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Robert Scoble
New Twitter movement: unfollow everyone. Discuss why or why not this is a good thing:
@loic started this with a script he had built. He unfollowed everyone yesterday and now only is following 22 people. - Robert Scoble
@loic told me it feels like he took a bath. - Robert Scoble
@loic says that having a small number of people he intimately follows lets him build real relationships online again. - Robert Scoble
i just think people shouldnt take all of this so seriously. - Terry O'Fee
@loic says that if you try to follow thousands of people there's no way to see all the tweets. That is true. If I refresh as fast as I can I can't see all the Tweets coming into my account. - Robert Scoble
I have been actively unfollowing--not everyone--but anyone that seems not directly relevant or familiar to me on some level. Twitter has become a far richer experience since employing this technique - Rob Michael (Atmos Trio)
Well how will you will you filter than or get to the things you like? A group of people you follow is in my experience one of the best information filters you can have. - rick
I'm now following just over 100 people anyway - VIVANO
there is more than one way to do twitter. both the @loic and @scobleizer way are right. - Peggy Dolane
Oh, I'm sure it's an annoying mess with about 400 items per minute that mean absolutely nothing to you - Dorian Muthig
i have some really good friends i talk to on a regular basis. some i have conversations with. some proper celebrities because i cant help myself. the rest i suss out. if all they can talk about is ff and twitter, i may unfollow myself. - Terry O'Fee
@loic and I see that there's something new happening. First, search like is totally changing our inbound. Second, using services like friendfeed lets you group and manage large numbers of followers, so you'll still have the inbound, especially as more and more people join both friendfeed and Twitter. - Robert Scoble
instead of unfollowing, I use FriendFeed to filter/group the tweeters according to their priority for me - Alexander Benker
I agree Robert- following folks sometimes can be a total waste of time and waste of twitter. Quality over quantity seems to be the new movement of late and I have to agree fro the most part-I am tired of getting spammed and DMed by spam which we all have to delete. But I have always followed quality- and that is why I am responding to your tweet dude. - DougFirebaugh
Sure when you have the amount of followers that you do and they will just listen it makes sense. But not for the average user of twitter. It's not about just being followed. I think you may have lost touch with the whole thing. You two are in the top 2%. Twitter is a completely different user experience than the other 98%. - JP Holecka - Jaypiddy
So are we calling this Follower Bankruptcy? - Mike Doeff
This one of the reasons to have track, so you can follow your real friends and still discover new people - Christian Burns
Robert, Twitter is a river of 140 char messages. Dive in when you feel like taking a bath. Get out when you had enough. Loic and you should stop whining about the drawbacks after you start following thousands of people ;-) - Alexander van Elsas
let's see robert unfollow everyone in friendfeed too. hah, that'll be the day. - Terry O'Fee
Reuben: I haven't decided to yet, but @loic sure makes a good case for it. - Robert Scoble
IMO, it's not a great idea. People will see this as a negative action toward them and unfollow you. If everybody were to unfollow everybody they know, twitter would become a meaningless array of nothingness. "If it ain't broke, don't unfollow it." - Zerhynn
I have never bought into the mass followers approach and find that I have to find at least 2 or 3 tweets interesting within a page or two, in anybody I would choose to follow. I am interested in connection with people with similar interests and I don't think it makes sense to just build up volume. - Kirti Vashee
There's certainly a buzz around this, we just talked about it on our podcast tonight. What sucks about unfollowing is losing the news-stream of information you're trying to capture--stuff you may not have notice/found. Maybe Twitter should implement groups, a'la tweetdeck? - Paul Salzman
Although I do agree that you do not need to follow thousands of people. - JP Holecka - Jaypiddy
interesting concept - guess that is what I use tweetdeck, friendfeed and socialmedian for to allow me to focus on issues because I carefully selected the people I follow after reviewing their sites I see merit in unfollowing everyone just as I see in using third party apps - it depends on the individuals preferences - Lionel Spearman
It's both good and bad. For one if your reduce the number of people you follow to a minimalistic amount you can build richer and more vibrant relationships with the select few. The bad however is that your world view is now much smaller than what it would have been. I'm actually thinking about unfollowing a mass of people to get back into a manageable range where I can read all of there tweets and then search for anything else. - Not Me
Why is it a new movement when SM gurus start doing it? I follow those that have similar interest or to learn different point of views. I have no goal to have the most followers or the best twitter grade. Twitter is about the relationships you build. Friends are relationships that I have built over years of trust and loyalty. - Kyle
I would consider it, but I would have trouble shutting out that many. I am following 1000 and being followed by 1500 - Christian Burns
Having just decided to join the follow you movement I think unfollowing everyone is an unfriendly move, why not make a group for the 22 friends you really want to follow:) - Suzie Cheel
Then there are some who follow then unfollow and follow again. lol. - Carolyn Chan
One problem with not following everyone: only people you are following can send you direct messages on Twitter. That's one thing that's keeping me from running @loic's script. @loic points out, though, that most of my DM's are now spam. He's right. - Robert Scoble
I've been speaking about that for a weeks, and applying it, glad it's finally trickling to the a-listers. - Richard A.
