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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Why I Don't Use Unfollow Tools On Twitter

There are several applications out there that allow you to see who has unfollowed your Twitter account recently thus giving you the opportunity to unfollow them and get back to the real business of networking. To be honest, I find this distasteful to say the least.

When I follow someone on Twitter I make sure to look at their recent tweets and interests (and their website/blog if they have one). I like to be sure that the person I'm following is interesting to me and that I may even learn something from them. If someone has followed me then I'm pleased by that fact but I won't automatically follow them back just out of obligation.

There's no denying that Twitter is an excellent marketing and networking tool for writers. It allows people to come into contact with people they would otherwise have no chance of communicating with. It helps them develop the craft of writing and spread the word (in moderation) about their latest projects. It gives people the opportunity to recommend other tweeters that their followers might like and retweet stories that may be interesting to their followers. Twitter is very much a network of give and take.

Perhaps that's the very reason unfollow tools have become so popular. If someone isn't giving you anything (reading your tweets) then why should you give them anything (reading their tweets)?

Unfortunately, for me, it's not that clear-cut. If someone unfollows me I don't take it as a personal affront or a reason to get rid of them. I may be a little miffed that they didn't enjoy reading my tweets but that doesn't negate the reason I followed them in the first place and the enjoyment I get out of their tweets.

At the end of the day, that's what Twitter means to me.


Diane said...

I admit it does offend me, but only if it's a friend, not if it's someone I've never met. This has more effect on Facebook, though, when someone I thought was a genuine friend suddenly unfriends me. But on Twitter, I'm not that bothered.

If someone follows me I often do start to follow them, unless it's a blatant cold-marketing move (i.e. if they've "click(ed) this to increase your followers"). I figure we must have something in common for them to follow me in the first place. But then, if they're doing nothing for me (or, worse, filling my Twitter page with mindless pap), I unfollow them again.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree it would offend me if it was a friend. The idea that someone I'm close to considers every one of my posts boring would be a little off-putting.

I get a lot of people following me who've obviously just clicked on a random name because sooner or later I'm going to offend them... I suppose that's their own fault!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I sometimes follow people to see how they tweet and if after a certain amount of time they both are not as interesting as i thought they'd be and they're not following me back then i may unfollow them. I don't expect people to follow me back though, Twitter gives the freedom to follow without reciprocation so that's fine. I follow most people back, though not people who are either totally boring (to me), spamming, or trying desperately to sell me something I don't want. I then manage who I actually read through lists....

Anonymous said...

I must admit, I haven't utilised the list function on there. For some reason I haven't got round to it. Could be useful in getting segmenting the people I like from the people I must read religiously.