The Great Twitter Unfollow of 2011 – Leaked Email

This post is inspired by this awesome article from Daniel Newman.

There’s been a bit of conversation in recent months about mass unfollows on Twitter. These have been carried out by folks with large followings, with the biggest complaints being the numbers were unmanageable; spam was an issue; etc.

Some onlookers have questioned how genuine these unfollows were; and if it wasn’t just an attention-seeking ploy. Discussions have being started, with folks from both sides of the unfollow coin sharing their reasons for support / disdain. Theories arose; and more questions were asked as opposed to answered.

Until now.

In this leaked email between two social media gurus, their reasoning can finally be shared as to what The Big Twitter Unfollow Purge of 2011 (as it has become known) was all about. The reasons might surprise you. Then again, probably not…

Anyhoo – here’s the email. Names have been changed for no reason other than it seems the fashionable thing to do when sharing a leaked email.

Project Unfollow Email

Social Media Guru A: “Okay, people aren’t talking about us as much any more – we’ve been found out for lack of real business acumen, and our blogs are empty shells of what they used to be. It sucks.”

Social Media Guru B: “I know. Remember when everyone was talking about us, thinking we were awesome? But now they see through us and think we’re less than average. If only we could get people talking about us again, so we feel as important as our egos tell us we should be.”

Social Media Guru A: “I know – let’s completely ignore all the advice we doled out while building our false reputations, and UnFollow everyone on Twitter, and blame it on spam. They don’t do anything for us, anyway – they don’t buy our affiliate programs any more. Who needs them?”

Social Media Guru B: “Great idea! We’ll make big announcements, make it sound like we’re the wronged party and everyone should feel sorry for us, even though there are a host of ways we can manage and filter all the stuff we’ll blame for the UnFollow.”

Social Media Guru A: “And to keep it buzzing along, we’ll do it at spaces apart from each other, and then promote each other’s words of angst.”

Social Media Guru B: “Love it! But won’t people see through it as nothing but an ego stroke and a desperate last throw of the dice to seem relevant?”

Social Media Guru A: “Not at all. I’ll make up some webinar and charge for it, describe it as something it isn’t, and the heat generated around that decision will make our UnFollows seem genuine. Then people will actually believe we cared about the feelings of those we strung along all these years, with our advice of reciprocal follows.”

Social Media Guru B: “Genius. Absolutely genius.”

Social Media Guru A: “Yeah, some suckers will trust anything we tell them, hehe. Okay – let’s start stroking those egos!”

End of email

Of course, the mass unfollows of 2011 are nothing new – this “experiment/event” already happened two years earlier with unfollows in 2009. So maybe not such a new trend after all.

Ah well, there’s always the Great Facebook Desertion Exercise. Oh – wait a minute…

image: Neil Crosby

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126 Comments

  1. danielnewmanUV October 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    BWAHAHAHAHA – So glad this pinged back to me. Wish I had thought of this. Way better than mine….Wait can I delete that….Wait are my followers going to see this?

    Hey dannybrown maybe you and ginidietrich should unfollow each other and then we can talk about it all over the blogosphere. That may even help our Klout.

    Oh geez – ok so what started for me as a rant of STOP LYING TO US which was really the biggest point of my article. Has turned into the impetus of so much more.

    Awesome. Thanks Danny…I’ll now chill and watch comments pile up on a blog that people actually read (Oh crap, did that show up too) darn HTML

  2. danperezfilms October 19, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Brilliant. Nuff said.

  3. dino_dogan October 19, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Than you for writing this so I dont have to. Attention. Thats it. That is why they did it. Thank you Danny.

    Also, thnx for presenting your point in a creative way :-)

  4. jmitchem October 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Nice post. But who really cares? I don’t mean to sound flip, but are we so wrapped up in this virtual network that we actually care that much about things like being unfollowed by people we’ve never (mostly) shook hands with? That’s what concerns me most. People are going to be insincere. People are going to disappoint. People are going to lie. That’s life. In the end, we’ll all have just a handful of people we can trust. The idea of people doing things like this to get attention, doesn’t surprise me. What does is that we care so much.

