Mass unfollowing on Twitter

I do not pretend to be the greatest expert on on-line social media, but I do have quite a lot of experience and I am a keen student. Twitter is a phenomenon I had not thought too much about a year ago, but it is an incredible experience in real time conversation as far as I am concerned. Of course I post some small ads and links to my websites and blogs, but there is a lot of chit-chat and banter; as I said, conversation going on.

The latest fashion seems to be seems to be mass unfollowing though, and I am completely mystified by the way some have gone about this. I understand why some mass unfollow spammers, those who add no value and some of those whom they have auto followed. I do it myself. However there are people who have been following significant numbers with similar numbers following who have simply dumped nearly all those they follow, down to only double figures. Where does that leave someone who has say twelve thousand followers and is following fifty or so? That is not a conversation, it is broadcasting, The only exchanges that will ensue will have to be with the faithful followers who will have to initiate the conversation and hope that the Great One will deign to reply. The followers cannot even use direct messages any more but have to depend on “@” comments.

Well, I have been unfollowed in this way by a few. That’s life. However I have to say that if a self-styled Twitter expert does this it causes confusion. I am not into humouring such eccentricities or into reading broadcasting material. I unfollow back. I might now and again choose to read the relevant blog which is broadcasting I have selected, but I will take the person as much less of an expert than I used to, because Twitter is about people and social intercourse. It is about networking and maintaining contacts. It is not about faith or following the Master; at least not for me.

© Jon Stow 2009