I've picked up more than 50 new followers in Twitter over the last 24 hours, including a few big names like Matt Bacak, Stephen Pierce, John Alanis and others. It doesn't look like anyone tweeted about me and recommended following me, and there's nothing in Google blog search that would explain it.

So I'm left to wonder whether someone's launched a tool that automatically follows a bunch of people in hopes of having them follow you in return (and perhaps later automatically unfollows them for you), or whether all these people got a recommendation from a private source.

Anybody else seeing a flood of new followers or know about anything that would explain this?

If it is some automated follow-to-get-followers tool, then for me it's just one more instance of how social sites always end up getting abused for marketing that has very little real "social" aspect to it.

I feel like somebody who just sent in their Publisher's Clearinghouse entry. I'd like to think Ed McMahon was headed to my door, but I've got this funny feeling that somebody's just trying to sell me another magazine.