Gini Dietrich

WTH is #FollowFriday?

By: Gini Dietrich | May 29, 2009 | 

I love #FollowFriday on Twitter. It’s fun to see what crazy things people will say about you (i.e. @StayBankdotCom today said people should follow me because I put words in people’s mouths for a living…to which I responded “SPIN SUCKS!”).

But there also is some backlash happening because it turns out that most people just type in as many Twitter handles as they can in 140 characters and there is no reason behind why people should follow someone being recommended. My friend @BillTamminga hates #FollowFriday (which is fun for me because I taunt him about it). My friend @Area224 also hates it because there is no rhyme or reason. He told me last week he was grouped with John Mayer and John Legend. Why? No clue.  So he has created #tlist in order to give real reason for following people…and I’m copying him here (hey – it’s the most sincere form of flattery!).

@DanielHindin I met Dan a few weeks ago in person – he’s as funny and charming as he is online. And if you follow him, you can join #embarrassdanielhindin, just because it’s fun.

@SamBroberg Sam is in the franchise world and does a great job of connecting and engaging.

@EconomyHeroes is a Vistage member and finds great reasons to tweet about people who show they’re helping to turn around our economy.

@Keith_Shay Keith is a Vistage member and one of my dearest friends in real life. If you read our tweets, you’d think we don’t like one another, but we really do. Well, I really like him.

@LauraJDaley Laura was in town a few weeks ago and @JuliBarcelona and I had dinner with her. She brought us both gifts (books!) because it was Juli’s birthday. Also follow Juli because she is a natural introvert who pushes herself out of her comfort box and does so with absolute grace.

@Hollisthomases is a Vistage member and she thinks I have a clone because I tweet efficiently. Maybe you can help me give her tips!

@PaulSegreto is in the franchise industry and writes a blog that is wicked smart, called FranchisEssentials.

@CesLSU is an avid cyclist, workout machine, and he teaches a Mt. Everest SPIN class in Houston. I’ve managed to talk him into teaching it in Chicago when he’s here in June.

@JackMonson is in the franchise industry and is a salesguy you can’t help but love…even though he didn’t bring snacks when he was in our offices yesterday.

@Luiserpa is one of those guys that is brilliant and hilarious all at once. Plus his accent makes me laugh constantly.

@Gofurther likes to harrass me about working out because he used to work in the personal training world. Now he’s a brilliant customer relationship person who has fascinating views on the digital user experience.

@4thGear Randy is a Vistage speaker who lives in Charlotte. I’ve never met him in person, but I hear he’s extremely smart. I like him on Twitter because his online reputation matches what people say about him in real life.

@AceConcierge Suzie was one of my first followers and she always helps me clean my desk when needed (by sending me photos of ardvarks – maybe you have to be there). But she’s a virtual assistant and someone I refer business to if someone needs a VA.

@LorriW Lorri is a client and the COO at Computer Explorers. I’ve gotten to know her a lot better on Twitter and Facebook and love her sense of humor!

@DebCE Deb is the CEO of Computer Explorers. Deb and I met more than two years ago when she was visiting Chicago. She and I hit it off immediately and we’ve been working with them since…plus she’s become a very dear friend.

@Julito77 Julio is in my posse…one of those guys I can always turn to if I need help and he wouldn’t ask any questions. I try not to hold it against him that he’s a Red Sox and Celtics fan.

@BMAMan Blair is a Vistage member and a close friend. When I told him he should get on Twitter, he did – in full force! He’s a very successful business man who pretends he’s just a country bumpkin.

@SarahRobinson Oh Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. She is one of my all-time favorites on Twitter. She’s the creator of #TweepleTuesday and was one of the first I followed. She and I will figure out a way to work together someday!

@EstherSteinfeld This young lady does PR for and she created NotAllCEOsAreJerks.  She has that innate understanding of how true communiation (not publicity) is handled. She’s going to go far!

@AdrianDayton Adrian grew up in Utah (my homestate, too) so I have a natural inclination toward liking him. He now lives in Buffalo, is an attorney, and is building a business to help young lawyers learn how to rainmake for their firms.

@Jlipschultz Jeff and I immediately hit it off because we’re both Cubs fans (though he lives in Dallas) and we both cycle.  I keep telling him to come ride with me, but I’m pretty sure he’d kick my butt. And I’m a sore loser.

@AbbyHarenberg Abby and I met on Twitter and developed a relationship. She did all of the Arment Dietrich professional photos (see them here) and I’ve never been more pleased!

