To Wit: Avatars and Followers

In reading Tweetspeak’s Top 10 post this week, I was surprised to discover that you can actually buy friends and followers on the internet. That’s right, for a bit of chump change, you can enhance your brand by adding something like… say… 200,000 Twitter followers! The goal: increase your brand image (even if your brand is yourself). The quid pro quo: money.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that we have arrived in this brave new world. After all, I’m a part of it.

To Wit: Avatars and Followers

The marketers promised an inundation
of friends, of followers, and adulation.
To wit: Klout Cache for a buck ninety-nine
powered by bots of

Dan Nainan achieved his digital conquest
in the time it took his Visa to process.
The click of the mouse, the swipe of a card
granted him two-hundred thousand avatars.

What used to be gained by honing and crafting
comes easily now with image transacting.
But Dan and his “friends” don’t split virtual hairs–
we’ve been buying and selling each other for years.

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12 Responses to To Wit: Avatars and Followers

  1. prudychick says:

    At various times I clean my following list out because people don’t talk/respond to me. I want twitter to be a form of communication. Buying “friends” doesn’t allow that. I’d rather make friends the old fashioned way by getting to know you.

    Isn’t buying them just a form of prostitution? You’re giving them money to provide a service? In this case make you look better and more powerful that you are.

    • sethhaines says:

      Ah… yes… I’m actually glad you went there. That was the point of my last line.

      I’ve started keeping lists on Twitter. This helps me with the “how come you didn’t follow me back” crowd, while at the same time keeping it a simple interface. I agree with you, it’s a great form of communication if used well.

      Thanks (as always) for dropping in.

  2. Clearly, I need to pay more attention to Twitter – I didn’t even know you could do lists. I signed up because all the experts told me I needed to be there. I use it primarily to ‘advertise’ a new blog post. Occasionally, I’ll have a small conversation with someone – but generally, I’ve found FB commenting and messaging to be a much better way to do that. Old school, I guess. (And just exactly HOW OLD is FB?) The very thought of 200K ‘followers’ is a tad nauseating and a lot overwhelming.

    • sethhaines says:

      Trust me, D… you don’t need to pay more attention to Twitter. Social media is a monster. And yes… I understand the irony of this (see, e.g., my personal social media interactions). As an aside, I do agree with your assessment of FB.

      Thanks for stopping by, D. I always appreciate your input.

  3. Mike says:

    …very sharp

  4. L.L. Barkat says:

    love that last line. 🙂

    the thing is that the followers are fake. How weird is that? Seems not very useful, if you ask me.

    • sethhaines says:

      Yeah. I don’t really get that either. Seems like you are paying to make yourself appear to be legit. We care so much about image, I think. It could be described as a tragic fault of humanity.

  5. Joy says:

    I dunno, I go back and forth on this. Went offline most of the summer, missed stuff that was important to me (like T and all that is going on there). I don’t ‘get’ Twitter, and as much as I’d like to be published someday, I don’t think I can do this whole social media thing to get there. At this point, it’s self-defeating to say that- and it severely reduces my chances of ever getting a contract. So…there’s that. But- I don’t feel like playing the game is worth it. Beginning to accept that my sphere of influence is ordained to be much smaller, and I’m getting to be okay with that.

  6. Deborah says:

    Seems like it falls in the catagory of ‘false god’ to me.
    Fake follower? Bleh….

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