So the question is, when will FF get DMs? - Christian Burns
you still have email, robert :P - Terry O'Fee
Not sure I agree. Even with a small "following" I get real nuggets via DMs. Besides - it is rude to mass unfollow :) - Rob La Gesse
I kind of wish I could limit my follows to 150 - Christian Burns
I have been thinking about this a lot. Recently I blogged about how opening up my Facebook to everyone who wanted to connect was not really resulting in meaningful relationships. We don't have the time to be engaged with that many people. We can put content out and discuss when they respond, but to actually use the medium in the way I used to when I had just a couple friends on there is no longer possible with so many people. Likewise, with Twitter. - AV Flox
I won't be sad or hurt if @Scobleizer unfollows me. Frankly, not all my tweets are that relevant to the guy. Just so long as he checks his @replies and answers me every blue moon, that still falls in the category of a good relationship on Twitter. @shelisrael has an unfollow/follow as you go motto described on his blog, it makes sense to me. - Phillip
It was my script. I'm the new guy at seesmic. I wrote it for loic today. if anyone wants it, I've got it. kick this movement into high stream. If you look at the first person in loic's follow list, its me now :-) - Zac Bowling
But Robert, I thought you couldn't check your DM's? I remember seeing quite a few tweets from you saying "DON'T DM ME - EMAIL ME INSTEAD" etc. - Brandon LeBlanc from twhirl
What a load of BS. Do the math. - Stephen Grant-Jones
Since I run much smaller number that Loic & Robert, my systematic subtractive technique works--if I had thousands of spamming DM--I would run Loic's script. - Rob Michael (Atmos Trio)
Brandon: I tried getting people to not send me DMs. Doesn't work. People were trying to do business with them (and still are). It's probably the single reason why I won't run the script. - Robert Scoble
I love the spontaneity and surprise of many friends. I would never give it up. I discover things every day that delight me. - John Kremer
Besides, if I really need to send Scoble a DM I can just call his Cell phone - Christian Burns
A lot of the conversations that are still happening are interesting but the relationships built are no longer as close as they were when I had only a couple of followers. It's funny that you tweeted about only having 150 followers on Friendfeed and that's more conducive to quality relationships. Isn't 150 the Dunbar number? Loic's movement is worth reflecting on. I've been making use of Tweetdeck again to scale down the groups. It's helped but Loic's solution is seductive. - AV Flox
This can be very short sighted. A great way to send the message, I don't want your business or money. - Sylvia Webb
it would almost be a good idea except for one thing - @reply can only be seen by followers. It would be great if this were not the case, and I can see the spam potential if it were, but limiting @reply to followers, if you;re not following anyone, means everyone is in a big room shouting over each other instead of conversing. - Brian Benz
New craze for newbies to twitter, following a small number of people and filter the rest for useful conversations. Quantity is not quality! - Carl Plant
i'm far more suspicious of those following me than i'm concerned about who I follow. I'm always looking to prune my Twitter follows and -- what can I say -- it's hard... lots of people in my twitterfeed tend to add value more often than not! - Andy Sternberg
Also, does this approach not create a new A-list in a different place? - Brian Benz
Just goes to prove that Steve Gillmor is always right, eventually you will see it his way :) - Christian Burns
Do what works for you. If it stops working for you then make a change. I don't think there is any reason for debate here. To each his/her own. - Katherine Druckman
@Robert it isn't possbile to say to people not to use DM. And if you feel like you should build up such a large crowd you follow or that follow you then accept the consequences. You get value because it lets you be an information hub and provides you overall sex appeal in the tech community. In return you will have to accept that people try to get access to you to get back some of that value for themselves or their products. - Alexander van Elsas
if it ain't broke. don't fix it. i wouldn't unfollow everyone but i do find myself filtering more. being open and keeping channels 2 way has allowed me to meet some amazing contacts interested in doing business in China. to unfollow people would be to cut off these channels for me. a lot of these contacts are via DM. everyone's got a different way of using twitter. - Christine Lu
Brian: why? Not sure what you're getting at there. - Robert Scoble
It's not necessary to see all the tweets. You can use Tweetdeck and other services to make sure you don't miss your favorites. I still love the nuggets I discover -- like this post -- that I would not discover if I stopped following so many people. - John Kremer
I can make it easy for @loic. Nuke the account and start over following the 22 people. - Christian Anderson
Am I wrong to say that if you use Twitter search @yourusername you can't see @replies from people NOT following you? I tried it and it seems to work for me. - Phillip
Christine: it's all broken, it's just that I have gotten used to routing around the fail whales and the stream flowing through Tweetdeck. I "media snack" and just sample from the stream flowing by. It doesn't bother me too much either way. I do find that friendfeed is a far better place and it's great to see more and more people discovering that. - Robert Scoble
Phillip: bing! Oh, by the way, I'm following everyone on this thread. :-) - Robert Scoble
Geez, Loic is like the drama queen of the web. - Orli Yakuel
Christian: actually that's probably what I would do if I was tired of a high-flow account: just start a new account with only a few friends and lock down the followers. Maybe that's the solution for true addicts like me. :-) - Robert Scoble
I'm unfollowing everyone on twitter and friendfeed who I don't know personally or isn't local. Sorry peeps, Twitter and friendfeed works best like that. Once I get everything clean, feel free to let me know you're still following me and I'll follow back. - Ⓐ ☠ slayerboy ☠ Ⓐ
Orli: oh, if you can't have some drama what fun is social media? ;-) - Robert Scoble
I have a simple, less radical set of rules: 1) use groups, 2) un-follow anyone who spams you with direct messages and 3) move questions/conversations to friendfeed. - Edwin Khodabakchian
Robert, stay as you are, please. - Orli Yakuel
Orli: don't worry, I'll always follow you. :-) - Robert Scoble
I too use FriendFeed's and TweetDeck's group functions to prioritize the tweets that comes in from my followees. - Vinko
