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Twitter Customizing Who-to-Follow

twitter bird iconIn contrast with Web companies such Google Inc and Facebook Inc whose business models rely heavily on collecting user data, Twitter will officially support “Do Not Track”. Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari browsers include a “Do Not Track” option that sends a line of code to websites indicating the user does not want to be tracked.  Google will implement a “Do Not Track” feature in its Chrome browser later this year.

Twitter has begun implementing the “Do Not Track” privacy option for its users, and we’re now getting a better idea of why the company may have rolled it out: it’s testing “who to follow” lists custom-tailored for users based upon their browsing behavior.  If you have DNT enabled in your browser settings, Twitter will not collect the information that enables this feature, so you won’t see any tailored suggestions.

Twitter is experimenting with personalized lists of Who to Follow accounts. … In other words, Twitter is harnessing the wisdom of crowds to drive personalized, targeted who-to-follow suggestions that are highly likely to be interesting to you … because people who visit technology-centric sites are more likely to follow technology-centric Twitter accounts. Exactly how intelligent the algorithm is, Twitter is not revealing. via Twitter is customizing your Who-to-Follow experience | VentureBeat.

New users will have to intentionally turn the service on. If you’re a current user, you may see tailored suggestions in Who to follow so you can constantly find interesting and relevant accounts that are new to you.   To see which accounts Twitter recommends for you, visit the preview page.

Do Not Track Plus Explained

Cookies are small tags of data used by advertisers and website owners to track users across their sites and networks. While most uses of cookies aren’t malicious in nature, they do exemplify how little privacy users have when browsing the web.


How To Enable Do Not Track in Firefox

This feature is not enabled by default. You can find the Do Not Track request on the Privacy pane. On Windows, go to Tools > Options… > Privacy. Click to check the box next to “Tell websites I do not want to be tracked”. For more information, see the help file on how to stop websites from tracking you.

How To Enable Do Not Track in Internet Explorer 9

To enable Do Not Track in IE 9, you need to enable IE 9’s Tracking Protection feature. The easiest way to do that is to install Mozilla’s Simple Tracking Protection List.

How To Enable Do Not Track in Chrome

By default the setting is set to ‘allow tracking;. If you wish to disable the setting then you need to follow this process. Go to Options > Under the Hood > Content Settings. Select ‘Do not allow any site to track my physical location’. Once selected, you can close the dialog box.

How To Enable Do Not Track in Safari 5.1

Safari 5.1 is the first version of Safari to support Do Not Track. If you’ve got Lion PR 2 here’s how to turn on.1. In Safari 5.1, open Preferences (Command + comma). Click on the “Advanced” tab and tick the “Show Develop menu”. Close preferences. From the Develop menu, click “Send Do Not Track HTTP Header.”

19 thoughts on “Twitter Customizing Who-to-Follow

  1. So nice of you to include a how-to for the top four browsers. Impressive, too. Can’t imagine how you keep up to date with four. One’s a challenge for me. Lucky for your readers, you’re multilingual… : )

  2. Just a note to say I’ve been in and out of your blog several times recently, and have found so many useful tips – inlcuding this one. You do such a good job of making things understandable – as well as keeping us up on the goings-on around WP.

    Thanks muchly – hope you have a relaxing weekend.

  3. This is all great to know. But I have to add that I love the new background on your site? Can you share where or how you got that? In other words, can I get something similar for my blog?

    • Hi there,
      I change backgrounds and headers frequently, Kathy. I get bored with them very quickly. Are you referring to the black and white background I have now? It’s just a small tile and if your click on “view background image” you can capture it and use it You can upload a background image to the Coraline theme here > Appearance > Background

      P.S. I just did a theme change on my personal blog and and I’m using a colorful background. I intend to blog about the many themes I tried and why I chose Suburbia for that blog as soon as I have the time to.

      • Thank you so much. However, I have one more question. When I changed my background, the new image covered the entire page and made the text difficult to read. How do I get the white background lik you have and only have the black and while tile like a mat on the outside? Sorry to bother you with this. I should probably already know how to do this. But, I’m afraid I don’t.
        Thank you!!!!!!!

        • Oh NERTS! I’m so sorry Kathy. I should have tried it out in my test blog first using the Coraline theme. On this Twenty Eleven theme in my blog uplaoding a background does not allow display in the posts and page areas or sidebars. On your theme the background image does so that means you have to choose a very pale and washed out looking image.

  4. The quicksand of online tracking has gobbled us all up, so any do-not-track is a bit late in the day.

    Do you find Twitter’s ‘who to follow’ suggestions worth following?

    I made a private list of those whose tweets I want to catch, and bookmarked that.

    • You are right about online tracking. Not only is DNT late in the day but it’s a voluntary compliance situation. I don’t spend much time on Twitter. From time to time I do check out the suggested followers provided by Twitter. I click into their Twitter profile page and poruse the Tweets and then I click into the blog. If I like the blog then I do become a Twitter follower and I follow the blog.

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