I've recently hit the 2k threshold for Twitter. For those that don't know, there's a mystery algorithm that limits you from following more than 2k people if you do not have enough following you. At the end of the day, it makes sense as they're really just trying to limit spammers... And no one likes a spammer.
I pinged the crew @ Twitter about this, and rec'd a canned response stating something along the lines of 'Best practice suggests a one to one ratio of following to followers....". Great, but not helpful given my situation.
So I'm now forced to go through and figure out how to un-follow some to follow others. This and bad paper cuts are two inconveniences that my life could deal without.
The problem is this... Understanding the landscape of the social web is part of my job. As a result, I'm following many brands - trying to understand how they're using Twitter to better connect with their audience. As I went through the process of un-following (using Twitter Karma, BTW - save yourself years of time), I realized that the vast majority of brands that I was following were not following back.
Well, that's just lousy. I find myself in a position to have to un-follow major brands who I genuinely care about based on policies of a tool. Not optimal at all.
This then gets me thinking about Twitters' core value - engaging in conversation and building relationships. If, as a brand, I've established a presence on Twitter, does that not inherently suggest I want to engage in two way dialogue? If not, I'd stick to good old RSS or similar.
While I wouldn't expect a brand to live in the public timeline sifting through countless tweets, the very nature of a followback is the equivalent of saying 'Hey thanks, I'm interested in you too...". Otherwise, your Twitter presence is a one way push of information - and there are plenty of other tools out there for that.
As has been cited numerous times, there's little in the way of right or wrong in this space - we're all figuring it out together. We have several Twitter touch points (EMCCorp, Mozy, EMCSoftware, EMCCareers, etc;) - For the most part, we're following back... Like many others though, we're still learning how to most effectively leverage the tool to improve our relationships.
What's your point of view? Does the lack of followbacks suggest a one way dialogue? Or is having brand representation on such emerging tools in itself enough?