  5. jmitchem October 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Nice post. But who really cares? I don’t mean to sound flip, but are we so wrapped up in this virtual network that we actually care that much about things like being unfollowed by people we’ve never (mostly) shaken hands with? That’s what concerns me most. People are going to be insincere. People are going to disappoint. People are going to lie. That’s life. In the end, we’ll all have just a handful of people we can trust. The idea of people doing things like this to get attention, doesn’t surprise me. What does is that we care so much.

    • @Dayngr October 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      What surprises me is that they’ve unfollowed people who have consistently promoted them, supported them and their work and helped them get to where they are today. Sad really. @jmitchem

    • DannyBrown October 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      @jmitchem Completely agree, mate – life does imitate “art”, or whatever you wantt o call it. And personally, I don’t give a crap – it’s just a bit of fun with maybe a serious undertone in there somewhere.

      But…

      I can see why people *do* care. To echo @dayngr ‘s point, let’s transpose “followers” for “customers”.

      I have 200,000 customers (or 100,000, or 50,000 – use whatever number you want for whichever example you want). These customers have helped me grow from no-one to a successful someone. They bought my products; shared my news; recommended my workplace (blog, site, forum, etc).

      Now, all because some new customers come along and I don’t like how they behave, I’m banding all 200,000 customers into the same boat and jettisoning them. Just like that. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been with me for 10 years, 5 years, one year – these customers that came along in the last few weeks have ruined it for everyone.

      BUT… don’t worry. I’m going to open a new refreshed store and start again, so make sure you come back after the customer clear-out and continue to buy from me.

      Yeah… I can see why some would be pissed, mate.

      • jmitchem October 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm

        @DannyBrown@dayngr I hear ya. In that context, yes – it’s ridiculous.

      • NancyD68 October 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm

        @DannyBrown@jmitchem@dayngr That was my whole problem with this in the first place. Punishing the many because of the bad behavior of a few. It just reeked of ingratitude. But what do I know? I only bought his book and paid for his webinars! I never got my white robe either! I want my money back!

  6. Votekick October 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Why am I reading this again?

  7. John Garrett October 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Way too funny, man. And extremely profound! You’re on to something here lol…

  8. Tinu October 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    LOL. My favorite part in all this is the reasons that are being given for the unfollowing are all the reason they rejected from alternate theorist when they did their mass following in the first place. As for who cares, I care. It’s one thing to just not like what someone is doing, and have the sense to keep it to yourself, because it just creates more attention. It’s another to be a silent onlooker while a growing surge of bullshit starts to overwhelm the people who are coming to you for help.This particular episode is pretty minor. But added together with all the other contradictory nonsense that has been going on lately, it’s no wonder people are confused and afraid of using social media with their companies.

    • DannyBrown October 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      @Tinu That’s a fair point about the confusion and off-putting, Tinu. Sure, sometimes topics get dragged out more than they should (if they ever should have to begin with). But oftentimes, the dragging out needs to be done to counter the shit that’s being spewed by many.

      Ah well…

  9. Lisa Gerber October 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I can’t believe this post was written without the words wanker or asshat.

  10. KnealeMann October 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

    If you want big numbers, put on a few pots of coffee and start following thousands of people. Your numbers will increase. Then what? I have friends who can’t believe I have “so many” followers (a word I despise, by the way) – let’s stop following, let’s connect, for real, actually, in human terms, did I say – for real?

    I have been networking socially since I hung out with David Johnson when we used to play in his backyard after kindergarten and his mom would give us juice and cookies. Let’s spend more time on real issues – building business, improving skills, becoming better people, helping the less fortunate, stuff like that. And I will see if I can reconnect with David Johnson, he had the best bike in the neighborhood.

