Following and Unfollowing on Twitter…

I love Twitter.

I love my Tweeps.

What I don’t love, are the Elementary School Yard games that some Twitter users play.

I do not automatically followback.

If I have no interest in your message or your “product,” I will not “sign up” and follow you, regardless of how many times you follow and unfollow me.

If you don’t fill in your Bio information, I’m unlikely to followback, but I’ve already written about that.

Some of my friends have between 15 and 50 followers, and they ask how can you “keep up” with 1200+ Tweeps ?

I find lists really helpful for that, and TweetDeck (my Twitter application of choice) accommodates different lists in columns.  It also allows you to show multiple accounts in the same screen. 

So, for instance, I have a column for YVR (Vancouver) TweepsVancouver Island TweepsFraser Valley Tweeps.  I have a column for Musicians and Music Industry folks.  I have a column for the Hockey Fans, and the Scotch Lovers.  Each of the columns is (usually) a separate set of conversations, which makes the process easier.

Recently, I wondered why my following number was starting to far exceed my follower number.

My guess is that some folks were probably turned off by the large volume of #Canucks and #TeamCanada chatter, and quietly unfollowed me. (Which I hope to have solved by starting a Hockey Account:  @BobSongs_Hockey)

And this is where I would love to hear some feedback…

If I follow someone, and they follow me back… I feel like I’ve entered into a relationship. And I am committed to that relationship, until one of two things happens:

1) You offend me.  If you start spouting homophobic, blatantly rude, hateful or insensitive tweets ?  Done… Blocked.

2) You turn out to be a spammer, with looping spam links in your Tweets.

Other than these reasons… I rarely unfollow anyone who I’ve committed to follow.

Do you feel the same way about “unfollowing” someone ?

I’ve had a number of people suggest Friend or Follow as a Twitter Application, to assess the Follower/Following/Mutual numbers… but I found some of the information displayed was out of date and sometimes didn’t seem to load properly.


Twitter Karma Screen capture

Twitter Karma Screen capture

I went searching again on the weekend, and found Twitter Karma.  It is Brilliant !!!

Very easy to use, very easy to understand, and seemed to me, to be able to accurately discern between active and inactive Tweeps.

The one “issue” was that it says right at the opening screen, that it will not work correctly in an Internet Explorer browser… but it seemed to load and work fine in Google Chrome.

I wish I had taken a screen cap of the initial findings… (hindsight)  …and a day later, I have unfollowed MOST of those not following me back… (Media, serious Bloggers and Celebrities excepted) and updated my lists to reflect the Tweeps I had missed.

Currently, of  1430 total users, I follow 212, 1004 are mutual friends, and 214 only follow me.

I can select any one of those criteria, or list all.  I can also sort them by last update, alphabetically or by follower count.

For each user, I can click and open their Twitter Profile. 

It is, in my estimation, the best tool for managing and understanding your Tweeps.

How do you manage your followers?

What, if anything, makes you “unfollow” someone?

You can comment here, or Tweet me @BobSongs

Thanks, I look forward to your feedback!