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Since the Twitter, FaceBook and FriendFeed Follow lists, I have been focusing on several other Micro-Blogging platforms. The main one namely being

Identica has a very loyal user base which is continuing to grow at speed and more importantly, itself is rapidly progressing in functionality.

As a tool for social media and social networking it’s often underrated.

In the past, I chatted about, trying to drum up some enthusiasm, my main motive being, what happens if Twitter goes down. I know for a fact that when Twitter does suffer an outage it causes much dismay and disruption for a heck of a lot of people. Yet few have any viable back-up that is anything close to Twitter in day to day use and functionality. FaceBook and FriendFeed are quite different beasts.

And without followers and contacts, being on another platform is close to useless.

I also started a discussion over at SocialMedian about ‘what happened if Twitter died’, so if you want to take a peek, pop on over there.

Establish an Identica Presence

So my feeling was that as a pretty awesome creative community, we could sort of create a back-up network. This really isn’t doing justice to because it’s so much more than a back-up to Twitter, it is a viable alternative. At the moment, it still lacks the user base to persuade many people to even consider it. So by designating it the back-up, it instantly becomes more popular and more used. Which is a good thing for great application.

And when Twitter does go down for any length of time, most of us wont be sat stunned, not knowing what to do, we can just shift over to and start chatting again.

The cool thing with is it’s close ties to Twitter. From within you can automatically post to your Twitter stream. Twhirl supports, so you can have a window up as well as Twitter and FriendFeed. The iPhone now has dedicated applications also. So it’s very well supported and becoming more so.

What to do

Simply add your Identica profile/user ID as a reply to this post, with a small Bio of what you do, stand for, work as, aim for etc. No harm in using the Twitter Bio for this really.

I'm pretty sure I am not the only one to have noticed that many Twitter follow requests are not entirely as they seem. Spam I think in this context is a slight miss understatement.

I have personally been inundated with Follow Request from users with seemingly genuine Twitter names. I have always check-up on these new requests, just more out of curiosity than anything else. But now it's become a necessity.

Recently, these seemingly genuine Twitter users are turning out to be fronts for sex shows and various other sexual activities. Now heck, I am not a boring old fart. Far from it. But this really crosses the line for me.

On further inspection, the URL's take you to sites such as huge WebCam Porn sites, or ahem, 'Night Entertainers'. Yes, I did spend a few moments on one of these sites. I spent about 10mins on one of these ‘web cam sites’ yesterday, not pleased that I did, but I was morbidly curious as to if these girls were actually doing it because they ‘wanted to’ or more specifically to see if they were ‘forced into performing for whatever reason’. Very clear that most were not wanting to be there at all.

Which makes me really very angry and horrendously upset. Young girls in cages performing on demand. Where are we going?

But I can honestly say that it was because if was just utterly appalled at what I saw and just felt a huge wave of sympathy for these 'girls' that were sat in front of these camera's trying to smile and look happy. Im pretty good at recognizing facial expressions, even micro expressions, and these girls are anything but happy.

My point is that by allowing yourself to automatically Follow out of a 'you follow me so I will follow you' attitude, you are opening yourself and your Web Site to be linked to these awful 'institutions'.

What really made me write this post is that it is apparent that the more celebrity type Twitter personalities are also following these sexual orientated sites. I am sure if they really knew they may think twice.

It would be reasonable to assume that they just automatically Follow due to the insane number of requests that they get. I'm not a celebrity Twittlet and I sure as heck don't want to be associated with these sites, so I don't think it's a far leap to come to the same conclusion for more famous Twittlets.

Simply, take time to check out any new Followers that you get. Don't allow yourself to get hooked on getting a high Follower number at the expense of some common decency. Don't allow these 'spammer's to propagate their message and sordid sexual slave perversions. They are easy to spot even if you don't check out the URL, they are the ones usually Following 100's even 1000's whilst only a few are actually Following them.

Screenshot of Stop Twitter Spam Blog
Here is a great site on Twitter Spam, the site is effectively called 'Stop Twitter Spam' and is a very useful site to visit. It's not just full of 'you shoulds' 'you musts' 'you oughts', it highlights steps you can take to reduce spam, gives you insights into how other power Twitter users manage their Twitter experience to eliminate unwanted Followers etc.