52 pages, 1025 people I follow on twitter. Each one was added by me for a reason. No auto-follow. First person ever followed was Jason Calacanis over two years agao. - Christian Burns
My twitter name is @infoliberation. I find that Twitter is short and sweet and Friendfeed is for a much more robust conversation. I love the marriage of the two. I think Friendfeed is helped greatly by Twitter's jumping off point. What else can you say to that? - Phillip
damn...right when my followership just started taking off. :-( - Jason Salas from IM
I agree with Katherine, to each his own. I've got just a wee 2000 followers, but enjoy popping in to respond to whatever random tweet catches my eye or relevant tweets I've found through saved topic searches. Hey, I even got a new client today - so I'm doing just fine with how things are now. - Cheryl Allin
please people, let's try for tomorrow for a day on this where we dont talk about twitter or friendfeed. there's other stuff to talk about... - Terry O'Fee
Robert, come on... this is not what I'm worried about. I think that you really know most of your friends, or for at least trying to communicate with people you don't know. With Twitter you get to know new friends & content based on the same taste/interests - to follow only people you know, is like taking two steps back. (and thanks for following me!) - Orli Yakuel
Not sure why you would need to unfollow everyone to keep track of what your important people tweet. Just form a group of high-profile folks in TweetDeck and it'll do the same thing, plus you can still follow everyone else for when you want to jump in the stream. - Cory OBrien
i just unfollowed a couple of folks, it's true, we can live without twitter,facebook and friendfeed. How about for lent we give up facebook, twitter and friendfeed? - Dh'ennis Dömingö
Robert - Limiting followers = limiting DMs and replies and tweets you can see from others - In Loic's example 22 invitees (followers) that get to have a seat at the table while the rest of us can watch the action passively. TO me this would be as exciting as C-Span. :) - Brian Benz
I think everyone will find their own Twitter preferences. I'm following 606 right now. In a week or two I may clean out some of the driftwood - people who've gone silent or have switched to topics that aren't interesting, but then I'll add some new folks to make up for it. I don't catch every Tweet, but the stream keeps running. So long as it's populated with interesting folk, the Tweets that I do catch are more likely to be interesting as well. - Heidi Cool
Orli: I've decided that @loic is wrong. But he's also right. Twitter, you see, is really broken for interacting with large numbers of people. Friendfeed is much better. - Robert Scoble
I think Loic let things get out of control. Robert, considering how many followers you have, you seem to be able to manage your account better than anybody. If your truly are looking for a quality experience, you have to decide what works for you. I always thought it was about quality not quantity:-) - Michael Fidler
@loic I think its cool that you rebooted who you follow - Christian Burns
On Pownce I used to try to keep track of all posts (and followed fewer people) but Pownce was more indepth. On Twitter one can glean a lot from just a small percentage of what's there. - Heidi Cool
Robert, with that I agree: FriendFeed is better for long and real conversations. - Orli Yakuel
I agree groups in tweetdeck help you filter very well without missing some occasional random tweets. keeping up with your @replies is more critical than every single tweet. - Alistair (alpinefolk)
Robert - you should unfollow everyone and see what happens. make sure that script stores everyone you are following in a db in case you want to re-follow after the test. - Gerard
While I didn't unfollow everyone, I cut out a lot of who I was following. Might be rude, but it's not meant to be that way. i no longer have the time to follow so many people. - Ⓐ ☠ slayerboy ☠ Ⓐ
Gerard: it would cause too many messages to fly around. People get their feelings hurt if someone unfollows them. - Robert Scoble
If I unfollow people, then I'd be digitally talking to myself. I can do that IRL - Outsanity
My feelings wouldn't be hurt - I'd doubt if I'd even realize it - that's not what I'm using Twitter for - just silly to me. - Cheryl Allin
Outsanity: that's not true. Who you are following is your inbound. You can get inbound other places, like or - Robert Scoble
Twitter is what you want it to be. That's one of the fascinating things. My own view of it has changed a dozen times since I started. Everyone has their own philosophy about how to use it, and they are all valid. As for me, I'm simply not going to follow anybody who doesn't follow me, and I will follow anybody (as long as they are real) I just unfollowed loic. The World is flat. Will I miss out? Perhaps, but if I want to know what the 'important' people are thinking I can just go to their sites. - Stephen Pickering
Robert: You're currently "following" 69,188 people on Twitter. If one of those people has their feelings hurt because you unfollow them and they no longer have 1/70,000th of your attention, they have a screw loose. - Ken Sheppardson
Twhirl gives you inbound with saved searches, each search a tab stream. I love it. Create a saved search for keyword 'RT' and see what's hot or a saved search like 'chrisbrogan' and follow him and all who @ him. - Cheryl Allin
I say bite the bullet, clear things out, add some searches in Tweetdeck or one of the "track" services, and follow people manually as your real relationships warrant. You can alway run a script to just follow everybody later if you miss the noise. - Ken Sheppardson
Robert: I unfollowed according to three criteria 1. Does the person follow more than a thousand 2. Does the person respond 3. does the person tweet links and RT rather than content, the fourth is whether you're unlucky enough to tweet when I'm in unfollow mode. Result: A more social timeline. - Richard A.
Sounds like Loic needs to fix Twhirl to manage his followers better. He doesn't have to pay attention to every single one, but he does need a way to build relationships with those he wants to. Twhirl is horrible at this. - Jesse Stay
@Jesse Stay, I use twhirl and it's fine for what I do, but that's because I culled my follow list removing all those that aren't active conversationalists. - Richard A.
Reuben, My timeline is far more fun now as a result :-). Took a few experiments to find the right method though. - Richard A.
At a certain point if you had autofollow on you have no choice but to start over because a) you can follow the number of tweets and b) you will stress the Twitter servers out. - Jason Calacanis
Reuben. I don't use auto follow, For me to follow someone new I want to see how converstional they are first. That's when I might consider them on twitter. - Richard A.
