Following vs Connecting – Twitter and LinkedIn Project Different Ties

Reporting on my first week of Twitter – quite an eye-opener.

The single biggest difference between twitter and the use of LinkedIn that I’ve seen is the ability to follow other seemingly random people (and often be followed in return).

The nature of the tie is not the same as on LinkedIn – it’s a question of expecting to see interesting tweets from the other, not a sharing of contacts, recommendations or professional reputation.

Here, let me give an example…

Down under

Liz was an early follower from Australia, and since I needed to try things out as I was getting going, I followed her after seeing that she was following me.

No hesitation on my part because the idea of “following” is merely an indication that I wanted to see what sorts of messages might come from that individual.

In return, we have the opportunity of learning a bit more about each other and could potentially reach the point where we know each other well enough to connect on LinkedIn.

Evaluation of the stream of tweet-sciousness

At some point I’m going to have to start winnowing the people I follow – at least to a small degree. If the stream of tweets from individual-A just seems to take up space and never provides insight, it’s just not right – I ought to stop following and make room for someone else.

The people that send out a nice stream of tweets – those become valuable resources to me. (both the individuals and the tweets)

Not a relationship system

Twitter can’t replace LinkedIn’s system of connections and relationships – I want those so that I can reach out through my contact network.

And it doesn’t appear to try.

Success through results

You tweet useful messages, you gain followers.

Send out drivel, you lose followers…

LinkedIn – Twitter tie

I left this comment on the bottom of the earlier message about starting to tweet – it’s a great concept and seems perfectly natural.


If you tweet on less professional matters (Like heading over to a bar on Friday night in case anyone wants to catch up with you), you probably want to make sure that you don’t repeat those on the LinkedIn side – really.

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If you’re trying it out, please be sure to follow SteveTylock;-)

To your continued success,


Steven Tylock