There’s a lot that I don’t know about social media.
The space changes so darn fast, it’s a constant battle just to stay on top of the big stuff. And, what little time I do manage to eek out to do research is usually devoted to the strategic plans of our clients and not my own curiosities.
In short, where does a social media professional turn when he or she is stumped about social media?
Here at KaneCo, we turn to you…
What’s up with the “Haiku People” on Twitter?
I started to notice an influx of new Twitter followers this winter whom I have dubbed, “The Haiku People” and their numbers seem to be growing. The accounts confound me.
Haiku People are, at first glance, people with well-established and legitimate Twitter feeds:
- The Twitter account is attached to a name (though not usually one as straightforward as “Jill Smith” – more like, “jillsmith28”).
- The avatar for the account is a headshot of a human and not a logo.
- The account usually has 500-1,000 followers.
- The background of the Twitter page isn’t the default light blue, but rather one of Twitter’s other stock options.
- The feed is populated with enough tweets to fill your screen (though they may piddle out as you scroll down the feed).
So, basically, at first look, the Haiku People don’t appear to conform to any of the hallmarks of spammers.
The Haiku People don’t talk like people. And, they don’t talk like robots. Instead, they talk like little Mister Miyagi kung-fu masters in short bursts of text that seem to have no real rhyme or reason.
Occasionally, these random musings are attached to a person’s name, but rarely with an @reply, so it is linked. (Another red flag that something here is not quite right)
(Yes, I know that these tweets are not actual Haikus written in 5-7-5 form. But they seem kinda Haiku-ish, don’t they? It’s a metaphor – work with me here.)
Here’s a haiku for you.
Here’s what I know for sure about Haiku People: they don’t give a rat’s ass about Jennifer Kane. Or to put it more haiku-ishly so they’ll understand…
Betraying word threads
You care not for my friendship
Haiku People aren’t following me because they want to talk to me or even AT me; they just want to connect to my account.
(Why? I’m not sure. They could certainly mine my follower data without asking me. That info is public knowledge.)
So, based on that alone, I don’t follow back any of the Haiku People that follow me.
But, should Haiku People be simply ignored, or should you actively block them?
If this is some sort of automated, “set up your account and we’ll instantly connect you with 1,000 influential people” kind of deal (which I suspect it is) then I’m inclined to want to brand the Haiku People with some sort of social scarlet letter.
I’d like them to know that I find their method of building their Twitter accounts to be lazy, ineffective and a wee bit insulting. (I am a person, not a demographic stepping stone for people to parasitically build their online presence upon.)
But, blocking a person doesn’t necessarily send them that message. And, I don’t think a Haiku person, or the automated service that helps them connect to the world, even cares what my opinion is.
So what should be done about the Haiku People?
Who are they and where did they come from? (We’d Google this, but “Twitter followers who speak in short bursts of nonsensical words” isn’t the greatest search parameter.) How do you handle them: follow them back, ignore them or block them? Is this a red flag for you, too, or am I just a lady harboring a deeply seeded suspicion of all things poetic sounding?