Sree Tips

Social-media etiquette for journalists

Q: What’s the latest thinking on following back everyone who follows you on Twitter? Is this something we are expected to do?

A:I’ve never believed we should follow all who follow us on Twitter, even though some people think there’s some sort of unwritten rule that we must. Instead, I suggest looking at each one of your new followers and making a decision based on how interesting/relevant his or her bio is (use this as a reminder to update and optimize your own). The fact is that no matter how many people you follow (50, 500, or 1,500), you aren’t following enough folks. There are always other voices you need to be hearing. So keep following—and unfollowing—various Twitter accounts, and you will ensure you get a good spectrum of voices in your timeline.

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Sree Sreenivasan the Chief Digital Officer of Columbia University.