  11. CarlThress October 20, 2011 at 8:20 am

    You must be a fantastic chef, Danny, because I can’t imagine you passing any pot and not stirring it. :) I think you left out part of Guru A’s response when Guru B asks if people will see through it, though. There should have been a line about “Oh, just that Danny Brown character, and he’s nothing but a troublemaker anyway.” The big winner in all of this was the guy who wrote the mass unfollow script. I’m sure he’s getting lots of referral work from this. Though I can’t imagine Twitter being too happy with someone circumventing the intent (if not the letter) of their TOS about mass unfollowing.

    I follow two of the people who did the whole mass unfollow thing. One never followed me in the first place, and I was neither surprised nor hurt that the second never followed me back after the great unfollowing. I figure just because I’m interested in someone else’s content doesn’t mean they necessarily have to feel the same about mine. Especially if we’ve never met.

    That said, I’m not sure why they felt the need to make a big production out of the whole thing and act surprised that people took it personal when they unfollowed and then didn’t refollow them. I’d like to think they did it for the reasons they said they did, and I actually think it’s kinda cool that they’re not just using a hidden list to filter out everyone but the cool kids. Unless there’s some advantage I don’t know about for having a way higher “follower” count than “following.”

    • DannyBrown October 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      @CarlThress My grandma gave me a big wooden spoon when I was seven, mate, and said, “Now go out and be Scottish!”… πŸ˜‰

      You make an interesting point about Twitter’s ToS – yes, the script bent these rules, and at least one of the parties involved said, “Well, if I get pinged by Twitter I’ll just leave.” Why not just do that, then, if it means so little? And do you advise clients to break Terms and Conditions if they don’t like them? Great ethics… πŸ˜‰

      Maybe it’s a Klout thing, hehe.

      • newdaynewlesson October 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm

        LOL. (about the wooden spoon) Love the sense of humor.

        @DannyBrown@CarlThress

      • CarlThress October 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

        @DannyBrown Great quote from your grandma. I remember seeing a copy of that tweet you mentioned (perhaps here or on Spin Sucks) and thinking it sounded like something you’d hear in a schoolyard football game when one of the kids threatens to take their ball and leave if they don’t get their way.

        I have to admit the thought did enter my mind that there might be a Klout angle to this sudden unfollow-everybody-and-only-follow-back-a-select-few trend. But some have called me cynical, too.

      • NancyD68 October 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm

        @DannyBrown@CarlThress One of the “gurus” admitted they did it to improve their Klout score and AdAge ranking. Which makes me want to throw up a little.

        The really tragic part were his sheep like fans baaaing and telling him how brilliant he was and I come along and say “hey! why are you punishing all of your loyal fans?” no one agreed with me. THAT is brainwashing, and that is very scary to me.

        • CarlThress October 20, 2011 at 5:53 pm

          @NancyD68@DannyBrown I hadn’t seen that (about admitting he did it for the Klout score and AdAge rank). Not surprising that the lemmings came out in force to agree and pat him on the back (on their way to the cliff’s edge). I’m sure many also wrote things like “that’s a great idea, oh wise one/ninja/rock star/jedi knight. I should do that too.” Scary how that works.

  12. JudyDunn October 20, 2011 at 9:54 am

    This is hilarious. I love theories and leaked stuff. Did your source go by the name of Deep Throat? Oh yeah, that was Watergate.

    I am not surprised anymore by what some of the “thought leaders” do or say. And I can’t believe this got as much attention as it did. But then again, maybe it was planned to do so. : )

  13. Mark Longbottom October 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Spot on – you know where you can find them pretending they are loved again Goggle+ as its quiet over there if i am right one of them loves telling everyone about the latest smoothie made.

    If all they want is adoration why not stick to the inspirational speaker circuit now there’s a funny creature, many genuine many have listened to their own story a little too long. Best thing to do is understand everyone has a story, listen to it, share it and encourage others to do the same and not to sell it as sales have dead ends where as real people have relationships that last forever if necessary but it’s not a term or condition it’s just human nature.

    • DannyBrown October 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      @Mark Longbottom I’m guessing the choices of platforms could be running out soon, as people start to get past the facade and see the real stories behind the covers, mate…

      • Mark Longbottom October 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

        Absolutely, being effective and engaging with the people you want to talk to will at last become more important than being everywhere just because you can be. About a year ago I saw someone saying they set clients up on around 70 social platforms initially. You can imagine who would be managing that lot, not the client.