Robert: Is this the flip side of what Jason and Michael were taking you to task on a few weeks back on GG? Is it time to do more meaningful *listening*? - Ken Sheppardson
Robert: I 'think' I was the first person with over 20k followers to do this. Though in my case, I totally reset my account - zero following / zero followers. it has been a universally great experience to me and massively increased the value of Twitter to me. - Jim Connolly
Ken: yes, I think this has a big part to do with addiction too. You keep trying to follow more and more until you snap. - Robert Scoble
An interesting idea, as I have found I have followers but a very select few who actually respond regularly, I wonder if it is matter of depersonalization, losing what it once represented as a means to an end. Certainly it could be a good idea, but many of those who I have found were those who had spoke on something of interest in the wide swath of sea that is twitter. So I will consider it, but am not sure if there will be follow through anytime soon. Though I guess it would depend also on how effective. - Raymond Marr aka Knatchwa
As someone has probably already pointed out in a more eloquent fashion, Loic's company makes a Twitter client. Surely he should build tools into that client to make the overload problem more manageable and certainly not try to set a trend of "hey it's cool to unfollow lots of people now". That sort of sends the wrong message to people about your company and it's thinking. - Pete Gilbert
I don’t see how this is even an idea to be considered. If we unfollow everybody and everybody else unfollows the rest, then Twitter will become a very lonely place. Boring place with no use what so ever… I strongly disagree with this. - Spyros Papaspyropoulos
This the Loic Le Meur trend he catch big head, because he is personnal friend of Sarkozy , the small napoleon - Yann from twhirl
agreed @peter, it's nonsense, companywise, to promote that kind of message when you try to spread your twitter tool.Anyway, I think it's more a trend problem, the 2009 fashion is to unfollow everyone and @loic cannot do unfashioned thing because this is how he builds his reputation and his company notoriety.Dommage... - Jean-Charles VERDIE from twhirl
There is no point being on twitter if your purpose is to broadcast. For broadcasting blogs and other platforms are more interesting. If you take dialogue away from twitter you undermine the most active members of the community because they will feel people are using the site too passively. Why do you think social networks fail, lack of involvment. At least by reducing the number of people you follow you increase engagement on a per person basis. It becomes personal once more. - Richard A.
@ J-C verde, as you said is dommage, Loic catch the big head , i guess when he will realize that will be too late - Yann from twhirl
It's beginning to feel like the @1938media technique--in reverse--sans personality shift. Loic will now certainly be the topic of many blog posts in the next day or two. - Rob Michael (Atmos Trio)
Spyros: totally wrong. We'd still be here at friendfeed and would still show us other people. - Robert Scoble
@Robert and what is the criteria to detect people in such a huge stream? Come on, this is a network thing: you follow someone because someone else you share interest with has followed him, much more than picking up in twitter "all" stream... - Jean-Charles VERDIE from twhirl
Jean: I am very adept at scrolling through a huge list of names and telling you something about most of them. Friendfeed is where I spend most of my time, though. - Robert Scoble
GREAT idea Loic, way to prove your software really can't handle the numbers. This is a weird move from a very smart man. - Jim Connolly
Understand, Robert, but I think that setting up filters (like you did) is a better way than unfollowing people, which seems to be a "2009 trend" with no real reason, even more when you promote a twitter tool.You barely say "my tool suck, so I can't do anything but unfollow you'.Bad move, IMO. - Jean-Charles VERDIE from twhirl
I think Loic displayed a certain degree of immaturity in handling twitter as a tool. It is as overdone to follow everyone as it is to unfollow radically. Inspired by the debate, I felt a bit like Moses today ( ;-) ), and subsequently assembled bloggi's Ten Commandments of Twitter: - Mark Jacobs
Jean: agreed. I like friendfeed as an answer a lot more. Just open up a list and put the people you want to really follow in there and keep everyone else out. - Robert Scoble
for the one devellop a twitter tool like Twhirl , i admit is a strange behavior, maybe is normal he is french - Yann from twhirl
@yann I'm also french and I don't understand too. - Jean-Charles VERDIE from twhirl
As Twitter's user numbers have INCREASED it's usability (to me) has DECREASED. Is it just me? - Jim Connolly
I can understand Loic's reasons, but I don't agree with it. I don't personally know 95% of the people I follow on twitter. It is however neither relevant nor important for that to be a pre-requisite to starting an interesting conversation. I don't auto follow people and i only pay attention to whoever I want to irrespective of the number of people i am subscribed to. Moreover, a large number of people have occasional sparks of interestingness. So if one can learn to ignore; the more the better. - Parth Awasthi
@Jim_Connolly It is the old law of decreasing returns when new media trivialize. But usually, I am pretty untouched by it since (having been around since February 2007 in twitter) I only follow some 350 people to this day. So I get a good result from my circle of followees. Also, I try to give by helping out new twitter users who have questions. - Mark Jacobs
@Parth_Awasthi I think, lioc created a big mess by first auto following, and now seeing no other way out than to unfollow. Somehow, it makes me giggle a bit :-) - Mark Jacobs
You guys have way too much free time on your hands with this nonsense. - Wayne Schulz
Too much drama. It's funny how many social networks bemoan lack of users and with Twitter, the opposite problem is the subject of complaints - "there's too many bots and DMs! oh my!" Bleh. - Eric Gonzalez
hey guy don't confuse is only one Guy got the big head this is not a trend - Yann from twhirl
I really don't share opinion about Loic putting this on a personal way. This is a strategy mistake (company-wise), a trend mistake (2009-ish fashion)...But not a big head problem. Loic had thousands reasons to have a huge head issue before and did not, so I don't see why it would be the case now - Jean-Charles VERDIE from twhirl
this become a hot topic, maybe to much for that - Yann from twhirl
at always promote himself as rock Star , finally he catch the big head - Yann from twhirl
Robert Scoble: What about the people that are using only Twitter? What about the ones that don't use FriendFeed? Ok, we might be crazy having many many accounts on most of all social platforms, but other only use one or two. By unfollowing everyone, there is no Twitter as Mark Fletcher said. - Spyros Papaspyropoulos
