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Imagine a world in which it makes no difference how tall you are; what you look like. Imagine a world that doesn’t judge you according to who your parents are; what your education is; what your achievements have been. Imagine a social universe that rates you purely according to one criterion: do you have anything interesting to say?

Well, do you?

Stripped of our looks, of TV’s makeup artists, of screenwriters’ sharp verbal edge, are you still someone worth my time listening to? Am I?

While admittedly still hosting to old fashioned fan attributes of following landmark figures (such as Britney Spears and Barack Obama,) Twitter has become a very unforgiving platform. In a way, it is a harsh, brutally honest space. In this space, the reciprocal attachment that you have come to accept and expect in every other communication platform- no longer exists: In IMS services approving a contact will result in both sides appearing on each other’s contact lists (unless later blocked.) On Facebook, accepting a friend request joins both parties in a mutual connection of sharing. This is not the case on Twitter.

Twitter (and the Buzz adaptation of it,) allow users to choose to follow an individual or organization. This choice does not oblige the followed party to follow back. In many cases, people login to Twitter and begin to follow certain high-profiled people, watch their feed fill with 140 characters generated by people they often do not know and anticipate their contribution based on their great success in other platforms (such as sports, films or entrepreneurship.) Later they may find themselves bored to death by the person they chose to follow. Surprised, the followers realize that these seemingly interesting people- when scrutinized according to the great democracy of the limited Twitter API- are not that interesting (or rather, are quite boring.)
This is because on Twitter the first- and actually only- rule is that you have to say something; this is because Twitter is a tool of communication, and unlike prior tools of social networks, it brings forward the liberation of conversation: everyone can listen to what you have to say, everyone can reply to you and everyone can choose- at any point- to stop listening.

The text most commonly found on deserted Twitter account pages is: “So, at what point will real people start following me back?”

The answer is fairly simple: once you have something unique to say, and start saying it: that thing that is yours, that expresses your opinions, your thoughts. Most of all, people will follow if you talk to them. Reply to Tweets that you feel or think something and say something about them. ReTweet things that made you think or links that you liked. Immerse yourself in the ongoing flow of thoughts and conversations. You may find that the most interesting people are those you’ve never heard of before. When you are forced to simmer your thoughts, to boil down your experiences to 140 characters- to a haiku of thoughts- what is it that you have to say?

Ilil Ben Shalom works at Pravda Media, helping companies realize their digital potential. She makes great jams, loves Hapoe’l, but we love her anyway.