I'm currently weighing this question myself, but I'm sticking with the open model
, at least for now. Why? Well, for one my supervisor
is already following me on Twitter, so even if I locked updates, he'd still see everything. I have no desire to lock him out anyhow, as he and I have used Twitter on numerous occasions to communicate about work issues. It's actually been *gasp!* PRODUCTIVE. Of course, because my supervisor is following me on Twitter, I already know not to say things I wouldn't want the higher ups to see. Maybe that feels limiting at times, but it probably prevents me from saying things that would be unprofessional no matter who my audience was. Though in all fairness, even knowing my boss is watching hasn't prevented me from pushing the boundaries of appropriateness from time to time (*cough" RedDot *cough*).
As for spam followers, won't I still receive requests from those same bots? Won't I still have to go decline those requests? (I don't know the answer to that question. Could someone with locked updates answer that for me?) If so, that reminds me a lot of my current periodic maintenance of blocking the bots who are already following me.
In general, I'm still on board the open updates wagon because it helps me connect with new people. When I receive an email notification that I have a new follower, I always go to their profile to see who they are and if I want to follow them. If their updates are locked, and I have no way of knowing who they are, I'm not going to follow them. And so I assume the same is true for my updates. If people see me tweeting about open source software or libraries or movies, that might be a reason for them to follow me. And I'd like to encourage that kind of interaction. At least for now.
The recent trend of locked updates reminds of what happened on MySpace a year or two ago. At first, we all had public profiles, and every last dirty detail was out there for the world to see. Slowly, as more and more people realized there might be consequences to this sort of openness, people started to lock their profiles, making them visible only to friends. And then eventually most of us moved to Facebook anyway, a system that hides most of our information from the outside world by default (not that FB isn't without its own unique privacy problems).
Perhaps Twitter will eventually evolve into a similarly closed network. But if that happens, I hope Twitter adopts a setting similar to what Facebook has. That is, when someone with locked updates begins following my updates, I should have a window of time in which I can view their updates, too. That way I can determine whether or not I want to reciprocate and follow them. Otherwise I often have no information to go on.