I'd agree with someone earlier Loic wants to keep his followers but follow less bet he wouldn't have started that policy at the beginning otherwise he would have a few k followers at most! If he had real balls then he would delete his account like @jimconnolly did and start fresh but he wont as he still wants to 'use' the big following he has, talk about one way! - roger byrne
don't have to start unfollowing anyone as i didn't start following everyone in the first place.. never really understood the auto-following of twitterers i started following.. you've got twittersearch to find people with common interests.. - Johannan Edelman
@scobleizer @loic So much as issues matter, people also matter. Unfollowing people because there is an alternative way to search for issues or interests is limiting the scope to generate them in the first place. Following more people signals belongingness and interests or issues heard. On the other hand, small followings signals selfishness and is the same as 'greed is good'. - Moses Kpetigo
Interesting: so would @loic also encourage all his followers to stop following him? so he could stick with his few twitter fellows? If I remember, he was the one all about numbers and authority. It seems like, once you've reached enough, you're safe ppl will follow you no matter what, you have good "authority" and then you can unfollow all the mass and become a Twitter snob? It sounds too much like a strategy to me. In which he succeed, no doubt. Will he lose credibility? I wonder. - May
I like Robert's snack analogy: I consider Twitter as a news source roughly tuned to my general interests via who I decided to follow. In this respect I could follow lots of people, since it makes sure that each time I go to Twitter, I will find something interesting to me. I know I won't be able to read everything, but I don't care, it's just like in a book store I know I can't read all the books, but I like to sample in the sci-fi shelves - Antoine Bertier
@loic is becoming way too elitist lately. i didn't hear him complaining when he was following thousands of people to promote seesmic! - Alensa
@antoine Exactly right imho most have never claimed and quite the opposite actually specified they don't/can't read every tweet but when they are on they are on and dip into the party! Loics party just got real small! ;) - roger byrne
while is useful, twitter puts you on the front of the wave not searching to catch up afterwards - Mark Parssey
i constantly wonder how you keep up with sooooo many followers. doesn't it drive you nuts???? - Francisco Kemeny
My twitterverse contains people I pay attention to, people that I have so I can search and some that I just follow for a moment and then remove. - Josef Finsel from twhirl
Human attention spans (and time) are limited. Twitter and IMing are a large 'experiment' , still a work in progress--the jury is out! - JimmyJet
If you have so many followers that you have to unfollow because you didn't follow based on what the people were saying, but instead followed to up your "network", then Twitter probably isn't the venue for you. Check out MySpace and do that... - Nicki Laycoax
*yawn* what's new here? nothing. @fidlr and others started the twexpire type experiments (look up the script if you care) long ago; not loic or scoble. i specified the #egosphere vs. #cognosphere usage scenarios long ago. @JimmyJet and @DidierLahely sum it up well. In another sense, all of this is IRC and Usenet for dummies. - michael silverton
it's a good exercise to see how much you really miss the tweets of those you unfollow. And also see how many of them will remain followers after you unfollow. - Mihai Secasiu
I'd argue that having 23k followers is 'doing it wrong' & you should unfollow and start over. I follow 329 right now and the signal-to-noise ratio is manageable. It's a mix of people I know intimately, casually and professionally, and that's where I have the conversations and relationship-building. Next is a handful of news and interesting/high # of followers people. Then, a few individuals with similar numbers as me I found interesting, which has allowed for Twitter-specific relationship-building. - Laura Hall
I agree with @Johannan Edelman I have never used the autofollow function and have felt those I do follow provide value to me. - Jill Howard Allen
As an additional note, if I were to increase my activity and wanted to manage those relationships, I'd start doing filtered lists. - Laura Hall
Groups/filteting seems to be a more sensible and positive sltuion to the "too many followers" problem. eh. - Doug Haslam from twhirl
It's nice that people find what works for them, but there is no "doin' it wrong" There is only "doin it with clue" or "doin it clueless" ... if one doesn't know WHY one is doin' it, no life coach, guru, or A-lister can help. Form your own experiments and execute them. You need no approval or permission from any seeming authority figure. Look up #cognosophere and #egosophere if you care. P.S. PeopleBrowsr breaks ALL these assumptions; it's a completely new kind of literacy beyond Twitter and Friendfeed. - michael silverton
Loic forgot how he use Twitter for promte seesmic ...... why not unfollow him too ?? - Yann from twhirl
I guess I just like to see what people are up to. Isn't that what it was all about before the marketing types took over? Now it's about "getting value" and "managing relationships". I joined so I could tell people what I was having for lunch. - Shawn Farner
I like being in your Twitter stream, I like the idea that thought leaders and influential people like yourself occasionally get to read my updates. You know, once in a blue moon I come up with a great idea, and it's cool to know that in turn this might just inspire Scoble, or Fry for that matter, too. - Terje Fjelde
On the other hand I hate reading about strangers "spending the entire day in bed" or "being bored," so I only follow people who add quality updates on my own account - Terje Fjelde
the main issue comes from the fact Twitter does not help users follow and decide efficiently on new followers. Robert if you are interested we have created a new service called if you are interested i ll drop you an invite - Ouriel Ohayon
Twitter has provide me a way to build a network of people and experts very quickly in fields where I previously did not have contacts or experience. To blanket unfollow would be like cutting my nose off in spite of my face. - Stephen Terlizzi
How will this help...what will it do? - John Flynn
ouriel: sure, send it to - Robert Scoble
robert: you ll get it in a few days, just after we migrated servers. i am sure you ll love it :) - Ouriel Ohayon
That's not new. Loic didn't start a trend. I've only bee using these services since May and I've done it on several occasions and not just on Twitter. Several people have. - Anika
I did that for a while on my first (now private/personal) account, and found myself going to 5-6 follower's Twitter pages to read the news (ala RSS reader days) a couple of times a day. Now that I have a public account, I creeped up to 75-100 again but am consciously rotating folks in and out of my "Top 50." My Twitterstream is like a living, breathing being, I guess! But by intensely following different people at different times, I learn something new and can move on. It's quality, not quantity. - travelninja
