Some years ago, Twitter started banning people who were making mercenary use of the service to promote their own interests: blogs, products, service etc. Clearly they’ve moved on from this ridiculous practice or at least one hopes so. When it comes to that kind of thing, services should just let the community decide. Negative selection will kill off any parasites.
Flash forward to present day and suddenly there are a plethora of services (like Qwitter) that will tell you when someone stops following your Twitter stream. I’m not knocking the services. It’s a novel spin on the current Twitter operation.
My only problem is: what possible use is it?
The service doesn’t provide you with any qualitative information regarding why the user abandoned your stream. Personally, if someone leaves my stream I assume it’s because they’re bored with my updates. That’s cool. I do it. Meat, poison and all that. And if I’ve done anything to offend them to the point of ditching my stream, I’m pretty sure I can expect to find a poisoned (figuratively) email in my inbox.
On a brand level, perhaps there’s something in it. A company that loses a follower could email that person and as why, although it does raise the question: if you’ve quit someone’s Twitter stream are you actually revoking any communication permissions s/he used to enjoy?
I’ve given myself a top-limit of 80 people to follow. I think that’s a safe number of people to follow without the stream getting insane. And I don’t automatically follow everyone that follows me. Even those I do follow get a week’s probation before I make them permanent or remove them. It’s nothing personal. It’s just protecting my own sanity.
So the question is: have you ever abandoned a Twitter stream and why?