My Twitter Guidelines

This was a cruel but necessary experiment. Don’t bother reading further until you’ve seen this post.

This has now been updated for a FIFTH time now. Read thoroughly. Heed the red part.

A noxious side-effect of not having a general-purpose blog is that I must hijack this blog for a post such as this.

I purge New Twitter Followers.

These are my Guidelines:

1) You are a so-called “A-Lister.” I’ve Blocked Scoble, Rivera, and others. I don’t want you Following me. Piss off.

1a) If your description has the term “coach” in it — life coach, writing coach, social media coach — you get Blocked.

2) You Follow more than 1,000. Really, what is up with that? I’ve Blocked someone who was Following over twenty-five thousand forty-two thousand. That’s not having a conversation! That’s performing espionage on a small town!

3) I make an exception to rule 2 if you are involved in books: writer, editor, and even the marketing thereof. But if your Profile makes no mention of that, you get Blocked.

3a) If you write for children, you do not want to Follow me. I use what is sometimes whiningly referred to as Objectionable Language and you don’t want that kind of influence to seep into your books. Besides, children are best killed, cooked, and fed to dogs.

4) You get Blocked if you’re a spammer (Twitter is good at suspending those accounts, but they don’t purge them from the system, so I have to Block them to maintain an honest Follower count). You get Blocked if you’re SEO or a “social media expert” or marketing.

5) You get Blocked if your Twitter Profile URL goes to an ad.

6) You get Blocked if the only person you Follow is me. That creeps me out, OK?

7) I sometimes drop people I Follow, too, if they never reply to tweets I send to them. Why should I read you if you won’t read me?

7a) If your Twitterstream has a lot of timed repeats, you get UnFollowed if I was Following you.

8) I will now Block people who Follow me whose updates are protected. I used to be lenient about this, but no longer.

9) I WILL BLOCK YOU IF YOU PUT ME IN A FOLLOW FRIDAY LIST OR ANY OTHER LIST — INCLUDING TWITTER’S NEW LIST FUNCTION. I vet my Followers to allow only relevant people and to keep my Follower count honest. Vetting takes time. Do not waste my time with stupid gang recommendations.

7a)As of March 17, 2009, it is still my plan to keep my number of Followers at below 400. At some point, I will probably have to Block you if you are not a writer or in publishing.

On March 23, I was alerted to the existence of this article and its damning conclusions: Online Monoculture and the End of the Niche. I feel that push towards what is termed “monopoly populism” and see evidence even in “people-selected” aggregator sites (which are just about uniformly as crooked as the mortgage lending system has been). Since I am hardly what anyone would term mainstream or populist, I think I need to do my bit to combat this. Thus, I am lifting my Twitter Follower limit.

If you have been Blocked in the past, email me (mikecane02 -at- to see about it getting rescinded. But note that rules 1, 2, 3a, 4, 5, and 6 will remain in effect. No second chance for you!

I am not interested in having a small town of Followers. I am interested in exchanging views with others of mutual — and sometimes even opposing — interests.

If you are a book publisher, you do not have to keep Following me. Pop up as a Follower so I can be made aware of your Twitter presence. If I’m not Following you within seven days, you can UnFollow me.

And lastly, if you Follow me, don’t expect me to Follow you back unless your Twittersteam shows interesting tweets.

If you think I’ve Blocked you unfairly, send me an email with your Twitter ID.

Good. Now I can point people to this blog post from now on.

9 Responses to My Twitter Guidelines

  1. Mickelodeon says:

    I think your Twitter blocking guidelines are brilliant! I’ve taken to blocking anyone with a locked account (with two exceptions), but those are pretty much the only people I’ll block wholesale without a thought. Although…I may go with your list for my own guidelines. =)

  2. pixelbits says:

    Mike – you crack me up LOL

  3. Tina says:

    I absolutely love these…lol!! :)

  4. urmiraj14 says:

    an awesome post! i think ill employ a couple of the guidelines myself :)

  5. N.L. Belardes says:

    Mike Cane for president! (Of a small evil country. Don’t worry, I’ll be your campaign manager).

  6. sarcasmus says:

    You are obviously not a member of the church of satan. They have a rule against harming little children.

  7. […] Cane on his guidelines about whether to follow you on twitter. 2) You Follow more than 1,000. Really, what is up with that? I’ve Blocked someone who was […]

  8. re: Twitter Lists, you’re preventing your vetted followers from engaging on their terms. Kind of like tyrannical DRM, or a publisher’s “no ebook policy”!

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