Reasons to Follow People Online

There is so much information and people online that sometimes you have to sit back and remind yourself what it’s all for. I was looking at my Twitter follow list and became inspired to write this post.

To be clear, following folks doesn’t have to be just about Twitter but also about “following” people by reading their blogs or “liking” their Facebook page.

Obviously, there are a million reasons to follow people online, but here are some of mine:

  • I’m looking for information and this person has it. Sometimes this information is related to a specific project or interest I have at the moment (maybe following someone who has an expertise in raw food), and sometimes it’s information related specifically to this person or their interests (for example, following Oprah or Martha Stewart).
  • I’m looking for folks I can relate to. This can apply to both business and personal. Sometimes one just likes knowing there are others out there like them. I love hearing what new projects other designers are working on, for example.
  • I’m looking for entertainment. Some people are hilarious and I follow them just because I know that what they write will be amusing and fun.
  • I’m looking for something different. The beauty of the Internet is that you have access to all sorts of people you may never meet in real life. If I want to know what it’s like to be a juggling bearded lady, or an anthropoligist who lives in Egypt, I can probably find someone tweeting about their experience.

And now, I want to ask your thoughts about one “rule” I heard when I first started Twitter. Folks told me that for every person who follows me, I should follow them back. Tell me, do you think this is a good rule or a bad rule? And why? I would also really love to know your reasons for why you follow people online.

I’m in the process of updating my follow list. Please tell me your favorite person you follow on Twitter. Who knows? I may just add them to my list.

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