Twitter is new enough that the rules of social interaction are still being worked out. I'm a bit puzzled by something. Perhaps this has already been addressed by cultural cross-talk from the societal norms of Facebook. I wouldn't know, since I'm not on Facebook. There may be well-developed politesse for this already. If so, would someone please enlighten me?
I don't auto-follow back on Twitter. When I follow someone, it's with the expectation that I'll see some value in what they tweet - humor, insight, interesting links, good fiction, conversation, etc. Some people have followed me, then unfollowed when I didn't follow back right away.
So, what do you do when someone follows you on Twitter, but they have protected their updates? I can't tell what sort of a person they are. It strikes me as strange to ask someone if I can follow them when they followed me first. Without being able to see their tweets, how can I know if they are the sort of person whom I would wish to follow? I can check their website, or do some background Googling, but that seems like a lot of effort.
It's a puzzlement, and so far, I've been simply sticking to a no-follow policy for folks on whom I have no information, or for whom I haven't been able to put together a decent picture.