Veronica Belmont accused by Scoble of paying Twitter for their recommendation!

Veronica Belmont has just been asked by Robert Scoble, in public via FriendFeed, to prove she has not paid Twitter to be listed in their highly valuable ‘Suggested User’ list!

In the past couple of weeks, Veronica’s follower numbers have almost doubled.  As Veronica fronts a number of tech shows, including Tekzilla and Qore (for Sony’s PS3 Network), these followers are potential viewers.  As such, they are of high value for advertisers / sponsors of her shows.

Here’s a selection of the very heated, very public row between Veronica and Robert on FriendFeed.

Veronica Belmont

I’m on the list, and I certainly don’t have $10,000 to give anyone. Do you think I somehow bribed them, Robert? Hmm?

Rober Scoble

I am not on the list. Neither is @leolaporte. We both had more followers than you did (and more than many on the list). Now I am wondering.

Veronica Belmont

HAH! This is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. Are you really just that bored this afternoon to accuse people of spending money to be on a suggested users list? #1 As Chris says, who the frak cares. #2 Do you honestly think someone like me or iJustine have that kind of money? #3 Wow, man, I thought we were cool.

Robert Scoble

I do not know why Veronica is on the list and not @leolaporte so now I am wondering what is going on and no one can prove money and gifts did not get exchanged.

Veronica Belmont

Robert, your inflammatory remarks and accusations (and they are that, no matter how many times you tell us to READ CAREFULLY) come off as really childish and insulting. If you have an issue with a feature of Twitter, there are better ways of pointing it out than accusing people who considered you acquaintances, if not pals.

Robert Scoble

Veronica: you did receive a gift. Advertising is sold by 1,000 viewers. Ask Ryan how much 1,000 people are worth. You did NOT earn that gift by any objective measure.

Twitter needs to listen

Scoble makes a good point about the way Twitter has selected who gets onto that recommended list.  It’s not based on popularity; or he and Leo Laporte would indeed have been on the list as they were both ranked higher than her and are better known.

Whether anyone has paid money is (in my opinion) pretty unlikely, but the process is based too much on the buddy network.  This sucks and needs to be fixed.  Calling out Veronica Belmont in this very public way is GREAT for bringing the problem to people’s attention, but it’s not the kind of thing I would associate with Veronica. The reason she reacted like she did, is because she’s the last person who would do anything like that.

It’s not ‘just’ Scoble that’s annoyed.  The LA Times wrote this.

What do you think?

Should there even be a suggested follower list on Twitter and if so, should there be a better way to decide who gets listed there? Let us know!

Tags: twitter

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