Wow – it’s been nearly a month since I posted something here. Between the holidays, work, and starting a business, I’ve been wrecked. God that makes me sound old!
But now that the holidays are over, and I’ve inserted my gratuitous SEO link to my other site, I think I’m ready to get back to business.
One thing I’ve been working on a bit lately is my Twitter follower count. Anyone who’s read more than a few of my posts will know I’ve always had a dim view of people obsessed with followers. It’s usually the sign of someone just trying to inflate their ego by rounding up a few thousand people so you can point to them and scream, “they LIKE me!” like some kind of digital Sally Fields.
But I recently did some work for the site, Followers4.me – a Twitter follower tool that helps you build your following in a fun way. That got me interested.
The premise is relatively simple: When you sign up with Followers4.me, you start with 100 “coins.” You use these coins as exchanges with other users on the site for their follow.
So let’s say you start out offering 5 of these coins to anyone who follows you. With your initial 100 coins, you can get 20 new followers, and in turn they can get more coins to do the same thing themselves. If you want more coins, you can go follow others, get other people to sign up, or just buy them with real money.
In short, they’ve taken the follow/follow back politics of Twitter and turned them into an exchange game. Maybe you go on and follow everyone, and collect a bunch of coins. Great, but then you have too many people you’re following without anyone following back. Okay, so you up your reward for followers. You get more, but that runs out your coin… you end up managing bids for new followers as much as you do followers, but since the coins aren’t real money, (unless you’ve paid for them,) and Twitter followers themselves aren’t worth anything, (unless you have a strategy to monetize them,) it really does feel like a game of Go Fish.
This is a new way of looking at social media that feels like it started with Foursquare: You’re doing something anyway, so there will be rewards for your work. For Foursquare it’s badges that do nothing. Here, it’s coins – but at least they have a value. Either way, making a game out of social activity breathes new life into all of this socializing we do.