Why unfollowing everyone is un-Twitter

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I think @ev is wrong; I think unfollowing almost everyone is a bad idea.

Let’s say you only follow a few people; why should a lot of people follow you? Because you tweet good content? That turns Twitter into a broadcast medium, which I think would destroy the communication aspect of Twitter.

This strategy would turn a large number of Twitter members into listeners, with very few people to listen to them; it would, however, make the “rockstar” tweeters even more apparent and obvious since the public timeline would be crammed with their content. Twitter shouldn’t be about rockstars (or tweetstars).

I know following a lot of people creates a noisy timeline, but that’s what tools like TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop are designed to help manage. And if you have that many followers, you probably spend a fair bit of time on Twitter anyway….

Twitter isn’t about having just a few friends and then broadcasting to lots of people, its about communication and that’s a two-way street.


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  1. Tweets that mention Why unfollowing everyone is un-Twitter | Aleph Naught & the Null Set --
    5:31 am on December 30th, 2009

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by purplehayz, Parz D. Mercadal. Parz D. Mercadal said: RT @purplehayz New Post: Why unfollowing everyone is un-Twitter – I had do that hours ago. LMAO […]

  2. Joe
    2:29 pm on January 1st, 2010

    You make some great points here. I have gone back & forth with the unfollow thing a few times. If twitter ceases to be interactive, twitter will cease to be. I will go forth and boldly follow.

    nice site design BTW

  3. Torrie
    5:04 am on January 9th, 2010

    i tried following everyone. i had to limit it, couldn’t see everyone’s tweets. i still can’t, but at least i miss less now.

  4. admin
    6:24 am on January 9th, 2010

    To me, you’ll never follow everyone’s tweets, so don’t try – instead sample the main line occasionally and keep a fluid list of “friends,” people that you do want to see most tweets from (emphasize most).

    But that’s just me – the beauty of Twitter is that you can use and abuse it any way you like :-).

    Have fun! – Bob

  5. Sheila Thornton (FancyThat3)
    2:02 pm on February 24th, 2010

    Its a kind of double edged sword. Obviously its about communication but the more followers you have, the less time you can commit to them, it becomes virtually impossible so defeats the object. I have a reasonable following/follow ratio and im loyal to guys who were there with me from the beginning and am loyal to them. That does not mean you should’nt reach out to people. Is it a status thing?

  6. admin
    5:43 am on February 25th, 2010

    This is one reason I don’t like bulk unfollowing of everyone – you should reach out to people.

    You don’t talk with everyone at a party – you move from person to person or small group to small group – I believe that’s what Twitter is like. So you can effectively follow a pretty large number of people as long as you hold conversations when something interesting pops up.

    But that’s just my opinion. Thanks very much for reading and the excellent comment! – Bob

  7. Anita Nelson
    1:00 pm on February 27th, 2010

    Very well said: “its about communication and that’s a two-way street.”

    The other thing is that very few people are on Twitter 24/7, so you connect with different people at different times on different days.

    Using tools like TweetDeck, Seesmic and my fav, TweetVisor, allows you to keep up with MANY people effectively.
    Anita @ModelSupplies

  8. admin
    7:07 am on February 28th, 2010

    Exactly – one reason I like TweetDeck is that when you clear a column it works correctly, so I can walk away and come back later and see what’s happened since I last cleared that column, which I think is very powerful. I’ll try to remember to add that to the “how I tweet” article. Thanks! – Bob

  9. Jeanne Olcott
    2:12 am on March 10th, 2010

    You created quite a few quality points there. I did a good solid search for this subject and discovered quite a number of persons would certainly concur with your site. Thanks

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