I'm not sure if it was Guy Kawasaki or one of the other Web 2.0 mavens who said it but there seems to be a rule in Twitter that if someone follows you then it is only good manners for you to follow them back.
In fact I received a rather nasty series of tweets from a follower this week berating me for not following back. (I was flabbergasted)
I did this for a while. But I don't do it anymore. There are a few reasons for this.
1) Social media is not about how many but who, to paraphrase Seth Godin. I am not interested in notches on the laptop as much as I am interested in following interesting and preferably motivated people.
You don't want to waste a third of your 2000 allowed follows on people who don't post or don't post stuff you are interested in.
2) Lots of robots out there. Have followed some classics. Every now and then I see my Tweets turn up again with a different slant on them, or sen to me in a reply. This is a sure sign of a robot.
3) Some people are just dead boring, are looking to up there follower count when we have no interests in common, or worse - they're just weirdos.
So the automatic re-follow thing for me is out basically. Sorry if that offends anyone.
What I will do, about once a week, is run through those who are following me and check their profiles.
If it is all private chit chat, or content I'm not interested in, or hey only have three tweets, or its just blatant spam - then I am not playing.
But if they seem to write regularly about stuff that interests me, then I will follow them. I think that if you want to get good followers, and want to follow intriguing people, then this is what I recommend.
1) search for people who speak about your themes, your authors, your software programs or favorite past times first. (http://search.twitter.com)
2) Check them out. Are they really talking about "your" stuff? Or is it just a random tweet that doesn't relate to the rest of their stream?
3) Follow them. Some of them will immediately follow you back, some will not even notice, and some of them will check you out first to make sure you are worth following. (We only get 2000 after all)
Feel free to check out my own profile , if there are tweets and posts there that you find interesting then it will b great to have you as a follower. I will check your own profile out also.
If you are new send me a tweet (@DarylMather ) to let me know you're new and I will be happy to take a chance on you.