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The other evening, I was wrapping up my Saturday night radio program on KMHD and was about to bid a fond farewell to my then-594 followers on Twitter when it occured to me that I was only 6 followers away from 600. (On Twitter, your friends are called followers.)

In an effort to hit the magic number that evening, I sent the following Tweet to those who follow me:

“Hmm… I have spent the entire evening 6 followers short of the 600 mark…”
8:40 PM Jul 11th from web

This I followed just a minute later with:

“(But please, no life coaches or internet marketing gurus or sexy babes with big bare baboombas and a web site that takes all major plastic).”
8:41 PM Jul 11th from web

By the following morning, I had gained 33 followers. That was a personal best, and I was very pleased. A 5% increase overnight, simply by asking! Who would have thought it possible?

However, the old adage about there being no such thing as a free lunch is just as true on Twitter as it is in the so-called “real” world. Just what kind of followers did I pick up just for asking?

Here is a breakdown, sorted by what appeared to me to be each person’s primary reason for being on Twitter as stated in the personal profile of each.

Marketing Gurus, Internet or otherwise: 15
That’s just short of half! Do these guys not know how to read English? Or are they just so desperate for business that they’ll follow even people who specifically ask them to not?

Life Coaches, 8
Except 3 obviously were the same guy using 3 differnt Twitter accounts. These folks also apparently don’t know how to read English.

Unknown, 6
These folks either had no profile info or were otherwise sufficiently vague about their interests that I couldn’t figure out how to classify them. As an example: @fartinator. I did follow one of these folks, based on their Tweets. Right now I couldn’t tell you why though.

Sexgirls, 1
This was a big surprise. Who would have thought the girls who are every boy’s friend would be the group most likely to honor my request that they not follow me? Perhaps their business is doing well enough that they aren’t as hungry as the Marketing Gurus and Life Coaches.

Christian, 1
I am an atheist. I have no idea why he followed me, but if he was hoping to save my eternal soul, he’s in for a disappointment: I did not follow him, so he will not be able to proselytize me via Direct Message. (DM’s are private messages that can be read only by the sender and recipient, as opposed to public messages which can be read by any of your followers.)

Hard Rock Band , 1 (@Ampiphy)
These boys from the Netherlands, all in their late teens, have 23,902 followers so they really don’t need me to pad their total. But something about their fresh-faced good looks appealed to me, so I followed them. Later today I’m going to listen to some of their music and find out if I made a mistake or not. After all, I’m a jazz guy who also likes rock.

Regular Person, 1 (@AlaskaArtist)
She has made some spectacular nature images, and she interacts with her followers. I followed her with the hope that I can pick up some tips to improve my own photography.

So there you have it. Of 33 new followers, I actually followed 3 back. 24 of the 33 fall into the categories that I specifically requested not follow me. 2 of the 24 (the rock band and the Christian) were totally unexpected.

The biggest surprise to me is that there were none that I had to block. (Blocking someone on Twitter is like dis-owning them: they can’t read your Tweets, they can’t send you a DM, they don’t show up on your list of followers. You are invisible to them.) I have blocked several users whose avatar was pornographic in nature.

I have no idea what all this means. I’ll leave the brainwork on that to any closet sociologist(s) who might read this post. I suspect my test group is too small to be statistically relevant anyway.

Time for lunch, and then I think I’ll listen to some Dutch boys make music.

Ciao!