So I have been reading a few posts on this this morning, starting with TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher and then ending on TwoPointTouch Ian Delaney.
First of all, I enjoyed Mike’s post greatly. It states the facts – just that this exists – and he doesn’t try to decide how people should react to it. Well, ok, apart from this bit which made me feel slightly weirded out:
If someone unfollows you, you’ll know and you’ll be able to ask them why.
What I found really interesting were the comments on the post. Such as:
I have signed up, just hope I don’t get an e-mail from them.
I think this application is great! Let’s hope I never get one of their emails.
Hmmmmm! Really? Would it really upset you to find out someone has stopped following you…?!
Which brings me on to a point Ian Delaney makes, that also makes my left eyebrow arch:
So if you follow someone, and they don’t follow you back (you get sent an email to say X is following you), then it appears, sort of, that they don’t like or respect you very much
WOAH, hold on there a minute!
You could consider how you use Twitter, as perhaps that person likes and respects you plenty, but just can’t cope with the amount you put out there, or how many @’s you do, or what you happen to talk about on Twitter.
I think it’s time we seperated out this whole “I like you, I’ll follow you on Twitter” idea and substitute it with “I’m followed on Twitter because what I say on Twitter is interesting to these people following me”. It’s really got nothing to do with who likes you. If you think it does – get over yourself! I follow plenty of people I don’t neccessarily like, but I enjoy reading.
I would never think that of the 500+ people following me that they all “liked & respected” me. They just perhaps find what I say sometimes amusing – and I would guess it’s more often than not, or else they’d ditch me. And if they did ditch me, I wouldn’t loose any sleep over it – just as I don’t when I unfollow both friends and just random Twitterers because their feed has become of less interest to me than others I follow.
As for writing to people to find out why they unfollowed you… Ppppppeeewwweeeyyyy – that sticks of an ego I would hope to never encouter! I remember Paul Walsh once noticing I had unfollowed him, and getting all upset about it. Come on guys, do you really care if someone decides to not read your every waking thought (or at least, Twitter) at some times? Eisch. Scary times.
I think Qwitter could be really useful as a marketing tool, but it seems right now it’s just being looked at as an ego tool. Shame.
UPDATE: I did a bit of research on how people use Twitter back in February – you may find this interesting: Twitter Survey
not quite what I meant
My anxiety is that people take something so trivial far more seriously than they should. I did give eight other reasons why someone might not follow you.
Re: not quite what I meant
Yep, can totally see that, and I know you “get” it, but you wouldn’t believe how many people will buy into your quote I used that made my eyebrow shoot up.
I’ve had numerous people over the last couple of years I’ve used Twitter get upset with me not following them because they thought we were friends.. It’s slightly mind boggling to think that friendship can be defined by who follows who in a social network. Eeek!
For me, it is about learning and laughing and getting to know folks…
I unfollow people generally for two reasons–
those tweets whom I do not laugh at or learn from OVER TIME. (However, if , in the replies I see that tey are talking about stuff that intrigues me, I may follow them again.)
and, people who regularly use profanity (I am a teacher and I don’t want a curse word on my screen in school.)
Has NOTHING to do with friendship/respect/liking.
i like you AND i follow you thayer!
hope you aren’t too uncomfortable xxx
I didn’t get upset. As you can see from my tweet, I was making a point that I too had to do a little culling.
Re: Paul Walsh
Paul, if that’s you, how comes no OpenId? 🙂