On Twitter, it is generally polite to follow those that follow you – they are saying, “you are interesting”, so it is the polite thing to show interest in them as well. I have heard from multiple people, including Scoble and Chris Pirillo that they have requested Twitter do this for them.
Well, I’m proud to announce that I’ve written a script that does just this for you. It’s a simple script, that does just what it says it does – auto-follows those that follow you. To install the script, download this script, unzip it (gunzip), then edit it. You’ll need to specify your Twitter username and password in the specified places, and if you want to blacklist any screen-names you’ll want to add those in as well. Then, add the script to a cron job somewhere, say, in cron.hourly or cron.daily, and it will now auto-follow anyone that follows you on Twitter! If you get any bologna (as I call it – others call it bacon) followers, you can simply add them to your black list in the script and it will ignore them.
If you have any problems installing it or running it, please comment. This script is being released under the GPL, v.1. Again, you can download the script at:
I’ll post it to CPAN later as I get time so it can be downloaded there.
UPDATE: you’ll need to have Net::Twitter installed – you can install this by running “perl -MCPAN -e ‘install Net::Twitter'”
UPDATE (11/14/2007): Chris Pirillo has pointed out that it’s hitting an API limit if you have to follow more than 70 users within the same hour. If that is the case, set it to run on cron every hour, and eventually it should catch up. Twitter can also add your username to a white list if this is important to you and contact them. If you are on that white list, it should follow everyone in one swoop.