Testing the New Analog Live-Following Revolution in Istanbul

My boyfriend recently came home from a music festival, stating he accidentally discovered a new revolution. For once in decades, not a digital, but an analog one: Live-Following.

My first reaction was: didn’t we have another word for that in the real world? (stalking)

But after he explained I was at least somewhat interested.

Here is what he did. Since he had seen all the performing bands on the festival a million times anyway (Offspring, Skunk Anansie etc), he came up with the idea to follow other people for 5 minutes, and see what they were up to. Just like a follower on Twitter, but now in real life.

At first he was a bit insecure to approach followees, but quickly he improved on the art of Live-Following. He started at 9 in the evening, and was sent home by his last followee around 7 in the morning. He didn’t spend a single coin on drinks or food, and wasn’t bored for a minute.

The Rules for Live-Following Revolution:

1) Go to a random person, and ask if you may follow him or her for 5 minutes of his/her life.

2) Tell him/her that this is a new analog revolution you are trying out, and that you find it interesting to follow him or her for 5 minutes.

3) After 5 minutes the followee has to point out a new followee for you to follow, and you will start following that person. One follow-session usually takes more than 5 minutes, but it gives you and your followee the chance to get rid of each other.

4) If someone does not want to be followed, then ask him/her to point out at least another person to follow for you.

Repeat these steps until you want to go home, and ask your most recent followee to release you.

Typical FAQ’s and responses for Live-Following are:
Followee: Why would you want to follow me?
Follower: I am trying out a new concept, and I am interested to see where it will bring me.

Followee: I am boring, you don´t wanna follow me.
Follower: That´s funny, a lot of people say that, but I found no-one boring yet.

Followee: I’m not sure about this.
Follower: Don’t worry, it’s just 5 minutes. And if someone asks who I am you just tell them: “Who? He? Ow, That’s my follower”
Followee: (thinking: “mmm, that IS kinda cool)

Punchlines to make it happen are:
Live-Following is better then e.g. Twitter since you:
1) don’t need to login
2) it’s more efficient, since the followee does not have to tweet
3) it’s totally green technology
4) it’s open source, change the game whenever you want!
5) you can start NOW

Some tips:
– ask for followee’s to point out a new followee who seems to be on his/her way somewhere.
This will increase the chance of you meeting totally new people and seeing totally new things.
– don’t ask for or give names. This makes it more analog and less Twitterish.

What do you get in return? Ofcourse you should play this game to have conversations with people you would never talk to. And you will see that most people are on their way to eat or drink something, or at least to see friends that are doing just that. When you get there, you will find yourself introduced as your followee’s follower, and you are bound to receive a share of what everyone is having.

This weekend I am going to ISEA in Istanbul Turkey. After all the big stories I’m going to try this out for the first time. Follow me there.


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