Dec 072008

On November 28th, I followed Alex Barger (AKA @galaxiecruzin) on Twitter. Immediately I received a direct message from him that said:

“Thanks 4 following. Here is a short video introduction:

So I checked out his video, liked the guy and the idea, and asked him how he did it. He told me, so I did it too a few days later. See my welcome video here.

As you can see, I simply introduce myself and tell people what I do, what my interests are, and what I tweet about.  The feedback I received in the week since has been overwhelmingly positive.  In fact, I went back and counted.  I got 50 positive responses via direct message or reply from Twittter, 4 neutral responses, and 2 negative responses out of the 344 people who clicked on the link.  In addition to that, I’ve been invited to lunch by a social media company, invited to write for a recently launched online magazine with several authors, and invited to record 30-60 second videos on various topics for a well known musical artist’s web site.  Here is some of the praise I received (only public responses included here):

steaner: Pretty cool. When @Hobnox started following @br524 we got a DM with a link to a short introduction video

MikeLizun: Nice touch from @br524 thanks followers with a video tells you a little about him, what he does, what he tweets

cwalcott: @br524 I like your twitter welcome video, I think that’s a really good idea

aneel: well now.. @br524 has a nice “welcome” vid for twitter followers. kinda like that. :)

botchagalupe: Digging the video intro thingy when I follow someone. I need to get one of those… thx @br524

dcw: @br524 just inadvertently gave me a wonderful idea as far as v/blogging goes. Brilliant; utterly brilliant….

MikeyPod: @br524 wow! great idea to do the twitter intro video! nice to meet ya!

ellieeille: Nice idea: @br524 introduces himself to new twitter followers in a 30-second video clip (link in a DM)

martin001: @ellieeille i just followed @br524 because i watched his video you linked up.. i think thats a brilliant idea – might just have to imitate

jstorerj: the other day i asked what you thought of auto-DM’s after a follow. most ppl thought it was a bad practice. @br524‘s is ok

DarinRMcClure: @br524 Nice welcome vid.

HeatherLeson: Wow that is a first! Follow someone and get a video introduction. Masterful usage @br524

Today I got a negative response from @lizstrauss, a highly followed and successful blogger, who asked me to ‘please turn off your auto-responder’.  After a private back and forth, Liz directed me to this post about Twitter Spam, which basically says auto responses demonstrate that you don’t “get it”, and that you’re sending unwanted spam to people in this fashion.  I really have to disagree with this view, particularly in light of all the positive feedback I’ve been receiving about this.  Generally, yes, the auto-response is impersonal, and I rarely click on the links to a person’s blog in those messages.  I really do think the approach I’ve taken is distinctly different, significantly more personal, and a hell of a lot more engaging.

So I’m curious now…those who did not respond after having clicked the link in my auto-response message but did not comment one way or another…did they dislike the introduction?  After all, there are 289 people who saw the video who have not weighed in.  Maybe all this positive feedback is really the minority!

Somehow I doubt it though.  The guy who had the idea originally (as far as I can tell) reports success on several levels, and got similarly positive responses.

For those of you seeing it here for the first time, what do you think?  If you followed me on twitter and got a direct message that said, “Thanks for following! I made you a 30 second Twitter Welcome Video – .  Thanks again…Brian”, would that make you mad?  What about after you watched the video?

Please comment here, I’d really love to get to the bottom of this.