Don't Lock Your Twitter Feed If You're Looking For Connection & Opportunity

Connected via TED's online directory with a sales and marketing director working in high tech and new media, in advance of both of us attending TED Global in Oxford. The guy explained he seeks to apply technology solutions in innovative ways to solve social issues, and he's currently looking for a new position.

Sounds good. I went to his Twitter feed to get closer and learn more but it's protected. He needs to approve me before I can see all the goodness he's sharing.

I asked him, "What's your reasoning for that, especially given you're in the market for new opportunities?"

He told me: "I have been inundated with dozens of requests of people to follow me. It is flattering to have a following, but when I look at the requests are from people I have no connection to. And, when I look at their profiles, they are following hundreds of thousands of others. Can anyone really follow 100,000 people on Twitter? I think there is a 'twitter stalker' phenomenon which likely leads to 'twitter spam'."

I have been using Twitter for a year (and am #3 Twitterer in Istanbul at moment, mainly because the Turks are not yet active on the service). I don't agree that twitter followers lead to spam. Anyone can send you spam using your twitter handle. If people follow you who have no good reason to do so, either they will drop off or never be heard from.

Many people don't use Twitter in optimal ways.

If you plan to be serious about it I'd suggest a bit of research into Twitter best practices. And follow @mashable @chrisbrogan @ambercadabra @sirhendrix and many others in the SM brand and biz coaching spaces.

One thing I'd say about this person's twitter handle (I'm not one to talk with an unpronounceable, easily misspelled name of "thandelike" but still, here I go) is that his handle itself sounds like spam. People are wary of marketers on Twitter so learning how best to be a marketer on Twitter may be in order.

The main idea of Twitter is to bring value to your network, and to grow that network organically through conversation with others. Share links (not only to your own work) and engage with the material others share. Don't make it hard for people to access what you share. Don't make it hard for us to grasp that you are a real person behind that spammy handle.