There you’ll find some wonderful images but take my advice and look for a post titled ‘Indestructible Incident’ that contains an image I constantly head back over to look at; stunning!

@scottkelby: Well what can I say about Scott? Where do I start? All I will say is that without what Scott along with his team have put together with the NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) there is no way I would be at the stage in my Photography career that I am now. A bigger heart and more giving person you’d struggle to find!

Through the magic of Social Networking I have managed to connect and make friends with some truly wonderful and talented people so each week I’ll be posting a new ‘Follow Friday’ here on the blog. As you can see this new approach doesn’t put a stop to my dilemma of not wanting to leave anybody out but I do have to limit how many great people I recommend in each post.

Enjoy 🙂

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21 Comments

  1. Erik Bernskiold

    I personally like this idea very much. One of the reasons why I have never done any follow fridays is because I too hate to leave people out.

    Thanks you very much for including me Glyn and for the kind words.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Hey Erik, you’re so very welcome. Talent like your needs to be recognised and this is just my small way of getting more people out there to see you and how you can help them.

      All the best to you and speak soon 🙂

      Reply
  2. Sean McCormack

    Thanks Glyn,
    Great idea!
    I actually hate #ff’s that have single names with long intros. It kinda defeats the purpose!

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Hi Sean,

      Yeah I know what you mean mate. Although I’ve always liked the idea of the #FF, I don’t really dig the endless stream of usernames coming through. I’ve got to know some great people through twitter and I really like the idea of telling others a little about them and hence why I follow them.

      Have a great weekend mate.

      Reply
  3. Neil Holmes

    Hi Glyn, I think this is the way to go, twitter to blog, it certainly saves time. I have another open-ended question, and the answer will varies enormously from person to person. How many people can you successfully follow on twitter?, mine stands at 165 but I see people who follow 1000’s!

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Hi Neil, glad you like the idea of this and yeah, definitely a time saver.

      Re your question, to be honest I don’t really know mate, but hopefully when I get the kind of following that pushes on into the 1000’s I’ll have some kind of idea 🙂

      Have a good one.

      Reply
  4. Keith

    this is a very good idea, i have only just joined Twitter having rejected all suggestions from photo friends. I can see the benefits if it’s used in the right way, hey free advertising, i’m still working out the right way to use it thought.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Hey Keith, thanks for dropping in.
      Totally agree with you about it being a good thing so long as it’s used the correct way, otherwise we might just as well say ‘follow everyone in my list’.

      Cheers, Glyn

      Reply
  5. Quoc Huy

    Thanks mate.
    The idea is really good.
    I’m also reviewing my follow back strategy and should only follow people I’m interacting a lot with or I’m reading tweets from regularly. Then use Twitter lists as a way to follow the others without having their tweet flooding my main stream.

    Reply
  6. Noel

    Glyn, a great idea from a great guy. I have a lot to thank you for in photography and this new social media world. I am still getting to grips with all this stuff… its great to meet all these new and inspiring people. Must get an iphone though…

    A big thanks for including me…

    best of luck
    Noel

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Cheers Noel and yeah I agree, there’s some great people out there that thankfully are being ‘brought together’ through such things as Twitter, FB etc…
      ps> … Are you getting the subliminal messages coming through in the posts? … ‘iPhone, iPhone…must buy an iPhone’ lol 🙂

      Reply
  7. Mike

    I am overwhelmed by the mention in the post Glyn, thanks a million. I have to agree with Erik’s comments in that I have never done a #FF purely as I don’t want to offend anyone for not mentioning their names etc.

    Like the new format as I think it gives a much wide scope to getting a decent following going.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Hey you’re welcome Mike; you’re a great bloke with a great eye & skill for photography so I hope this allows more people to see what you’re doing.

      All the best to you.

      Reply
  8. David Kelly

    Thanks for the leads Glyn.
    I’m not a tweeter but I’ve found the relevant blogs to add to my sites to review daily. Some of these individuals I knew of already but it’s always good to get some new blogs to read. Some awesome shots on those blogs – Gareth’s ‘Indestructible Incident’ reminded me of some of Joe Cornish’s work. And as for the iPhone, I really must get one too but I think I’ll hang on that little bit longer for the release of 4G version which Gizmodo got their hands on. Looks like it could be ‘sweet’, as Mr Kelby would say.
    Talking of Scott, listening this week to the NAPP CS5 webcast it seems that Joe McNally & Scott (or someone from the PS Guys team) are coming over to these shores as part of their workshop tours. No time indicated as yet but would be nice to see these guys in action, especially for those of us who don’t get to go to PSW.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      David,

      Glad to hear that as a ‘no tweeter’ you got something out of the post. i definitely prefer this way of doing things however it still doesn’t solve the problem of not wanting to leave people out but then there is space now to explain why that is. i always found the original way of #FF a bit ‘non descript’; this way I can say why I follow and recommend a certain person rather than just posting a name up.

      Regarding Scott Kelby, he is set to come over later this year, so definitely keep an eye on the Kelby Training / Photoshop User sites for the date when it’s announced.

      Right, must crack on…up waaayyy too early today to see if I can get more hours out of the day,
      All the best to you 🙂

      Reply
  9. Andy Cuadra

    Glyn- I am honored to be mentioned on this list; very grateful, thank you.
    Like others have already said here, I agree with your approach at #FF and it should serve as a template. Social Media is a great phenomenon; however, we must not forget that it is still about creating that personalized experience, giving back, and creating value that will make you grow and stand out in a sea of social media channels.

    I have raised the question before about how well do you truly know your #FF list of people? What you have done here, is created value not only for your readers but also for the people on the list, by providing an opportunity to interact and network with each other.

    Thank you!
    Andy

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Andy you’re so welcome mate; you’re a superb photographer and if this gets more people to see your work then it’s ‘mission accomplished’.

      Cheers, Glyn

      Reply
  10. Zack Arias

    Thanks for the FFFFFFFFUN! 🙂

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Hey Zack,

      Back at ya!!! Thanks for everything 🙂

      Cheers, Glyn

      Reply
  11. Rick Wenner

    Thanks for including me on this list Glyn. I thought that I already commented here to thank you but I guess it slipped through the cracks.

    Rick.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Rick…No worries mate; you’re welcome 🙂

      Reply

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