The Big Unfollow – For All The Idiots (Keep Reading)

A few weeks ago Chris Brogan posted a story on being “unfollowed”. I read it, thought it was very interesting (as I think about 98% of his writing is and I have no clue where all his information and ideas come from; he’s either got a huge head or very dedicated and smart people working for him).
A few days later, as I’m preparing to write an email to a friend I’ve not heard of in a long time I go onto FB to make sure I have his new (and ever changing) physical location right, not to ask him how Florida is when in effect he’s moved on to California. I type in his first name, and…. nothing. Strange I think. Type his name again … nada. YIKES. He’s un-friended me! I have a bit of a gut reaction and think immediately: “what have I done wrong”?…. “is he mad at me”? Alas – it turns out he’s un-friended us all – no more profile on FB. Uff.
Chris Brogan unfollowed everybody on Twitter to take care of a spam issue. The reactions he writes where at times visceral, even hostile and some just plain strange. I’ve noticed that I have about the same amount of Twitter followers every time I log on, which is three to four times a week (I know not enough, or too much – depending on who you are), but I do average a new follower daily. That means seven people think I’m boring enough to drop me from their Twitter list every week. That’s a sobering thought.
When I started my Twitter account I would follow everybody in an account that was similar to mine, hoping I might find an audience (back then mostly for my film Abraham’s Children). It mostly worked like a charm until I went to unfollow the lot to make space for new conquests. “Retaliation” was often very swift.
I use FB, LinkedIn and Twitter to reach out and to communicate my thoughts on what I think is newsworthy. News coming to me: I’m not so good with. With (still) only 24 hours a day is there ever enough time to digest but the tip of the social media iceberg, let alone interact and react?
What are the rules of politeness around a friend or a follower? How do people see themselves in the numbers of their friends and followers? Who is actually reading Tweets and status updates of all their followers? Who even notices if you ditch them? Are the numbers of followers and friends the currency of our social networking self-worth? Are we all communicating out but not across or between? How much are we taking IN?
In the old days of email marketing (about a month ago), a 15% click rate was great. With Twitter and FB I think we’re not even touching 1% but racing right into 1 per-mille. In every one in a thousand follower I have a potential customer or client. That’s another sobering thought.
Dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. Read: time-sink-run-with-the-crowd-idiot if you do and dinosaur if you don’t. I choose idiot. And you? (If you’re reading this my money is on idiot…).