Twitter and the endless FFs

When I first saw #FFS  I genuinely thought it was a shortened version of “For F*ck Sake” as it was then followed by the name of a fellow Tweeter.    I thought this showed somebody who had really annoyed you that week and that they should be avoided.

Then one day I was on somebody’s #FFs list and it said something like “Lovely Tweeter, go Follow”.

I couldn’t work out how that worked then, I was lovely but had peed somebody off.

But then the penny dropped and I realised that it meant “Follow Friday” and was a suggestion to that person’s fellow followers that I was somebody they might like to follow.   So the exact opposite.   That made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.   What a lovely idea to suggest somebody who is either witty, famous, has inside info, links to competitions etc to fellow Tweeters who may not be aware of this secret person.

And it worked, I gained a few more followers.   Lovely.   There is no point being on Twitter if you don’t have a few followers.

Recently, however, I have come to dread Fridays and the whole concept of #FFS is making me ranty because it is descending into farce.

So I have come up with the MummyBarrow list of rules for the Follow Friday phenomenon and suggesting my own alternative.

First the rules.   And you better start sticking to these, followers of mine, or I am coming after you with the naughty step:

Make sure YOU are following the person you are suggesting your followers follow.   The times I have seen my name included and I think “ooh you sound interesting, who are you?” and then realise they are not following me.   How can you recommend somebody you don’t follow?   Nonsense.   Stop it.

DO NOT.  I repeat.  DO NOT use an app to do this for you.   There is an app called “Lazy Shout Out” and it can auto generate tweets for you with a heading of something like “Friends this week” and then can send out a tweet like this:

#FF PeopleWhoYouLike @boringperson  @randombloke @randomwoman @someguyimetinabarontuesday (via @LzyShtOut)

Now I don’t want to sound ungrateful at this juncture but I am going to because I BLOODY HATE THIS APP.   If you can’t even be bothered to write the Tweet yourself to recommend people to your fellow Tweeters then what is the point?  You want your followers to follow these people but you can’t even be bothered to type it?   Sod off.

Ditto lists.  Tweets that have no dialogue but just say:

#FF @womanA @blokeB @someguy @thiswoman @anotherrandom @blokeonthetube @womanatbusstop

Why?  Why should I follow them?   It is your job to tell me why I should follow them.   Are they funny?  Are they famous?  Have they got a cure for the common cold?  Will they come round and do my ironing?   You have to tell me why I need to follow them.   Or don’t bother.

Ooh you got on a list YOU DON’T NEED TO THANK EVERYBODY ON IT.   The other downside to these lists is that when @WomanA gets it she will then tweet everybody to say “thanks for the #FF”.   I didn’t send you the bloody thing so what are you thanking me for? I don’t even know who you are.  Just thank the person that sent it to you.

Resist the urge to show off.  So somebody we don’t know has included you on their #FF list.   And?   Why do you need to RT (re-tweet) it and tell us all?  All it says is “ooh look at me.  Look at me”.    I might barely know you (yes, contrary to popular opinion I do not know every single one of the 2000 people I follow, personally).   So why should I care that you have been included on some other person’s list?   Stop it.   Nobody likes a show off.

Keep it simple.  What we want to see is something along the lines of:

Please go follow @mummybarrow.  She makes me smile.  Gives property advice for free if you need it and blogs a bit too. #FFs

There.  Short and to the point.   It tells your followers why they should follow me.   And it shows me that you actually care about me.  And that means that I care about you a little bit more.   And people that I care about get cake.

And so there endeth my list of rules for Friday.

I am now proposing a boycott of #FFs altogether.   I am suggesting an alternative.   I want to start #TTTs instead.   Top Tweeter Thursday.

It will be a one person per tweet on a Thursday.  Because at the moment #FFS really is making me revert to my original thinking.

Who is on board with #TTTs ?


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  • I’ve recently unfollowed somebody who #ffs every single person she follows, in groups of 5. All 3,000 of them. That’s a lot of groups of 5. And makes for very, very boring tweeting!

    • Bloody hell, she must have absolutely nothing to do with her time!! I have stopped ffing, although I do appreciate being ff’d every now and then and I always say thank you afterwards 😉

  • Thank God for you! I am quite new to Twitter and often have no bl**dy idea what’s going on but the #FF thing has made me both anxious and nauseated at once! Liking the boycott idea but liking #TTT more. 🙂

  • Lovely rant, ahem, I mean blog post! New to Twitter and blogging so FFs hasn’t started to get on my nerves yet but I like the idea of TTTs. I’m in!!!

