Highlighting the best independent publications in fiction and non-fiction. Your new favorite author is right here.

Open Blog Weekend: Would you mind if I left now? by Tom Palfirey

Open Blog Weekend

I’m going to broach a subject now and I’d like if before I do you put down any sharp objects and think calming thoughts. You see I want to talk about Unfollowing. I suppose I should clarify. By this I mean unfollowing those who haven’t followed you back; mutual followers, you have my unwavering gratitude. It just seems to split opinion so. For everyone I see that has followers by the thousands, I see just as many hovering around the two thousand following mark, either unsure how to proceed, or unwilling/uncomfortable to do the deed.

Now, personally I have yet to write anything of substance. I have notes upon notes, and some half-awake-3am-where’s-the-coffee starts, but nothing that I could justifiably charge someone for. However, I am keen to make the most of it when I do finally hit that ‘publish’ button – Hence me looking closely at my followers and always looking for ways to reach more people. It seems sensible to think that shouting out my messages to tens of thousands of followers will give me a greater chance of positive action than less than two thousand?

For me it all came to a head a little while back when I hit this irksome 2000 following limit. I had been flying along, happily looking for likeminded people, when suddenly I could do so no more. And, for a while everything stagnated. Then I came across a tool – which for the purposes of this post can remain nameless – that allowed me to trim away some of those that had not a care for what I had to say. So, I trimmed and I followed, and the numbers rose again. Rinse. Repeat.

The trouble is though, it bothered me. And it continues to do so for a number of reasons:

• How long should I wait before deciding that this person has no inclination to follow me back? A week? A month? Am I cutting away too soon?
• Would a tweet to non-followers to say ‘Hey, I’m following you, perhaps you’d like to follow me back?’ be worth my time? Is that more socially acceptable?
• It just feels, I don’t know, dirty somehow? Almost like pettiness…

So, in the interest of this post this past week I threw a question out to my followers. It went a little something like this:

Here to follow are a few of the responses I got. Do please use the comments section below if you’d like to add your own thoughts. I’d love to know if I’m alone in using these tools, but with a feeling of unease, or if everyone else feels the same?

You can catch me over on twitter under @TomPalfirey, do stop by and say hello. Follow for a followback 😉

  1. Nicholas RossisNicholas Rossis10-06-2014

    I’ve found that the easiest way to deal with this is by never checking my stats! 😀

    Basically, I follow back mostly anyone who’s a real person. Writers and authors I follow back on the spot, but I may struggle with some of the more marketing-oriented accounts. I check their past tweets to decide on a case-by-case basis, and never follow back those “buy X number of followers”.

    I only use unfollow.com when I’ve reached one of Twitter’s limits, to get rid of some followers with whom I haven’t had any real interaction in the meantime.

    My thinking is simple; followers are about quality, not quantity.

Leave a Reply