Robert - the idea of reducing who you actively follow and relying more on search notifications is the premise of this post: "2009 Prediction: As Social Connections Reduce, Keyword Tracking Increases" - Hutch Carpenter
Chris: on friendfeed just stick the people you want to rarely follow into a list, or do what I did: put the people you REALLY want to follow into a list and read that everyday. That way you'll still have the massive inflows somewhere else when you want those too. - Robert Scoble
Chris: there is something to that, by the way. But you've only touched the surface of the breakage that happened the past month. Go deeper there and you will find the truth. - Robert Scoble
Chris - Lists have answered this quandary for me. The bacon memes are fun, but I didn't want them filling up my main feed. And during the day, I have a professional need to focus on the world of e2.0. Lists really do serve the purpose Loic set out to accomplish. - Hutch Carpenter
unfollow everyone on twitter, FB and every other social network. UK scientists sez that these SN sites actually rewires the nueural network within the brain and thereby making an individual more selfish and self centered. Thus cause pyschological damage to themselves.. :(- (p.s Link will follow- I just heard it this AM on FM while communting to work !!) - Peter Dawson
Chris: even the petty ones are deeper if you dig beyond the ego damage. - Robert Scoble
Bad thing, and if you do it, you will confirm that you A-listers only exploited social media as your broadcasting tool for your own political agenda and not as a true conversation. - Prokofy Neva
I got over the ego damage quickly cause # of followers never did matter. But what remains? Twitter has harmed its community. This is an easy mistake to make and it's one that comes out of @ev and @biz's arrogance. They rarely use their own tools, by the way. Look at @ev's account and tell me he's really a great Twitterer that talks with tons of people. He does not. - Robert Scoble
What's even funnier is that the guy who actually came up with the idea for Twitter, @noah, is not one of the suggested followers while other people on the team are. I should write a book about how funny this all is. - Robert Scoble
@loic seems to have quit over inane DM spam thanking for following, etc. Is there no way to stop automated use of the tools? - Prokofy Neva
Prokofy: that's not really a good reason to follow everyone. But there are plenty of other good reasons, so I keep doing it. @Ryo you're off the rails. Get back on track. You're close to the track, but not on it. - Robert Scoble
BS meme! the unfollowers just want to blast their mouths off and not listen to what others have to say - DC Crowley
Prokofy: no. Twitter's DM feature really sucks. It always has. I just use it because everyone else wants to. - Robert Scoble
Twitter's DM is a reinvention of a wheel named EMAILS. - directeur
directeur: only done in the most lame way possible. - Robert Scoble
Much like the FF comment system is a reinvention of vBulletin/phpBB, done in the most lame way possible. - Ken Sheppardson
Lame? I like it. - coldbrew
Everything is a reinvention of Usenet or E-mail, or N. Just like everything on the Internet is a repost of a repost. - Sam Levine
Let's play this out...if everyone unfollowed a significant % of those whom they don't care about...then it would INCREASE the ability to communicate with those they do care about without all the noise. I'm sure we would all agree this is a good thing. However, if we were to unfollow EVERYONE...are we little more than individual broadcasters that never allow for a two way dialogue? This would dramatically change the landscape of Twitter because a profound hierarchy would emerge: "follows" and "follow-nots" - Drew Sams
Drew, I've been writing about that topic for a while now, but especially in recent weeks with the influx of new twitter users who don't attempt to converse yet. - Richard A.
Don't you think it has incremental feature improvements each time though, Levine? - coldbrew
Depending on how you use FF, it is much like IRC combined w/ Usenet - coldbrew
Richard: most new twitter accounts I'm seeing lately are bots. Not real users and provably so. Real users display random behavior. The new accounts do not. Humans are never consistent. - Robert Scoble
Maybe they had a falling out and Noah is no longer welcome? - Tony C
Richard, thanks for sharing...this has been a topic I'm really interested in. I'll head over to your blog and check out what you've written. Cheers! - Drew Sams
One way in which the FF comment system is lame: comments on Scoble threads move so fast that in the time I've typed this, there will probably be five other new comments. Yet FF will chose to hide some of them and instead say "20x more comments". When I click on that, the thread expands into 5+ pages of comments, and I have to scroll down and try to remember what I saw last. Lack of read/unread status and/or visible (non-mouseover) timestamps are pretty significant time sinks/inefficiencies. - Ken Sheppardson
Enough off-topic. I think this is ironic on a number of levels: - coldbrew
A way to think about Loic. There are a lot of gamers who follow huge numbers, then unfollow massively to look A-List. Loic is A-List. But even so, ask yourself what *you've* gotten from Loic. If you can't answer that question, your unfollow decision should be clear. - Hutch Carpenter
Matthew: Workin' on it :-) Coldbrew: Who appointed you guy who gets to decide what's off-/on-topic? ;-) - Ken Sheppardson
Sheppardson, not sure. Just using the convention of looking at the post title. Do you have another metric by which to judge objectively?\ - coldbrew
There's the 1st piece of irony, DeVries, " There are tools to filter and refine your communication with Twitter and Friendfeed." Le Meur's company, Seesmic, makes one of them, but it can't do its job ;-) - coldbrew
coldbrew: I'd explain, but that'd be off topic :-P - Ken Sheppardson
2nd piece of irony comes from the fact that Scoble is disseminating it, but he seems to be keeping a very objective stance, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with Le Meur's justifications for his actions. - coldbrew
Scoble, of course, is "well known" for following so many people all over the ecoshpere [edit: and that is ironic to me] - coldbrew
I find the trend puzzling especially (as @Jim Connolly pointed out) when it's someone like Loic who actually built a tool to help bring method to this madness. Robert, you make it seem so easy and I am in awe as to how you manage to respond to thousands of your followers, both here and on Twitter. It's obvious that not everyone can do it, it's probably getting overwhelming for some. - MiaD
Matthew: TOTALLY agree with you. I probably wasn't the clearest in my comment above. While I choose to unfollow bots and spammers, I prefer to use tools like Tweetdeck and others to filter conversations. The second half of my comment is what I think will happen if we go the nuclear route: Social media will just become a marketplace where ideas are broadcasted but never sharpened through the dialogue process...I don't want another place where ideas and products are hawked at me without my ability to dialogue - Drew Sams
Well played, Sheppardson. - coldbrew
