In this newly social world (the digital one obviously..), the definition of contacts and friends has become blurred. With Twitter’s follower mechanism, it is completely normal for someone you have never met to be following you.
As time goes by, Twitter feels like it is being used more and more as a broadcast tool as we make conscious decisions on whether to follow people back or not. The community aspect of Twitter seems to be diminishing. Partly this is because of the majority of newcomers joining Twitter are listeners rather than actively participating. That isn’t necessarily a problem for Twitter – I still believe Twitter is going in a very different direction to Facebook and its real utility is yet to be seen. Either that or it will plummet to its death. 🙂
Anyhow, I’d love to know my followers better and whilst that means I’ll have to take the effort to say hello, it would be much more pleasant to have a text box available when you click the follow button which allows you to introduce yourself (totally optional of course) allowing you to say what prompted the follow. Facebook had this back in the day and it was underused so they dropped it – but I see more value for this in the one-way connection world of Twitter.
Alternatively maybe we can create a culture on Twitter whereby on follow you introduce yourself using the standard @ reply..