#FollowFriday: Being You, Robotic Tweet Generators & Breaking Away From The Internet Flock



If you’ve been on Twitter for any length of time, you’re probably aware of the hashtag #FollowFriday (or it’s abbreviation #FF).

Since getting started on Twitter and finding my feet, I’ve been promoting bloggers to others via the #FF hashtag. These bloggers I’ve #FF have inspired, motivated, or given me cause for thought by their brilliant content, ideas and writing skill.

Here are a few of these #FF tweets that you may have seen if you’ve been following me on Twitter (I’m @CopyByTom, btw - HINT-HINT 😉 ) …



You’ll notice that with each of these #FF I’ve included a few words about why I think you should follow the bloggers included. I decided that this was important to add because it gave reasons why you should follow them. But tweets, being only 140 characters long give little scope for any in depth reasons.

Recently, I got an idea for a solution to this lack of opportunity to say why you should #FF someone from two bloggers I follow: Adrienne Smith
( @AdrienneSmith40 ) and Gregory Ciotti ( @GregoryCiotti ).

Adrienne Smith had a monthly Magical Monday round-up post in which she featured bloggers and blogs posts that she’s read the previous week. You’ll discover some brilliant bloggers and content there (I’m lucky that Adrienne’s featured me twice here and here ) to turn these #FF tweets I’ve been posting into round-up posts each Friday.

Gregory Ciotti talked about how he featured musicians to his readers in Follow Friday round-ups on his blog in this guest post he wrote for @CorbettBarr’s blog ThinkTraffic.net (now Fizzle.co/Sparkline/) .

In this #FollowFriday Review Series I want to give you more reasons, or more in-depth reasons why I think you should follow the people included.

Above all, these posts are intended to give you reasons why you should follow them, read their content and discover more about them for yourself.

Each Last Friday of the Month You’ll Discover New People To Follow

I know it’s my opinion but I think you’ll agree with me that content included here really does pass the great content test. And if you do, please tell me by leaving a comment below. Or if you disagree, I’d love to hear your reasons why.

Each #FollowFriday post will include a theme that connects each of the peices of content featured. They’ll also have some talking point about them too.

So, let’s get started. Here’s the first post in this #FollowFriday Review Series.


Being You, Robotic Tweet Generators & Breaking Away From The Internet Flock

Today’s #FollowFriday posts theme is staying true to who you are and claiming your individuality online. And, whenever I think of individualism, I’m always reminded of this great quote from Dr. Suess …

“… you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

- Dr. Suess, Happy Birthday To You.

… It’s a philosophy that I try to live by daily (not just on Fridays!)


“Breaking Away From The Me-Too Crowd”


This is a guest post by Richard Martin on my friend, Adrienne Smith’s blog.

Richard talks here about being bold enough to be true to yourself and breakaway from the flock because that’s how you become that “unique voice” you want to become…

Richard’s guest post starts off with a lovely image painted of flocks of birds migrating to warmer climes.

He uses this image to create an image of not following the flock. Of how letting yourself be carried along in the slipstream of trends and conventional wisdom can stop you succeeding.

Finding your unique voice is often a case of breaking off from the flock and finding your own power.

Richard’s message touches on what makes you stand out online: finding the courage to put your own opinion on matters you want to write about.

What makes Richard’s guest post stand out to me and why it’s included here, is how he uses imagery to give his point impact.

It’s a beautiful introduction. It captures an image that I’ve certainly been priveledged to watch and I’m sure you’ve probably seen at least once.

Richard goes on with creating a connection and common bond with readers by sharing his experience of being fearful of what breaking away from the flock and going it alone. He didn’t want to upset anyone. He didn’t want to stray from the flock because they seemed to know how to get to the desired destination.

Experts go on about how important it is to write a crowd-pulling headline for your posts. Headlines are important. They do pull in crowds. But you need to give them something worthy to read once they’re in. Richard gives a brilliant example of how you can do with the power of imagery.

