Surprisingly enough, it is not “he who owns the gold, makes the rules”, though there is plenty of that going around in all socialist media. Rather, I am proposing an approach which gives unto Twitter users what I would have them give unto me: followers. I have just tweeted an example:

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A Golden Rule Tweet

Note that I did not beg, plead, or demand that this Twitter user follow me, even though they were not following me as of the time of the tweet. I do not need to get them to follow me. I am not making an appeal to their political stance, their presumed identity, or their beliefs. The message is to the broader Twitter society. It is simple and universal: if you are one of my followers, I will politely ask others to follow you.

The return is facilitated by the very structure of Twitter. My list of followers is easily found at the head of my profile. The Twitter user who is not following me can easily satisfy my request, as long as they are not limited by Twitter non-golden rules, and benefit my followers with themselves as new followers. However, their personal benefit from my Golden Rule Tweet is only realized when they are one of my followers and only for as long as they are one of my followers.

Unlike other approaches, this Twitter Golden Rule does not require me following others. It can be addressed to any Twitter user, follower or non-follower. Someone may be following me, but not following my followers. Though their filling out my Twitter tree might not make any difference in their relationship to me, it does suggest to those not following me that they can gain many followers by following me.

You may think that there is a danger in other Twitter users copying my approach, but I do not see it that way. Anyone who spreads this Twitter Golden Rule will be helping to build up my list of followers, simply by me following them. They will be sending followers my way even as I step back and let other Twitter Golden Rule evangelists take the lead.

There is also no danger from more restrictive Twitter approaches and users. My Twitter Golden Rule, by its universality, will swamp any “train”, any attempt to restrict the following of any Twitter user to the fanatics of some cause. People are multidimensional in spite of the wishes of the leaders of some causes. They will jump over the fence, crash the party, and otherwise override the strictures of a society, all because they like someone or something, sometimes even more because that someone or that something is forbidden.

There are other quirks of Twitter and their users which might seem to defeat this approach, but which do not. Some followers do not reciprocate, for a variety of reasons, including Twitter rules.Some Twitter users do not want to be followed and leave your request to follow in a permanent pending state. Others never tweet; there is no reason to follow them. Finally, there are accounts which Twitter has banished. None of these is any real cause for concern. If you cannot follow someone or it serves no useful purpose to follow them, they are exceptions to the call to follow one’s followers; feel free to revoke your follow request after it has been sitting there for a while or to unfollow someone with no tweets. If someone does not follow you back after a decent interval, you should consider their account a candidate for the next pruning. In either case, your followers would be more than those you follow. For an author such as myself, that would be a benefit, not a detriment.

So become a Twitter Golden Rule user and evangelist. Let your followers prosper with followers as you yourself would wish to prosper with followers.

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