@TimJahn Tim did an interview with us a couple of months ago (see it here) that showcased our culture brilliantly. He’s really good and now I like hanging out with him, too.

@hbrumleve Harry and his wife @erinbrumleve are my closest friends in real life. They live in Denver and I try to vist as often as possible.

@Scott_Farrell Scott and I became friends when he joined the PRSA board a couple of years ago. He’s one of those guys you want to have around because he’s smart, willing to help, and freaking hilarious!

@DelWilliams I don’t remember now how Del and I met, but I love her. She and I do interviews together quite often…mostly to see if we can refrain from laughing while we tape (listen to the latest one here).

@joyfulbathco Rochel was one of my first followers and she’s endeared herself to me since day one. She makes and sells bath salts that have some magical elixir in them. When I have lactic acid in my muscles, the salts magically loosen them.

@LenKendall Len is one of those guys who has a great reputation online. I met him in person for the first time yesterday and he’s one of the few whose personality matches what you think it is online. He’s a special one, that Len.

@HeyClay I met Clay through @justinthesouth because they work together. It’s fun having a mole in Asheville, N.C.

@justinthesouth I’ll never forget that I was in Tampa when Justin and I debated about auto follows on Twitter. Since then, we’ve become as good as friends you can be without meeting someone in real life. Soon, I hope!

@Katjaib I’m not sure how she does it, but this one knows exactly how to make me laugh. Hard. And out loud.

@JeannieCW Jeannie and I have a weird small world thing going on. Her college roommate and I worked together at the beginning of our careers. She also worked with @luiserpa and @gofurther. To boot…she’s a Vistage member and worked with @BLFarris, who I also worked with a couple of years ago.

@BLFarris has one of those infectious laughs. When he laughs, you can’t help but laugh. Plus he’s a great business coach. He always knows how to say, “Stop doing that!”

@jeffmello Ahhhh…Mello. Jeff is co-founder of BuzzCal and one of the most engaging people I’ve met on Twitter. He’s a keeper and I get to meet him in person in July!

@modishplum Jeana is just a must – she’s funny, she’s cute, she’s tiny, and she is the best mom. I heart her tons.

@angelica7641 Angelica is moving to Chicago and that news made my entire year. That’s how much I love this girl!

If you’re not on this list, I swear it wasn’t on purpose. I tried to get through as many people as I have engaged with either in real life or on a daily basis on Twitter. Don’t be afraid to DM me so I don’t miss you next week!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Gini, I love your #tlist. I loved the idea when I read Area224’s list earlier today because in some ways I agree that #followfriday is getting out of control. Plus, I find it hard to acknowledge all of the wonderful people I follow and have met all due to Twitter. The relationships I’m developing are so dear to me and getting to know just what you love about a person is great. And in some ways, even if I tried to tell the Twitterverse who I enjoy and why, it would take so much more than 140 characters and they STILL would not get it. Unless they have also met these people or conversed with them like I have. Hey, if it weren’t for @Keith_Shay and Twitter, I wouldn’t know you – and that would just be a shame.

    You’ve done a great job with this post – and not because I am on it! 🙂 I hope to create my own #tlist someday soon when I finally am able to get my blog up and running. And I look forward to seeing your list expand. I know that each week there are more people that I’ve met or connected with that I would love more than 140 characters to tell the world why they are so great!


  • Context! I love it…

    The 140 Characters of Twitter can often make folks feel that they have to cram everylastthinginorelse! Your list is good, really good — not just because I created the #tlist but because sometimes we need to know just why you think we should pay attention.

    So now I have the Context — since I trust you and think you’re cool, I’ll check out some of these tweeps and make room for some.

    Thanks for sharing the #tlist idea with your readers…


  • Ces

    Follow Friday is a cool thing. It is an opportunity for me to say nice things about people I know in the Twitter World in 140 characters or less! Or I can just group a few of my Tweeps together like my LSU Tweeps or my Houston Tweeps or my Circle of Trust or my new one … Members of the Cone of Silence!

    I’ve met a few Tweeps in person and it has been fun putting a real face to a Twitter ID. I must say that @ginidietrich has absolutely been one of the most fun persons to “meet” so far and I can’t wait to meet her in real life! I feel as though I’m a good communicator and Gini has improved my communication and my business potentials!

  • Gini: What a great idea. I’ve never understood #FF but have used it to thank people that I follow on a regular basis. This is SO much better because you actually start to get to know the people. Many of these people I follow and have met through you and Twitter. This list will make me WANT to follow them because you’ve explained why they are important to you.

