For those who don’t already know, #ff is a Twitter hashtag that stands for ‘follow friday’. It is a fun gimmick that adds to the sociability element of Twitter, typically used on a Friday to allow tweeps (Twitter users) to recommend certain followers for others to follow.
Not only is it a way of recommending or being recommended, it is the altruistic part that appeals to many. “Wow, so-and-so must really like what I’ve been saying this week to want to #ff me!”
And that’s the crux. It should really only be used on tweeps who have been socially active on Twitter, by those who have been socially interacting with each other. If there has been a repartie between two followers over the past few minutes, hours, days, week or whatever, using #ff is another way of showing your appreciation for that communication, regardless of the outcome.
But then there are those that abuse the #ff – those that fill up their Twitter streams with great long lists of @usernames and the obligatory #ff at the beginning or end. Either it is because they feel compelled to #ff a series of people to be seen as participating properly on Twitter (which they are not), or it is a way of gaining notice to themselves (which is does, but for the wrong reasons).
If you want to #ff someone, it should be because you really want to, because there has been some successful interaction between each other. You feel this person is worth knowing, and others should know them too. You’ve enjoyed your conversations, or even the content of their Tweets, and it is worth advertising the fact that they deserve more publicity and recognition.
Therefore, when you #ff someone, add a reason why. Not only does it make your #ff recommendation more personal, it shows you really care about what you’ve just done, and there is a proper reason for your action. Twitter is so full of rubbish and inane performances, when someone does a Twitter application properly it really stands out and is more likely to be noted (and appreciated).