The Co.’s Katherine Gougeon explores social and cultural details that have an outsized ripple effect. 

When The New Yorker tweeted an article on the end of Twitter, tweeters fired back replies like: “It’s the only way I read your content so if (Twitter) is (in trouble), you’re in trouble”. Even as Twitter is called out on falling share price, revolving door management, and inability to deliver a happy, troll-free space, those who like it like it a lot. It remains the medium of choice for celebrities, journos, and mere mortals willing to risk pain and obscurity to build an engaged network of followers.

To get a grip on the double-edged sword of Internet fame, I reached out to Toronto-based CamMi Pham whose blog about unlearning everything you know attracts millions of visitors worldwide. With over 85,000 followers on a personal Twitter account that once out-trended Justin Beiber on his birthday, CamMi knows a thing or two about walking this high-risk/high-reward tightrope. So I had to ask:

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Your content is your product, but it’s personal too. Whom do you think about when you write? I write for myself first because if I didn’t, I’d lose interest and start hating what I do. Second, I write for my reader because if there is no market for the work, there is no way to monetize it. Third, I write for paying advertisers and brands: the right ones understand what I’m doing and find me.

What’s your recipe for finding Twitter Love? I think of Twitter as a relationship funnel. At the top of the funnel are the many people I reach out to and connect with. In the middle of the funnel is where I qualify my leads, figuring out who I like and who I don’t. At the bottom of the funnel, are the 4% of people I spend 96% of my time with, the ones who add the most value, whom I wind up partnering or becoming friends with.

With posts like How I hacked Tinder and became the most hated woman in Toronto, you aren’t afraid to serve yourself up at troll bait. Do trolls ever serve a positive purpose? Friends can be your worst enemy in that they make you feel too comfortable and special. People who challenge you and make you think, even if they are annoying, make you better. If you can convert a troll into a friend, you’ll have that friend for life.

Best advice for building a Twitter following? When creating a list of people to engage with on Twitter, everyone always goes directly for the big fish. When I started, my strategy was to connect with the influencer’s assistant, wife or best friend and talk to them instead. Eventually, the influencers would notice and wonder who is this kid talking to my friends? And they’d start following me.

Bonus piece of wisdom: To be Queen, you have to be cold. It doesn’t matter whether you love me or hate me. As long as I have your attention, I can make money from you.

Are Twitter’s days numbered? If Twitter doesn’t figure out how to be relevant to new, younger audiences, it could suffer the same fate as MySpace. For me, the most enduring thing about Twitter is the relationships I’ve built. They’ve resulted in working partnerships, friendships and many job offers. Whatever happens, I’ll be taking those with me.