Anyway, promiscuity in public isn't good? - coldbrew
Unfollowing enmasse isn't good business. GKawasaki "gets" Twitter. @Loic either doesn't get it or doesn't know what 2 do with it. I unfollowed him back. - Now Voyager
first the morons were all bout braggin bout how many followers they had, now they realize "oh shit, I can't figure out who said what and when" so now they get to un-follow & that is news. Give me a fucking break, follow or don't follow for the right reasons.In reality at the most people can have 300 odd relationships with people and sustain it beyond that it is just Hello and good bye and that's about it. - Baba
"I unfollowed him back" Oh did ya' now? - coldbrew
This is like watching a movie about a young passionate teen as he slogs his way the the world, making mistakes, and learning right before your eyes. - coldbrew
If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Unfollowing is always an option, but why do it without criteria??? - Jorge Martins Rosa
I could clean up a little, but I like following several hundred. I started in 2006 by following the broadcasters and some of the people that followed them and that they followed. I've slowly increased the number I follow since then. Some days I add about a dozen and unfollow about eight. I like to slowly see what people are saying, participate a little and really meet people. I can manage following hundreds. - Bill
this is you invite people in you're house and studently you kick everybody out without reasons, i remenber when L L M always ask to be followed on twitter . anyway i also kick out from every where and delete my seemsic account .................... some french people when they become famous they got big head - Yann from twhirl
Not sure I agree with @loic but have been thinking the same. The relity is you can only carry relevant conversations with a limited number of people. - RicardoSilva
I think you should do it. Just look at that number. 69,394. It does no good to follow that many people. Wipe the slate clean. - techky
I really think Twitter should have group and thread (at least one level) - Jeremy Chone
I found the original mail on the twitter-dev list:So I have kind of weird request. My boss, who is following 24,386 people (and has 22,752 followers) came to me and wanted me to hack something to wipe out all the people he follows so he can start clean again for various reasons. I'm curious if there is any tools internally at twitter that could help with this maybe because this seems to push the limits of what the API was intended for. (If so, you can contact me off list at If not, the code is fairly trivial to do (I already have something that does something similar in fact), but I don't want to set off any alarms if I make 24,385 unfollow requests and several requests to pull his social graph down as it runs. I can also throttle it as I was planning to do and do it across a few days. Thanks, Zac Bowling - Daniel W. Crompton
It's insanely easy to "follow" lots of people. With groups and search in Tweetdeck (sorry @loic) and filters plus tag-focusing services like Twitterfall, I can now focus attention on a "slice" (i.e., a window pane or dialog box). It is very rare that I look at an unfiltered stream. I am almost always looking at a refined view of the entire stream. It kind of reminds me of the Matrix. The "operators" were able to see small nuances in the unadulterated feed. - Lorin Olsen
Nevertheless, I am intrigued by reducing the number of people I follow. I want to have "intimate" conversations and not just blast tones into an echo chamber. In fairness, that is one of the reasons I am doing more in Friendfeed. - Lorin Olsen
@Hutch is quite correct in saying "ask yourself what *you've* gotten from Loic. If you can't answer that question, your unfollow decision should be clear." Exactly!! that should be the criteria for everyone, A-list or not. I've unfollowed some "A-listers" who are focused on things which don't tickle my fancy. Nothing personal of course, the goal is to get focused. - Eric Gonzalez
By the way, I don't mind an unfollow, but what's up with the "tell me why I should follow you back?" business. Doesn't that seem odd? - Eric Gonzalez
what is this twitter of which you speak? - mike "glemak" dunn
Mike, I assume you are not following anybody so you don't need not to take any action. The proposed procedures only concern people who follow somebody else on this thing called Twitter. :-) - Tapio Kulmala
is there an auto unfollow ? - Antoine Bertier
Antoine, No. There was once a rumor that they have tested auto-unfollow in their lab. The performance testing results were alarming. They noticed that they should get rid of 90% of their servers in 2 weeks. The CFO decided that they could not afford that kind of capital losses. - Tapio Kulmala
I just went through my follows on Twitter and removed a bunch of people I'd never heard of before. I forgot I had signed up with when Scoble mentioned it and it's all turned off now anyway. We'll see later if my own followers suddenly will now go away cause they're using the same type of tools. - Paul Wade
People feel slighted when unfollowed - decidedly unsocial. And with tools like Tweetdeck and peoplebrowsr allowing you to create groups (i.e. 'core people', or 'people I know' etc), there's no reason why you can't continue to follow loads of people and focus in on the ones who matter to you. It's social to follow back, and helps build relationships, but that doesn't mean you can't focus on the people who matter to you - there are tools. - Tom Beardshaw
I even had someone I'd met (and we'd made friends on Facebook) unfollow me then add me to a "<name>monitor" twitter account, saying "this is the account I use to keep track of a wider network" - which pretty much tells you they're not paying any attention to you at all. I promptly unfollowed him. Social is multidirectional relationships - I don't like one way relationships - they're bad for your health! I follow everyone who follows me unless they're trying to sell me something - Tom Beardshaw
loic did a reverse feldman trick - henry michel from twhirl
So that's what happened--Loic unfollowed and then refollowed me.;-) Someone constantly keeps doing that on my FB acct., too. I must say, the more followers I get lately who are trying to tell me about how to use social media and internet marketing to get rich, the more this option sounds good. Way too many spammers lately, or just folks who aren't bothering to find out about who you really are and how to have a conversation. Ugh. - Cathryn Hrudicka
Loic method may have been extreme, but I understand where it is coming from, at a certain number, its hard to follow who you are interested in and maybe starting over again is the way to go.. I actually created a second twitter account just for companies and organizations, because I was noticing they were taking over my original account. - Kim Landwehr
Well - Loic simply has one big problem: He doesn´t use Tweetdeck and the Group feature! LOL - Dieter Schwarz
OMG huston we have a problum - Victor Lee Squire
I've already noticed a drop in my followers number. Doesn't matter to me though. - Paul Wade
Drop in follower, but any increase in participation. That's why I unfollowed so many. - Richard A.