By the end of this post you’re thinking about all the times you hesitated to say what you really felt about what’s going on in your niche, or about sharing a growing sense of purpose, or asking a taboo question … and growing bolder.

Great writing is about inspiring this response. It’s about capturing readers and giving them a push to recognise their own unique voice. And it’s about engaging them with a sense of their own ability to succeed.

Richard’s guest post does this.

And you’ll find examples of Richard’s own unique voice and “break-away” from the flock on his blog: SmartIncomeDetective.com in posts there like: My Name Is Richard And I’m A Cheat and Sniping Snip.ly. How To Stop Snip.ly Users Using Your Content.

Richard is not just about great writing created with brilliant imagery that emotes and engages, he’s about giving you facts, exposing what’s going on and being open.

#FF Richard Martin, he’s @DetectiveSid


“Can You Go It Alone As A Blogger?”


Ever questioned what some people try to do just to comply with what traffic experts tell you that you should be doing if you want to succeed?

Like the advice that tells you that to really get traffic, grow your blog into the independent income source you want it to be, you need to share, to give first and add to the conversation.

Then, either you’re left wondering where to start. Or, after following it like mad for a while, begin to flag?

What you find - if your frustration and struggle online lets you stick around long enough to find – is that there’s a lot of emptiness and rigidity in blogging. Not only in the advice itself. But also in the way people try to comply with it.

Tim talks about this in his post. He shares his experience of complying with that advice about using commenting to get traffic to your blog.

An Easy Way To Add To “The Conversation”?

If, like me, you commented on other people’s blog posts, videos, podcasts and the like because you thought you were actually interested in what you’d just read or heard, or because you had something interesting or refreshing to say, you might be wondering how dumb you could be.

Dumb because the experts out there know what commenting is all about getting traffic back to your blog. It’s a tactic that you fail to use correctly at your peril. Start commenting now to get seen, get heard and drive traffic back to your blog.

Tim’s post echoes what I’ve been feeling and what you might be feeling too – wherever there’s a great strategy or a chance to show sincerity and really add your unique voice and really bring value to others and feel good about it – there’s a software package or tool or system to automate it for you.

Or Just A “Robotic Tweet Generator”?

But nothing worth doing is simple. And nothing is sincere without flesh and blood feeding it. You can’t automate sincerity. You can’t plug-in individual thought or ideas.

Instead, automating everything to make it “easy” for you ends up suffocating everything that might make what you write about or read online interesting. It can also stop you getting your ultimate goal for why you started your blog in the first place.

Tim describes how automatic comment systems like CommentLuv and Disqus showed their failings this way. He talks about how he found himself becoming discouraged and disatisfied with how they limited his blogging strategy.

He highlights how automating the online community creates only robotic results and misleading social proof.

If, like me, you’ve been thinking of adding a Commenting System to your blog in order to increase a sense of community and exchange of ideas then, you need to read this post by Tim.

His post also touched me because of the way he wasn’t afraid to stick his head above the pulpit and give names. Not in a trol way or for the sake of controversy. Instead he does it because he wants to report his journey online, share a common frustration and promote what works.

Tim’s one of a growing (bit still small) group of bloggers that are not afraid to do their own thing while still being willing to share with others.

He always gives you honest reviews and advice and touches on topics that aren’t always getting an alternative voice talking about them. Or, he’ll add his alternative voice to a certain aspect of a topic as you’ll discover on his blog:

Tim-Bonner.com with posts like: What If? and Pinterest – What’s All The Fuss About?

#FF Tim Bonner, he’s @timbo1973


You can follow all the bloggers mentioned in this post on Twitter by clicking on their Twitter names listed respectively here:







I think what these two posts speak of to you and me is that we should be willing, ready and able to learn from others. And share what we learn with others in turn. But not to the point where we lose our individual flair, or forget why we wanted to start a blog in the first place.

Together we are strong. But its our individual strengths that gives our togetherness its strength.

