Isn’t Twitter just a wonderful little tool?
To be honest, when it was first released, I thought it was silly, stupid and wouldn’t catch on. I joined nonetheless – as you do – but found it lacked interaction and it just didn’t seem all that interesting. Looking back now, the main reason was this: my own lack of Twitter friends. Hard to interact really when there is nobody to talk to, it’s like talking to a brick wall, though that might be more exiting than shouting random 140-charactered sentences into the worldwide web.
Anyho – after a few months, I managed to collect a solid base of followers on Twitter, mainly photo-related through Pix.ie and Boards.ie, which made the microsite a hell of a lot more fun. It started to be the first thing to check in the morning and the last thing before I went to bed. Until recently, I had my account set on private, as there really was no need to share it all with the world, so I was warmly tucked away in the safe surrounds of just my little network.
A few weeks ago, after launching this blog, I changed my profile from private to public (to improve online communication and facilitate networking with peers). Oh Boy. Public Twitter is a scary scary world! For every “real” follower (i.e. somebody I actually interact with and who is genuinely interested in my updates), some random person or company also starts following me. A few examples from the last week:
Fishing? Really? That is not even remotely within my field of interest.
Essential Oils from New York. How lovely.
Not only that, I am also getting a lot of strange messages from automated twitter robots (which I shall from now on refer to as “Evil TweetBots”). Some of them are extremely funny, others slightly scary and worrying. The best one yet must have been the “Homeopathic Evil TweetBot”: I use homeopathic remedies occasionally in conjunction with traditional cures and had mentioned this to a friend on Twitter. I used the term “homeopathy” twice and, very quickly, received the following two mentions:
The provided link brings you to a website explaining all the risks and deaths by people using homeopathy! Eek! To be honest, at first I thought it was hilarious. After a little giggle, it got me thinking and I decided I was actually rather annoyed. (Spam has the ability to make my blood boil – I call it “Internet RoadRage”). I fail to understand the how’s and why’s of these Tweetbots and would like for them to go away. Changing my account back to Private would do the trick , but, I want my Twitter account to stay public – as I feel it is an essential part of my online communication, linked to this blog and it’s purpose. So, I’d like to see initiatives or applications tackling Evil TweetBots. Be gone with them!
One such tool I came across today is called TrueTwit. Although it does not remove Evil TweetBots, it does provide some handy information in regards to who exactly your followers are and it provides a medium to track down the SpamBots amongst your followers (which, in fairness, will only be useful for people with larger accounts). I’ll give it a try nonetheless, no harm in checking it out. They have a premium and basic account option, which claim to do the following:
Twitter spam is a drag.
What if you could know for sure that your followers are truly human, and not some cyborg? TrueTwit is designed to help you:
Verify people from robots
Avoid Twitter spam
Save time managing your followers
There are two versions:
True Twit Premium
TrueTwit Premium builds on the follower management in TrueTwit Basic by doing an in-depth, automated analysis of your followers and their tweets, and has the following features:
No direct messaging of new followers.
You can choose to auto-follow new followers that pass our follower analysis.
Access to our Follower Analysis page which summarizes the status of your followers.
Free 30-day, no obligation trial. After that, a subscription is only $20.00 per year.
True Twit Basic
By signing up now for TrueTwit Basic, all of your new followers are sent a validation request via direct message. If your follower successfully completes the CAPTCHA (or is already a TrueTwit user), you are sent an email indicating they are a TrueTwit-validated human!
TrueTwit Basic is free for as long as you are a user.
You can choose to auto-follow new followers who validate.
You can take our Premium version for a 30-day trial spin at any time.
And not only that, there are also matching versions of TrueTwit for your Android, one for Premium, another for Basic.
To be honest, I am not sure if TrueTwit is going to take care of my personal sanity – seeing I get very easily annoyed by everything spam related, but, I am hopeful that it will provide some form of control over my Twitter account, now floating around in the dark, scary lands of the “Public Twitter Territory”.
If you know of any other applications that might do the trick, do share! I will update in a few weeks on whether or not this tool has proven to be a success or just a little gimmick that serves no purpose.