With tools such as TweetDeck I can setup groups and searches for those tweets I care about the most. Makes number of following irrelevant. - Robert J Taylor
I give me a chance. follow them for bit see if there interact post anything of value reply to my tweets . If not its just pointless. - John Cusick
That may work for the twitter elite, but for users like me, it defeats the point of twitter, which is to build community by networking. - Kelly
My comment is ...I have no comment :)) - SRivera
I semi regularly prune for my following list for relevance (for multiple values of relevance) - Alec Clews
Terrible idea unless you want to experience true hermit status through the rate of being unfollowed prior to deleting your account. - Roney Smith
Loic Le Merde is a pompous French whiny assehole LooooooooooooooooooooooooL - Yann from twhirl
I have always kept a limited number of people I follow. The noise level has been very manageable. T is only one of the conduits for info. - Dave Ploch
thats retarded - tommy payne from twhirl
Like Dave, I'm careful about who I follow in the first place, and I've only had to unfollow a couple of people who got out of hand. - Julie Barrett from twhirl
I'm a careful user, and this realm showed me how people can react rapidly to certain things. I've been unfollowed more than I did unfollow. Note that I'm a curious type of guy and love discovering things in everyone. I think that can be a good thing for those whose critical to the point of stopping everything second to witness being too much analyzing those to unfollow. Else, why be that critical to the point of massive cleaning? Is digital managing difficult and tiring for some? Reminds me: GReader refresh - Zu from AOD
I got 0 value out of following @loic, so I lost nothing. I also unfollowed. - Mike Lewis
I can do the same thing via a Favorite list in FriendFeed. - Bill Bittner
my god the annoying post that never ends!! :P hahah - Terry O'Fee
Time, there is not enough time to follow everyone. It has to be narrowed at some point to still be productive in your business. I do not mind visiting a stream and subscribing..just like I do not mind unsubscribing. Just doing a total following everyone or not following anyone is absurd. - Brian McClure
At the moment this post has close to 400 likes plus comments. Which provokes the thought: rank Friendfeed posts by likes plus comments (for the total life of Friendfeed). Might be interesting. - Sean McBride
I deleted 700+ people just two weeks ago and it was the most FUN I have had on Twitter in 6 months. - Daniel Zarick
the one unfollow everyone help him to promote is business and push all follower to create a buzz , and decide when he have acheive is target , just take himself as Guru but in fact that will return straight on his face , he will kick out by the community ..... - Yann from twhirl
[∞][twitter needs to make an second time line to US [...] so, we got one to friends and other to network ][ I have 2 accounts to do this] - dbalieiro
Similar to the concept of declaring e-mail bankruptcy. - David Pappas
Then it becomes a broadcast, not an exchange. How about unfollow everyone that doesn't add value to your life. - Martha
Wow, that is interesting timing. Is it spring cleaning time for everyone or what? - Ken Stewart | ChangeForge
At least once a week I go through several pages of twitter stream and take a look at everyone on it. I end up unfollowing at least five or six people. I still have hundreds, but it's much less than I would otherwise. - Sandra Fernandez
as for me, good reasons for unfollowing are ppl following you then unfollowing you immediately, or people not posting in ages, or people where after a while you see having absolutely no exchange on any subject or no common interest. I try to keep my following list clear under these criteria to avoid a bloated following list - Jean-Charles VERDIE from twhirl
i prune my list every few weeks and add and delete, keeps it fresher - susan mernit
I only follow a few people anyway. The "follow everyone you don't know" thing always seemed crazy to me. - TranceMist
I have no plans of unfollowing any of the people I follow. My setup fits my marketing strategy just fine.. Don't need to jump on the bandwagon. That's the beauty of twitter... do what works for you!! - Jim Turner
The best tool I've found for getting the most out of twitter is Tweetdeck. Set up groups to stay on top of the conversations generated by the folks you're the closest to. - Jim Turner
I do a combination of things. I've always been selective about who I follow; if anyone gets to noisy I unfollow them; I filter it through my FriendFeed; I have specific lists set-up in Friend-Feed (even one for "chatter"); I grab the rss feeds for the Friend-Feed lists I want to focus on and have those directly imported into the RSS feed section of my email client (Thunderbird at the moment.) My email feeds have folders and message filtering rules set-up to move everything to the appropriate sub-folders. - Gail Guy
... I can then quickly identify and scan my favorites, but best of all, I can use my email client functions to "tag" a message a certain color or "star" it as a favorite -- making it easy to find and review at a later time. - Gail Guy
I think this is brilliant. Curbs the spammers, takes away some incentive from the fakes and keeps Twitter honest. More of my thoughts - Chris Leonard
As soon as I got Tweetdeck I started following by subject instead of by the person. - Carl Pruitt