Not a Two-Way Street

Social networks can be strange. Especially Twitter.

Networks like Facebook or LinkedIn require that connections be mutual. That is to say if I want to connect to you, you have to accept and then connect to me. So when I “friend” someone or “connect” it is a two-way street.

Twitter is different. On Twitter, you can follow anyone. (At least anyone that has a public profile.) If you want to follow my “tweets” you simply click the “follow” button and you are set. I’ll receive a notification that you are a new follower, but I don’t have to return the favor.

The results are interesting.

Guy Kawasaki and Merlin Mann both have very interesting Twitter streams: useful and fun. Guy followed me back, Merlin didn’t return the favor. But it doesn’t matter. I still like reading both.

There are people who follow my Twitter stream that I don’t follow back. But if there is an opportunity to have a conversation, I will follow back. I’ve even dug into some other interesting conversations to “meet” new “friends” on Twitter.

I’ve had some fun, interesting, educational, goofball conversations with people from the Twitterverse. And some of these conversations have spawned communication beyond Twitter, both email and phone conversations.

But once the conversation becomes two-way, you realize that there are a lot of very good humans out there.

And this “Not a two-way street” that is Twitter has spawned new friendships and even some new poetry.