    • DannyBrown October 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      @Mark Longbottom I’m guessing the choices of platforms could be running out soon, as people start to get past the facade and see the real stories behind the covers, mate…

    • DannyBrown October 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      @Mark Longbottom I’m guessing the choices of platforms could be running out soon, as people start to get past the facade and see the real stories behind the covers, mate…

  14. NancyD68 October 20, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I said all the while that this was a stupid ploy for attention and it seems I am right! I love you Danny Brown! #thatisall

  15. OpEdMarketing October 20, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Well said Danny, and I’m amazed that despite the size of your following, you’re highly engaged with us and are dedicated to an approach to blogging that helps us cut through all the B.S. As a side note, you could also have substituted the word “Guru” with “Rockstar” or “Ninja” :) Cheers.

  16. nomorebacon October 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I’m always hesitant to breakout the slow clap, but I feel like this is a situation where it’s warranted.

    Clap……Clap…..Clap….Clap…Clap..Clap. CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!

  17. hollicbuck October 20, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Great post, Danny! I have to say that with a few of the ‘gurus’, I’ve not really seen the appeal. They may deliver timely information, but their egos seem to be a bit inflated which widens the chasm between them and their followers. As for you, Mr. Brown, I truly love that even though you have so many people following you, you’re still approachable and engaging with everyone. Enjoy your day!

    • DannyBrown October 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      @hollicbuck What I find disappointing is the way many only seem to acknowledge positive sentiment, while ignoring critical questions. That tells me all I need to know.

      As for me? Pfft, I’d rather disappear into the ether and never be heard from again than become a wanker or asshat with an inflated ego. πŸ˜‰

      Hey, @Lisa Gerber , does that make up for the lack of use in-post?? :)

  18. PJProductivity October 20, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I have said for a long time (and thought for even longer) that you can tell the “SM” “consultants” (the only time I use “rock star” is when (a) addressing my readers – they’re the stars, not me or (b) talking about Alice Cooper – still not worthy) aren’t drinking their own KoolAid ™ when they simultaneously talk about “conversation” and are only following a tiny fraction of their followers back. That ain’t a conversation, cupcake. That there’s what we call a monologue. And nobody’s listening. Not really.

  19. Bsitko October 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Hilarious and probably true. Now that more and more people understand how to use the social media tools, the big advice from the gurus seems less awe inspiring. I got caught up in the big unfollowing business and just simply unfollowed them back. No sweat to me. Great post Danny.

  20. ginidietrich October 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I think you’re being too nice. Your approach clearly affords some strategic thinking and foresight. I don’t see it.

  21. jackielamp October 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    HAHAH! “Project Unfollow.” My advice to these people: get a life. And maybe spend some time gaining some knowledge so you actually have something of value to share.

    As always, great post!

  22. newdaynewlesson October 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I do know of a at least one person with a few thousand followers who did unfollow many people and not for publicity. I know I might be a bit naive many times but I do believe her.

    Again I might be way too naive but do you think “scams” like these are really prevelant and the reason for people’s actions?

    • DannyBrown October 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      @newdaynewlesson I’m sure there may be legitimate reasons for many, Susie – noise does become deafening if you let it get out of control.

      The thing that seems faux about many of the examples being discussed is the public “woe is me” moans, when you gladly built it all up to give yourself a bigger platform to begin with. And the fact that the tools they promote to cull the numbers can also be used to clear DM spam completely and then filter moving forward. With no need for the mass unfollows. Funny, that… πŸ˜‰

      • newdaynewlesson October 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm

        @DannyBrown What tools are those? Am seriously asking becauseI now with even my twitter numbers, trying to go back now and make lists I can follow is really time consuming.

        Am also thinking that bloggers are used to discussing many apects of their lives in “public” and online. Maybe the woe is me is part of that. Again maybe naivete on my part.

