You’ve seen those Twitter accounts that just tweet out inspirational messages right?




What is going on here?

Are you a real person?


All of these accounts do nothing but tweet out quotes. I replied to each of the quotes above asking if the account was a real person… so far, no response.

It got me to thinking, what is the end game of this type of account?

When I first saw these types of accounts I didn’t take notice of them, but over time it has started to make me wonder why someone would go to all the trouble of setting up a full account, with a generic attractive female face as the avatar, a broad but mostly believable bio and even a customized Twitter background at their page.

It’s possible that these accounts are trying to build up a robust following to then switch over and become an account for something else thus looking like they have a robust following. But, if that’s the case, is auto-tweeting quotes really the best way to build a following of people you never have to interact with? I ran a test with a Twitter account a year ago that amassed over 1,000 followers by playing the followback game.

All the thinking about how these people got me thinking about how and why I got started on Twitter and what my goal was. I was an avid Plurk user before Twitter, but when my friend Lucas started using Twitter I followed him.

I wasn’t sure what to use Twitter for in the beginning, but soon I started following people that I wanted to learn from and that’s when the light went on. The power of Twitter is being able to connect with all of those people you wish you could connect with but couldn’t before. For me that lightbulb was Andrew Nystrom when he was at the LA Times. I was a lowly web developer at McClatchy Interactive at the time, and I had a conduit to another newspaper guy who understood what I was trying to make happen at my company. It was a good feeling to know I wasn’t as crazy as my bosses kept telling me I was.

Twitter allowed me to grow my network and finally build up enough escape velocity to leave the newspaper world and start living the dream.

Why did you join Twitter?