  • Gini:

    Thanks for putting me on the list!

    I agree that covering all the bases is too much on a Friday. I’ve been working with different themes for each Friday (one Friday it’s Chicago people, another it’s good avatars, etc.) That way my followers get a different lens on my list each week.

    Twitter is like being a curator of a collection. How can we keep it accessable for new visitors, and fresh for old ones?

    It sure is a fun tool, it makes me look forward to Web 3.0!


  • It is a testament to you that your list is so long, and that everyone on this list you actually talk to regularly. That speaks a great deal to you, as well as to Arment Dietrich. An agency CEO who has the ability to engage with not only her clients but her employees and perfect strangers on Twitter in ways that are meaningful says something about the company culture and its management. You’re clearly doing something (many things!) right.

    Also, I’m honored to be on the list, and when I look at who else is included, I’m glad to know many of them too. I can’t wait to meet the rest.


  • Thanks for doing this, Gini! It is really an awesome idea and I feel honored that you added my name (@luiserpa) to your #tlist.

    The only problem is that now I will have to create my own #tlist 😀 Will get on to that as soon as I finished following everyone on your list that I am not already following!



  • Gini, amazing post! I love how much thought and time you put into this… This is exactly what #followfriday is all about. Even more, I love that you understand how to use Twitter. Not only are you a savvy entrepreneur, you’re a great connector and friend. That’s why I (we all) love you so much!

  • Nice post, Gini. #FollowFriday

    I love #FollowFriday just as much as the next guy. But I’d rather talk than have people recommend me, that’s all. I use Twitter to get to know people who would be potential friends and/or clients and #FollowFriday doesn’t help me do that.

    That said, Twitter is a great tool and it’s a lot of fun 6/7th of the time.

  • Glad to give you the chance to get that plug for this site in there. ;-).

  • Wonderful idea, Ms. Dietrich! I’ve often wondered how the fate of #followfriday was going to play out when it became as pervasive as it clearly has lately. The whole idea of it was to give thanks to those who inspire us and recognize those who we’ve developed a relationship with, some purely virtual and others over happy hour and beyond. Obviously it’s very hard to give everyone the attention they deserve, but I think the #tlist will certainly catch on because it’s a more permanent and meaningful expression of appreciation. I’m grateful that you included me (@gofurther)! But what I think will always prevail are the myriad ways that we go beyond – or further, if you will 😉 – the norm to make a relationship feel truly special. Yesterday it was #followfriday, today the #tlist and tomorrow it will be something entirely different. The medium is ephemeral, but the effort will always be timeless.

  • Gini,

    GREAT JOB!!! You have inspired me to follow your lead and do the same for my #followfriday love. Always learning, changing, and evolving shows how smart you truly are! Thanks for the nice #followfriday mention.

  • Pingback: My #FollowFriday List on Twitter | Standing Out From The Crowd()

  • Hi Gini –
    Thanks for including little ol @jeanniecw in this extraordinary list. It is interesting to watch how Twitter and all of social media will morph. The beauty is the self-regulating part of it all. The users determine what’s important for them and how they will improve the process. Well done! And yes, our small world is one we would have POSSIBLY discovered over time, but it was shown to us immediately thanks to social media. Amazing. And lucky me, I gain a new friend who feels like an old one! 🙂

  • Hello Gini,

    This is EXACTLY the answer!! Thanks

    I too love #followfriday on twitter, however one of the biggest questions I have had is “Why should I follow him/her”? Especially from those that just lump everyone together, which I confess I have done. A few weeks ago during #followfriday I experimented with using “bigtweet” to recommend someone from their website, making it easier to see if they are a potential match to follow…..although I will admit this idea might be better than mine… 🙂


  • Love it! Had decided to boycott #followfriday after seeing way to may enless lists of #FF @s and RT of other people’s #FF tweets. If everyone did it this way it definitely adds value but there is a pretty significant time investment in putting a list like this together so I’m guessing most people probably won’t!

  • Pingback: The Fight Against Destructive Spin » Blog Archive » The June 5 #FollowFriday List!()

  • Gini and Arment Dietrich, Inc. is one of the best in the business. And as you mentioned in #FollowFriday to my colleague @LorneFisher – we may be competitors, but share a passion and same philosphy on communication: If you aren’t affecting profitable business growth, you aren’t doing your job.

    Good stuff Gini – keep it up! @Chad_Cohen

  • Pingback: Follow Friday and MY Usual Suspects |()

  • Pingback: Complete Compilation: The 2012 #FollowFriday Recommendations | Spin Sucks()