Do you agree? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Who do you think deserves featuring in this #FollowFriday Review Series and what blog post or content has blown you away? Share it with us in the comments.


And to keep up-to-date with these #FollowFriday Reviews, click HERE.





  • Tim Bonner

    Reply May 31, 2015

    Hi Tom

    Thank you for featuring me here and for your kind comments!

    I like the idea of your #FollowFriday Review Series because it can help people connect with others they might not have done ordinarily.

    Certainly with Twitter, I don’t often use the #FF hashtag any more because so many people are using it and just adding lots of usernames. That doesn’t really compel others to check the recommendations out because they don’t have a reason to. I like the fact that you’re doing that differently on Twitter too!

    For me, Joshua Wilner is someone to include in the series. I love the way he weaves stories into his blog posts. You come away knowing you’ve read something of value.

    I look forward to seeing more of the series Tom and thanks once again for including me.

    • Tom

      Reply May 31, 2015

      Hi Tim,

      You’re right about the way some people are stuffing their #FF tweets with names while not really giving incentives to anyone to actually follow. This decreases the value of what is an opportunity to really share and spread valuable content and ideas.

      Thanks for introducing Josh Wilner. A quick look at his blog and Twitter feed tells me he’s someone I’m certainly going to read more of. I’ve spotted a tweet about @TheBloggess and several other really interesting tweets that make me want to read more - which is what Twitter and is all about after all, as you say.

      Great to have your support for this series, Tim and hope to have your input again with more excellent #FF suggestions.

  • Adrienne

    Reply June 2, 2015

    Hey Tom,

    Love this new series and you can tell why I’ve got it on my blog as well. I mean I read some really awesome stuff throughout the month so I save the links and then go back over the ones that really stood out to me that might not be going over the same old things. My readers love me for it too.

    Thank you for highlighting Richard’s post here, he did an amazing job with that one. Too many of us just do continue to follow the crowd but this way at least we are voicing our opinions but doing it in a respectful way. You will stand out more I believe.

    I haven’t stopped by Tim’s blog in a while but he’s always shared great stuff. He’s an amazing person and I think the world of him.

    Thanks again Tom for sharing Richard’s post and have fun finding your next posts to share.


    • Tom

      Reply June 3, 2015

      I’m so glad to have your approval for this series, Adrienne, thanks. You always inspire me to continue to improve on my own content.

      One of the advantages of getting to know other bloggers is discovering new ideas and great writers.

      I think a lot of bloggers fear breaking away from blogging “norms”, because they fear not getting any traffic. Really, it’s bloggers who aren’t afraid to breakaway who attract the most traffic. I hope to be featuring some of them here in this series. I’m sure I’ll have a blast finding them.

      Tim’s been writing some really good content recently. Well worth a visit.

      Glad to have you stop by and add your thoughts, Adrienne. Thank-you.

  • Richard Martin

    Reply June 4, 2015

    Hi Tom.

    Thanks so much for featuring me in your Follow Friday series. Means a lot to me, so thank you very much.

    Also love that quote from Dr. Suess. And it links in to the posts you have highlighted from myself perfectly

    Thanks for highlighting Tim to me. I have heard the name, I already follow on Twitter, so why have I never been to his blog? I’ll be doing that right away.

    Once again Tom, I’m honoured to be part of your series this week. Stay in touch. Speak soon.

    • Tom

      Reply June 4, 2015

      Thanks Richard. Glad to hear you like this post.

      I’ve not long discovered you and already have got a lot out of your content that I’ve read so far. It was Adrienne’s feature on your Snip.ly post that introduced me to you. Since then, I’ve popped by your blog regularly.

      Yeah, Dr. Seuss was quite a wise old soul and gave a lot of great advice wrapped up in his verse.

      Tim and you have a lot in common where writing about real issues online and tackling points that get left out of a lot the usual content others write about. Also, you both seem really reachable people ready to help out and advise which is always a welcoming trait, especially online.

      Yes, will definitely be staying in touch. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to feed back. Cheers!

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field