#FASL – ‘Follow a Sri Lankan’ on twitter – Let’s encourage it

It begins..

From one twitter user..

I have been on twitter ever since Sukanti encouraged me after seeing our first issue of diGIT in February 2009.  It had been slow at first but did not take me long to realise the importance of having a twitter account and the benefits that could be shared among the twitter followers.

First impressions…

At the time, there were very few Sri Lankans on Twitter. Actually, come to think of it, I am very wrong in saying that, because that might not be true, that was just my judgement based on the Sri Lankan twitter followers that I came across. I think that is the perception now as well for any new twitter follower. Unlike Facebook with the obvious presence (and now just about reaching the 1 million mark in Sri Lanka), twitter has a simple layout with just 1 purpose: say it (whatever) in 140 characters. The connection has to come after that and that is why many people have heard of, created an account, but not really got the hang of it.

Discovering and connecting..

Sri Lankan

So now its been over 2 years since I’ve been on twitter and I’m happy to say that I have come across close to 2000 twitter users from Sri Lanka and I follow most of them. I am sure there are many, many more out there and this small memo is just a way to see if I could reach the others I have yet seen on twitter through the current twitter users whom I follow.

So what can be done?

The following are just my thoughts and you are more than welcome to add your thoughts as well to the below with a comment:

  • I have seen many accounts having more ‘followers‘ than ‘following‘. Yes, it is your personal preference to follow whom you like, but maybe if we could at least follow more of the other Sri Lankans who follow us, it would really add value to the community as a whole since connecting with more such people is when twitter can be used to the true potential.
  • Today (The day the article got published) is a Friday. For many, that word normally relates to none other than ‘Rebecca Black'(this article was written in 2011, if you can’t recall who ‘Rebecca Black’ is, you are probably reading this in an year after 2012 :p ). Moving on… what is important about Friday is the ‘Follow Friday‘ concept used by twitter users to recommend their favourite/worthy following to the followers. So they use the hashtag ‘#FF‘ and then put the twitter handles of their recommendations. We could use the same concept, rather than use #FF, we could use #FASL (Follow a Sri Lankan) and recommend a Sri Lankan(s) for others to follow.It might also make sense to maybe give an indicator as to why they should be followed.

For e.g. “Follow @GTSlk cause that’s the twitter account of the company ‘GTS’, that creates games and does SM campaigns”

  • When you see another Sri Lankan twitter user having a twitter conversation (sometimes frowned upon if conversation is continuous on public timeline for too long) and you find that the other party is Sri Lankan and seems interesting, then why not just click the ‘Follow‘ button on that person.
  • Not many use ‘Lists‘ on twitter but I have come across few who publicly share a ‘list’ tagged ‘Sri Lankans’ etc.. Feel free to have a small peep and follow any you find interesting. (Got such a list? share it with a comment below, thanks)

These are just some very simple ways in which we can connect a country together (please do mention other thoughts in a comment if you got one).

... reaching many twitter users


So I hope we can use the hashtag #FASL and help connect people together on twitter and ultimately use twitter to share worthy information that could help us in our work, help us have a bit of fun, connect with others in the field… I could go on, but you get the point, twitter is a tool that we can use for the good.

So what you think? Found it interesting, do share on Twitter 🙂


Image sources :

7 Responses to “#FASL – ‘Follow a Sri Lankan’ on twitter – Let’s encourage it”
  1. isura silva says:

    Good post Gihan ! Good thinking.

    Like the way you connected your own journey. A personal experience is more general.

    When I got on twitter (I think somewhere in 2009), I inserted my profile pic, and waited for someone to follow me, and hang out with me. It did not happen, and I faded away from twitter for almost one year.

    Then Colombo floods in November 2010, and Batticaloa floods in January 2011, took my attention to #trafficSL hashtag. It showed me the potential of it, and I started actively hang out with the folks. I like the journey so far. I am an optimist like you. Following is my blog post capturing my exposure in twitter with floods. See how one tweep, @Amisampath changed my perspective of twitter.


    Good luck with #FASL ! Hope more will join the band.

  2. Mufeez Lebbé says:

    Good move, guys.

  3. budhajeewa says:

    I was wondering what are all those #FASL tweets I got as SMSs to my phone, as I was away for last few days. So it was *you*?! 😛 Nice idea!

  4. deeps says:

    ok, finally I know what is #FASL 🙂

  5. PWGS says:

    Hey; cool idea! I seemed to have missed out on the whole #FASL thing. A lot of my friends aren’t on twitter (there’s just two, the rest of them are all on facebook) so it was pretty boring when i first joined. I used twitter more or less like an rss feed for all my favorite mags/topics/orgs. Then I sort of stumbled into a network and started following all these people in SL whom I found interesting, unprotected my tweets and things have been a lot more interesting since then =) I found the way everyone was interlinked quite fascinating

    I still can’t seem to convince any of my other friends to join twitter though, which is quite sad really =(.

  6. This is one other great concept after #Enna hash tag we had during #CWC2011.. All credits should go to you for making things work on Twitter with a huge buzz. I say this whole concept of #FASL is really good because we can use it to promote Sri Lankans on Twitter.

    My review on #FASL is available at http://www.tutebox.com/3472/internet/what-is-the-fasl-on-twitter/


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