What’s the deal with tons of ghost followers yesterday on Twitter?

Written by Mike Ellsworth   

Yesterday I received more than 50 new followers on Twitter. That’s usually a good thing, but these followers all have similar handles — Trend Target, Trend Wish, Trend Finder, Cloud Trend, Weather Trend, for example — and they have zero Tweets. 

It’s obviously some sort of automated scheme, but I can’t figure out what possible use something like this could be.

Has anybody else seen this type of thing? Any ideas as to what’s up?

Yes, I know the activity is automated, but I just can’t figure out the motive. There are no bios on these accounts, thus no links that someone might hope I would follow. So it all seems pointless.

I mean, it obviously costs nothing to set up an app like TweetSpinner to automatically follow people who mention a keyword. But usually that activity has a purpose: to encourage the followee to then follow you so you can send them a canned message thanking them for the follow and including a link to a blog or site for them to engage in some behavior like buying something.

But these accounts are empty – no tweets, no bio, no nothing. So how does anybody profit from this?


What Edison Said About Energy

Written by Mike Ellsworth

I’ve just found the most delicious quote from one of the giant intellects of the 20th (heck, also the 19th) century: Thomas Alva Edison. Speaking in 1931 with fellow industrial giants Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, Edison, who knew a thing or two about energy said:

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

Seventy-eight years later, we’re waiting until we run out of oil and coal before getting serious about renewable energy. Too bad Edison couldn’t have invented a way to live another hundred years; we could use such clarity of insight from a man who was born before the Civil war.

His quote is my new sig.