I have finally set up my Twitter account. I’ve done this partly to see what all the fuss is about and partly because UCISA is running a conference over the next two days and we’re going to use Twitter to blog the event. Having set up my account, I then started to look for a couple of friends to ‘follow’ (ie see what they are up to) to get started. On returning to my home page I found that, in addition to the four accounts I had chosen to follow initially, I already had a follower. Naturally I assumed that someone was doing much the same as I was and had found me by entering my name into the search mechanism within Twitter. I’d be surprised if this was the case. The follower concerned merely had one entry which was advertising her site. You didn’t have to go to the site to find out what it was about – the Twitter entry was quite explicit (as presumably the site is too!).
So I suspect that Twitter has a problem – either someone has infiltrated their software so that as soon as a new account is created the suspect account is added as a follower, or perhaps there is some sort of web crawler that searches for new Twitter pages and immediately does the same. It isn’t a problem for me – I accept that this is a fact of internet life, however unpalatable it may be. For others though it will be a problem and will cause offence. Ideally we wouldn’t have to put up with this sort of intrusion. In practice though, it is nigh on impossible to prevent.