The 13 stages of #FF (a Friday the 13th special)


According to a story on Mashable in 2009 , Follow Friday on Twitter was initiated by a tweeter called @micah

(If you’re not on Twitter,  a quick explanation. On Fridays, tweeters may choose to take part in the tradition of Follow Friday - on Friday the 13th‘recommending’ a few of their favourite tweet pals, by circulating their names along with an #FF to indicate “follow Friday”).

I don’t want to join the chorus of blogs and tweets analysing whether #FF is useful or spammy. In this post – on Friday the 13th – I’m reflecting on my evolving opinion of #FF and want to know whether other tweeters have had a similar experience.

The 13 stages of #FollowFriday:

  1. When you’re a Twitter newbie, you notice a flood of tweets with #FF in them. You have no idea what #FF means. You ask. You don’t participate – just yet.
  2. One Friday, you decide to do an #FF. You tweet your favourite tweeters and hope you haven’t missed or offended anyone.
  3. You begin to receive #FF recommendations from others. You grin. The higher profile the person who #FF’d you, the more likely you are to be excited.
  4. You become dedicated to #FF. Religiously, you send some every week. You may send a few; you may receive a few. If you don’t receive an #FF, you feel down. You may eat a cookie.
  5. You thank everyone who gave you and #FF and you give them an #FF. It becomes an uninspiring Friday morning chore, second in line to checking your email.
  6. You begin to tire of #FF. The tweet pals who #FF’d you last week are giving #FF to others this week – and they left you out.
  7.  You begin to realise lots of people don’t read #FF tweets.
  8. You roll your eyes every Friday. #FF just makes your tweetstream look ugly.
  9. You ignore #FF for a few weeks or months.
  10. You tweet that you think #FF sucks, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s only friends supporting friends, bots supporting bots … and you’re not taking part in this immature popularity contest anymore.
  11. Sometimes you’re curious and you  read the #FFs sent out by your peers. Just to see who they’re “hanging with”.
  12. You notice that some people only #FF one or two others. And they provide reasons why. You start to do the same. It’s like that scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary “Introduce people with thoughtful comments”.
  13. You decide to produce high quality, occasional #FFs. Consider them gems of approval. You don’t do it every week.

What stages have I missed? What’s your experience with Follow Friday?

28 Comments Add yours

  1. Laura Dare says:

    Is it possible to just jump straight from step 1 (where I am now) to step 13? Or is every step a valuable learning experience? There seems to be quite a lot of angst and boring bits I’d rather skip along the path to final #FF enlightenment 😛

    1. Prakky says:

      Haha! Yes Laura, it’s possible to skip to the final step, thanks to the power of someone else writing this blog …

  2. 1_manonabicycle says:

    I notice that one way of ‘thanking’ someone for a #ff is to retweet the said tweet…a lazy man’s approach, but an effective tactic in what is a busy day if the twitter week 🙂 and a bit of self promotion in the process

    1. Prakky says:

      Good one, Travis. I do often see #FFs retweeted. Which adds to the mess, but is a quick and easy way of saying thanks (and also spruiking yourself again?)

  3. Ash Simmonds says:

    Relevant, one of the few #FF’s I’ve ever done was last Friday 13th:

    RT @JasonVoorhees “#FF @FreddyKrueger”

    1. Prakky says:

      I like how you preface your comments with “relevant”. Just to help you get past the keeper?

      1. Ash Simmonds says:

        It’s just extremely relevant – in case the reader didn’t notice.

  4. Cathie says:

    I don’t #FF anymore – mostly for fear of leaving someone important out … but will refer people occasionally the list of ppl I follow (’cause they’re all cool)

    I do however thank ppl individually for any #FF luurvin’ I do receive, it is a compliment after all….

  5. gamtch says:

    Here’s one to add…

    14. You blog about #FFs.

    1. Prakky says:

      Nice one Mark. Spoils the magic 13, but it’ll work in comments. 😉

  6. Ash Simmonds says:

    Ok, time for an irrelevant comment: I don’t like lists of #FF’s, I never click each person and read their tweets to see if they’re worth following, they just scroll by unnoticed.

    The only #FF I take notice of are when someone #FF’s and RT’s an example of one person’s tweets.

    But really my favourite part of Follow Friday is walking down the mall behind a hot chick – Twitter enables this behaviour.

  7. Ric says:

    I think I’m just going to skip right over the first 12 steps (why does that make it sound like a rehab program? 🙂 ).

    One more argument for jumping to the end may come from Twitter’s new spam policy – apparently a #FF with a long string of multiple handles in the one tweet may result in a suspended account … so only do a few, one ata time, and make them meaningful 🙂

    1. Prakky says:

      Really? Hadn’t heard about the Twitter spam warning. Take heed, all!

      1. Ric says:

        Here’s the link to where I found it:

  8. Pippa says:

    Even though I don’t inhabit the Twittersphere anymore (although will admit to occasional bouts of ninja stalking) I still lurk and read your blog so figured I better make a comment one of these days.

    Been through the whole excitement-ambivalence-superiority #FF cycle but before I left started actually goll

  9. Pippa says:

    Bugger – sorry Prakky comment accidentally posted before finishing (damn iPhone).

    Anyway basically started following everyone listed in a #FF I saw for the day (and into Saturday for my overseas friends).

    I didn’t have time at work to keep track of it all so I’d just favorite every tweet and come back to the adding process a few days later.

    Found some of my favorite tweeters in the most unexpected of places (bit like the boring guy in the corner having cool friends) and could easily de-friend the non-events as needed.

    Seemed a bit stupid that #FF turned into a big back scratching fest – wasn’t the whole point to actually follow them in the first place?

    1. Prakky says:

      Hi Pip! That’s a good reminder that we can actually find good people via #FF. Sometimes a tweep that I really trust will #FF and so I’ll follow their recommendations. I figure “If I like that person, I’ll like their friends”.

    2. Ash Simmonds says:

      Congrats on Seven Stars Revolving Door Mayorship.

  10. Drew says:

    Is it just the way my browser handles ordered lists, or did you count from 1 to 9, then go back to zero, then to 3?

  11. Tiff says:

    Oh dear I didn’t seem to follow the steps in the logical order. Am I damned to live for eternity in Twitter hell? I went very quickly from the first steps (I remember asking you what it meant) to the end steps (focussing on the quality #ff tweets) then gave up altogether cause I had no time. I do however give thanks to any #ff’s I get.

    1. Tiff says:

      #sadpanda How do I link my comments to my Twitter profile? (P.S. Thanks for your never ending patience in answering all my questions!) 🙂

    2. Prakky says:

      Tiff, you’ve done really well! No time wasted. 🙂

  12. Mike says:

    This article seems really familiar. 🙂

    1. Prakky says:

      Hi Mike. Familiar? How so?

      1. Mike says:

        Hello. I mean familiar as in I went through all these except #4, I’m now on 13. 😀

      2. Prakky says:

        Oh, I see! The steps are familiar .. I thought you were accusing me of plagiarism. 😉

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