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Follow Friday Amnesty

Top Twitter Hashtags for TeachersIt’s Friday so if you’re on Twitter your timeline is doubtlessly filled with #FF tweets– which stands for ‘Follow Friday’ and is people’s way of recommending great tweeters within their network that they think others might like to follow.


I’m out of love with Follow Friday

I love the idea.  I’m a huge fan of Twitter and am always keen to grow my network with interesting and relevant people – but I’m out of love with Follow Friday.

I am always over the moon when someone thinks I’m worthy of a #FF shout out – it tells me that they think I’m a valuable part of their network.  And that’s great – but I think that’s about all it does these days as many people write long lists of #FFs and don’t explain why these particular tweeters are worth following or who they’re relevant too.
I very rarely find new people to follow via #FF lists and I’m sure I rarely gain followers this way – so it does little more than act as a nice act of recognition from one tweeter to another.


But there is another way…

Occasionally, I receive a lovely #FF – one that has been really thought about where one of my followers has taken the time to tell their network why they think I’m worth following.  This helps their followers evaluate whether or not they should click the follow button.  After all our twitter networks should be about quality not quantity and it also helps me to understand what I have done in the last week that has made me followable.  That’s great as it means I can try to do it again in the future.


I have tried to follow this good example in the few Follow Friday shout outs I have made over the last three weeks:


“This week’s #FF – @deerwood who’s a pleasure to tweet with due to his dry sense of humour and never ending education knowledge”



“Follow @Ideas_Factory, an inspiring deputy head oop North for great links & interesting ideas. <who’s your #FF”


“My #FFgoes to @mikeatedjiwho offers great challenge, advice & fun too. Help him promote #esdgc<edu for sustainability.”



Now I’m not saying they’re perfect, but at least you get a good idea of whether or not you actually want to follow these guys… and I think it packs a better punch than the much used alternative:


#FF@TeacherToolkit@oliverjamesking@ICTMagic@pivotalpaul @TimothyRaybould@TheHeadsOffice@pipkinzoo@hrogerson@philbeadle@hilarynunns



Let’s start a revolution

I want to start a revolution… I want to see Follow Friday reinstated as a useful tool for growing our networks with quality followers.


Who’s in?


The challenge

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to list only one #FF per tweet and give reasons why you feel they would make a valuable addition to your followers networks.

I look forward to reading your expanded #FFs and to finding some great new people to follow.


Or… do you think I’ve got it all wrong?

Please let me know what you think… maybe I’m in the minority here and I’m trying to fix something that noone else thinks is broken.  Or maybe you’re in 100% agreement and I can wear the ‘I’m right’ badge today.. do leave a comment and let me know.


Oh, and should you so wish, you can follow me @CreativeEdu



15 responses to “Follow Friday Amnesty”

  1. Avatar jonathan says:

    In – And I thought I was the ONLY sane person left.

    My good friend @maxinemaxxy reckons stuff like this is the 21st century equivalent of windows 98 style stat counters..


    • Avatar Cherrylkd says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I always try to give a reason for my recommendations otherwise it’s pointless. There’s so many #FF these days I ignore them all unless there is a good reason for me to follow. Fab idea!

  2. This is taking a step further the way I already try to use the #ff tag. I try to give a few people, but have a clear theme – perhaps ‘teachers who tweet about science’ or ‘secular/a-theism tweeters’. That it is so easy to #ff many names devalues the recommendation we are offering.

    I shall try it today!

  3. Avatar Maxxy says:

    You know, I get a hard time from one or two people for churning out quick #ff and in fact it was one of these followers who pointed me in the direction of this blog from twitter.

    Here is my defence :)

    I do give a list of names but usually in groups so for example

    “Chatty tweeters : @name @name @name” etc

    Now, I have given a teeny indication of why I am recommending them for #ff but not the the extent of individual tweets.

    Sometimes I don’t give any intro and just some names of people I recommend others to follow. It’s a nice way of introducing followers to other followers.

    The people who follow me get used to my style just as I get used to theirs.

    Therefore my take on it is that people should appreciate the #ff lists as they are and not expect me to do their work for them. If they want to look at their profile and timeline it’s there for them to click on :)

    I don’t #ff bots, rss feeds, people who don’t tweet much, people who protect their tweets, or people who are unlikely to follow others back.

    So just an alternative view from me that people should be less lazy with #ff recommendations and appreciate them a bit more if someone has spent the time to handpick them :)

    I know some clever types just rattle off a list of #ff names without any thought and just to draw attention to themselves in the hope of a follow but if you have a nice following and are following some nice people then I think quick lists are OK :)

  4. I’m not a fan of pists of #FF with no explanation why I should follow. I also feel embarrassed when someone #FF me without having interacted with me at all. I’m happy to take up the challenge & will try to do 3 a week for the next few weeks!

  5. Well today I was the lucky recipient of a #FF from you, Pooky! I have to say I was flattered to receive it and it was far more valuable with your explanation of why you thought I was worth following. And valuable too because you don’t give out many. I still don’t think I deserved it but a big thank-you anyway!

  6. Avatar Vijay says:

    Pooky dear,
    The only reason I mention so many tweeps on my #FF
    is because I have the equal awe and respect for all the educators
    who follow me and I following them in return.

    Above all, I thank Twitter for exposing me to the world of lovely
    like minded educators including yourself, thus I have no hesitation
    in mentioning one and all :)

    Thank you Pooky as always for the great blog posts.
    Love and Best Wishes to you n your near dear ones :)


  7. My #FF goes out to @mrkempz who is always an inspiration with his teaching ideas and recommendations. Very witty too which helps! :)

    • Avatar Allyson says:

      Great post. I agree with you but keep in mind, Twitter isn’t for everyone. In my world it has made a big diecfrenfe. My reading has more than doubled since I started following the right people. I’ve used it in class as a vehicle for distributive cognition . Intelligence grows when more people are involved. So in a class I’ll have students work on a common assignment and tweet each other using a predefined hash tag. The distribution via twitter allows for quick and fast updates. However, not all students are up to doing this. Some prefer independent work. I’ve notice though that those that give it a good shot and learn from this new method are my top students. I’m wondering if there is a relationship is between being a leader in the classroom and being able to adapt quickly to new learning methods are.Anyway, I’d like to encourage your faculty to keep trying. It took me almost of a full month before I started seeing the real value in Twitter. It was when I started following about 40 smart people with similar elearning interest that I saw the value. It was all in the links.Good luck.

  8. I haven’t used #ff before because I felt retweet did the job fine, and couldn’t see a lot of use in just listing out people you follow.

    I like your use of #ff. I don’t see why have to limit to friday though, but guess the #ff label is the best fit the purpose. I’ll be #ff ing soon.

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