I was on twitter the other day when someone made a tongue-in-cheek comment about the apolcalypse. I quipped back that maybe we should stock up on something to read and sunscreen. Within the hour I had seven companies following me whose businesses center on Wall Street tips. I posted "... for all those stock advisers now following me, I'm a teacher and a writer, need I say more?" This brought on a flurry of discussion about bots.
Now I'm still a green horn when it comes to the cyber world, and I had no clue that there are programs that troll tweets for key words and then automatically follow those that use it. I even had a "twend" who spelled stocks s t o c k s so that they wouldn't follow him. As soon as I discovered this, I blocked them all without a moment's hesitation.
Strange move for me as I'm the marketer's dream. That is, a marketer with a heart. Automation just pisses me off. Even this kind-hearted cause-collector (see post below) turns into a cold-hearted you-know-what when I hear "if you'd like dresses, press one, house wares, press two..." I usually hang up.
That's one reason why I love the blogosphere. It's an interactive place with real people who have something to offer, something to teach, something to say. Originally I started this blog and joined social sites to promote the book, but I soon discovered that meaningful interaction with others was more important than the bottom line.
I'll admit I have emails sent if someone comments on something somewhere, and I do use Giga Alert (a service through gmail that sends updates if my name or the book is mentioned on the net), but that's different. These are maintenance issues to help survive this crazy information overloaded world. I have little patience for people who try to automate relationships.
What about you? Have you ever used auto tweeting, auto reply, or any other program that interacts with the world on your behalf? How do you feel about living in an autobot world?