  • I just used a #FF helper app for the first time today, and while it made it more easy to choose the people I wanted to shout out to, I totally let one slip without actually reading the text at the beginning! D’oh! Won’t be using an app ever again. Honestly, I normally don’t even do this FF thing, but every week I get lovely tweets from folks, and I feel bad that I never do it back. So this week I decided to give it a go before anyone else tagged me.

    Now I feel like a div. 🙁

    I’m on board with TTTs. Let’s MAKE IT HAPPEN!

  • I try to do like “@chaosokay because she’s awesome and makes me smile. #ff” or have two or three people but include a reason. I ask myself “Why do I think you should follow this person? How to a crush that into less than 140 characters?”

    Good post 😀

  • Love it! I used to think #FF was fab once I figured out what it was. But now I rarely bother with it unless someone has really touched me that week.

  • I like doing follow friday.

    I like it because I do it as it was intended in the begining. a way of telling someone that someone else was worth following and WHY.

    If there is more than one name per #ff then I suggest you are doing it wrong (except occasionally where you may suggest a couple that are worth following together) a list is a pointless piece of crap, I literally don’t even look at them.

    If someone RTs a #FF they are in it had better be a damn funny one or I block them. You RT a list of #FF that you are in – blocked.

    Also you don’t bloody well need to #FF everyone you follow! I follow 1300 people FFS! (and yes FFS does mean for f*cks sake – if people use it to mean #ff they are idiots) so pick half a dozen people that are ace, and tell us why we should follow and the whole thing is great! Use it to say hello publically to all 400000000000 of the people you follow and it’s a steaming pile of shit. Do it right, or don’t do it.

    Rant over

    PS I’m ace on twitter follow me! LOL

  • I just don’t join in with the effing #FFs. They clutter up Twitter on Fridays. I’m just an ungrateful cow.

  • Ha ha! I LOVE IT.

    Too right.

    I generally don’t do #ff but have done today (@ialisonperry) and totally agree with your rules. I want to know a REASON I should follow these people and I want you to be selective.

    Nice post!

  • I hate #FFs. I rarely do them unless someone has especially deserved one. In fact I have the #ff hashtags muted on my iPad, because of all the boring ones, lists and RTs. You RT your own #FFs? Really? Get over yourselves, people. I rarely follow from a #ff and prefer personal invitations. “ooh Annie you might like @soandso because you have XYZ in common”. Much nicer.

  • Here, here. The thing that bugs me most about #ff is the vanity RT of every single bloomin’ #ff that person has had or the tweets littering my mention column saying Thanks for the #ff when I haven’t even done #ff and they don’t even follow me.

    Saying that when I do receive a #ff tweet from someone saying why they like following me it does make me smile.

  • Quite. My twitter feed filled today with #ff lists and #ff RTs – so quite grumpy. Rarely tweet on fridays these days – when I do #ff the odd time they’re usually themed, for eg local tweeps, fab bakers or my fav physicists etc

  • I don’t do a FF every week. I like to wait until the mood takes me and I have discovered someone new or someone has really made me laugh that week. I also give a reason and I agree with you that giving a reason does assist.

    That said I have been guilty of the thanking everyone rather than the original FF-er (oh the twitter terminology). This was partly because I sometimes hit the wrong key and partly because I’m not always sure of twitter etiquette. I will consider myself told.

    I do however, want to say that I still think it’s a nice thing to get a FF and I would not want someone to do this and go unthanked because that, to me, would be rude.

  • I don’t mind #FF list tweets, if it’s given with a reason e.g., I might list a bunch of ‘togs I like in one go so I don’t clog up the stream.

    Like Tattooed Mummy, I’ll RT an #FF if it’s absolutely brilliant. Or made me snort rum out my nose.

    Rt every #FF you get – OMFG. Stab in the head.

    Thanking everyone who got included in the #FF – OMFG. Stab in the head.

    BUT – Rt the #FF AND then thank everyone AND then RT the thank you? Holy Jesus. Shoot me now.

    PS People who whine because they didn’t get an #FF? Get the fuck off twitter.

    • Cosmic. Said it before. Will say it again: “MARRY ME”.

      in the meantime there is a bottle of Mt Gay’s 10 year old in my cupboard with your name on it.

