If by 800 followers you mean…

My first post to Twitter, and I can’t believe I’m actually confessing this, was about watching Dancing with the Stars with Eliza. That was over a year and a half ago.

As of today I’ve posted over 7,600 updates to Twitter and now have over 800 followers.

When I first saw that I had nearly 800 followers I was surprised that so many people would want to know what I was up to. For the six months or so of Twittering, it was all just nonsense stuff about what I was doing. Then I started at Viddler and so I’d try to keep up with the Viddler community on Twitter through my account. Now, it is a combination of small updates, notifications of new posts to my site, and the occasional conversation.

But then I dug a little deeper and my surprise turned into doubt, which then turned into disappointment.

The 800 followers I have on Twitter is a bit of a misnomer. Taking a look at my followers page, I noticed that a fairly large percentage of the Twitter accounts were “spammy” in nature, web sites, bots, fake celebrities, and presidential candidates. So even though Twitter would have me believe that, every time I post an update, over 800 people are receiving my updates – in reality only half of my “followers” are real people, and probably only half of them watch Twitter with any regularity.

This doesn’t change my opinion of Twitter, its value, or those that are following me (thanks, btw). This sort of thing was bound to happen. It does however, change my thoughts when I see someone with a few thousand followers on Twitter. I begin to wonder how many of those followers are real, and how many really care about following that person.

How many real followers do you have?