  • I quite like #ff and do some myself from time to time, and get a few back. It’s nicer if someone gives a reason why their followers should follow me, agreed on that one. I think I *may* have unfollowed people who RT their #ff’s and also for just filling my timeline with endless, meaningless #ff lists. Apps as far as I am concerned are pointless. I #ff people I genuinely enjoy having in my timeline and think have something positive to contribute. Well said Mummy Barrow. This could’ve been so much more ranty and offensive, but I agreed with every single bit.

  • I’ve met some of my favourite tweeters through #ff or #followfriday BUT the retweets of them annoy me to the absolute point of wanting to murder people.

    (please ignore the RT of one I did this morning – that was for charidee)

    BUT, like Jay said, if they are funny or are praising me to high heaven I might retweet it with a comment but not in a “look at me” type of way, more a “look at this fabulous wit” type of way.

    I rarely do #ff mentions – if I do, and anyone appears on them, they usually fall over with shock.

    • THanks Nickie. As I say, I am not against them per se. I am touched when included and, like you, have met some of my favourite tweeters through it.

      It is just in the instances I listed that I get a bit roary.

  • How on the freakin button are you mummyB! Yet again!

    I only take notice of proper #FF suggestions. There is no point checking out a peep unless a reason is given.

    I’m not bothered if I get loads or none, and some weeks I make suggestions, but sometimes I don’t.

    I always try to thanks for the #FF, but only direct to the person who made the rev, not the whole friggin list -that wld be stoopid.

    So I’ve got a couple dozen mentions to wade thru now. I bet only about 2% are a proper #FF

  • Sometimes I feel like wringing the bluddy neck of whoever came up with the idea of a designated day that clutters up timelines and who ruined my Fridays by making me feel pressured and anxious about doing it!! :0(
    Tanya I really like this blog and the #TT idea! #FFs used to ruin my Fridays with anxiety and pressure until I gave myself permission not to do them! I want to feel free to be spontaneous and recommend peeps when the spirit moves me and not just on a Friday, Thursday or whenever! Capricornians hate feeling corralled!
    Does anyone else find they pay more attention to shout outs that aren’t on the ‘production line’?
    (Feeling a better person for getting this off my chest!)

  • MummyBarrow, exactly! Not sure about rules, but your proposed best practice is plain common sense. Something in very short supply on Social Media. I’d add that the same thing applies to BlogRolls. What is the point of a list of links to other blogs if you don’t take the effort to explain who the blogger is and what the blog is about?

    If you are are on Social Media there is one golden rule:

    You should try to help your friends and followers and not spam them with gobbledygook.

  • I hate it when I get an ff and think I must be special but then see that they have ff’d everyone! What’s the point in that?!?

  • I’ve unfollowed people who just seem to reel off lists of #FFs. I like to thank people as I go along if they RT me or tweet something nice. I try and thank people who #FF me but NEVER include any of the others in the original tweet. I dread days of certain hashtags. They clog up my timeline. I am guilty of #SBS and #WOW crimes and I was #purplebiz but I think I’ll just concentrate on my core tweeters.

  • Couldn’t agree more. The whole #FF can be totally meaningless and rather annoying as it cloggs up the timeline. I love twitter for all the interesting and funny people I have been introduced and now follow but some peeps need to have a little more restraint with #FF.
    Like your idea of #TTT’s.

  • do you know what i just read this and i actually feel at ease last week was the first week i didnt do the FFs and i felt awful about it but it just takes up too much time and to be honest if someone was going to follow you they would anyway not just for friday! so thank you for this post im definately not going to be doing them tommrrow either but this week im not going to feel bad about it!! thanks for the lovely post xx

  • I always make sure I have a reason for suggesting somebody follows somebody else- I have such a small collection of followers that chances are we all follow the same people anyway, so I’m not going to waste more than about 10 minutes compiling lists and lists of people.
    I’ve also found myself suggesting people throughout the week on a whim as opposed to doing it all on a Friday- that way I have a really real reason as to why I’m suggesting it, and not just because Twitter told me to because of the day of the week!
    Has anybody else noticed the rise in spam Tweets on a Friday too? Curious to know if there’s a link… xx

  • today I’ve started doing my #followfridays in a blog post.
    I name them, link to their twitter page, link to their blog/site and say why they deserve to be followed.
    then I’ll tweet the post.
    to me that seems a very nice way of showing that you actually took the time to write about the people you are recommending people to follow.