  23. WordsDoneWrite October 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Hey Danny! I read Daniel’s post, which lead me here. And then both you guys inspired me to dust off a blog post I’ve had sitting in my drafts folder for weeks, which I published today (links back to you and Daniel, of course!).

    This purge stuff is nonsense. Thanks for calling it out. Now, I like you even more than I already did! πŸ˜‰

    —–> And you get access to leaked emails! How cool is that??? :-)

  24. HowieSPM October 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    So glad I wasn’t following or reading them anyway 8)

    and you know I bitch about these folks all the time. The fact is they know one thing and one thing only. How to create a personal brand. But guess what? That comment doesn’t include ‘and sustain’. And now they are freaking out. Poor poor them.

    But I have a solution. They can sign up for my $49.99 webinar on how to breathe life back into a dying personal brand. I cover how to release the secret sex tape. Cover when to get your DUI and exactly where for maximum coverage. And of course included in the free 35 second Video of Charlie Sheen giving his tips on ‘Winning’.

    And wait that is not all. Included is also free T-Shirt! On the front it says ‘Who do you love?’ on the back it says ‘ME”

    • Lisa Gerber October 20, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      @HowieSPM I am so in. Where do I register?

    • DannyBrown October 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

      @HowieSPM There’s a guy whose bio reads like this:

      “Best-selling author, business change agent and marketing expert, AUTHOR led the turnaround of one of the most iconic brands in the world as the Chief Marketing Officer.”

      Now, this brand that the author “turned around”? During his tenure as CMO (2007-2010), the company cut 4,500 jobs in 2009; posted record losses of $137 million in Q4 of 2009; removed from Stanadard & Poor’s 500 Index in 2010; and saw its shares drop to an all-time low of $0.54 per share.

      It has failed to turn a profit since 2007.

      However, the CMO went on to write a book and build up quite a name for himself in the business and branding field. So I guess we know what he was doing in the three years of his reign… πŸ˜‰

      • HowieSPM October 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

        @DannyBrown LOL well this also proves why Marketers are trusted less for honesty than used car salespeople.

        Interesting note. Bob Nardelli do you know him? He took Home Depot and in 5 years saw it lose market share to Lowes and lose 20% of it’s stock price…DURING THE HOUSING BOOM/BUBBLE! He got fired. Left with $190mil. I boycotted HD over that for a long time. Couldn’t believe the drug tested the floor employees yet didn’t drug test what ever person or board hocked up on crack hired this loser.

        But wait that is not all…he then joined Cerebrus Capital. Yes the Private Equity firm. They then had him run Chrysler! And he ran them into bankruptcy, government bailout, and fire sale to Fiat.

        This shit happens all the time and is disgusting.

        The dude should be broke and penniless. Also proves there is a sucker born every 2 mins. Just like the people who bought the book written by the person in your example.

        GO OCCUPY WALL STREET! 8)

  25. RSA Course October 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Amazing the time and energy that can be put into creating something fake. I wonder what would happen if they used their knowledge and abilities to create something real and valuable rather then existing on the dark side of the force. Imagine what the death star could have been used for if it was used for good not evil.

  26. JayDolan October 21, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Sounds like they took my advice too far. Kids today.

    Anyways – You forgot the part where the Guru tells everyone to go join another network that’s still in “beta” and has no proven business features beyond personal networking. Because you know, people do business with people, and having commerce features and an official business presence doesn’t mean anything.

  27. mattsanti4 October 21, 2011 at 2:47 am

    I just did this recently. Some guy even used another piece of software to call me out and said how I unfollowed him. We never had a conversation. And then too boot, all his tweets were in German. I’m about as fluent in German as the next guy. I went on a twitter diet. Guess what? Because I’m now following people I have developed relationships with, Twitter has become more fun, and I’m also getting a steady new following myself.

    • DannyBrown October 21, 2011 at 10:55 am

      @mattsanti4 Following less will definitely make anything more manageable – does that mean people need to delete all though, when there are a ton of ways to manage incoming feeds effectively? It kinda raises questions about what advice clients are getting… πŸ˜‰

  28. Rieva October 21, 2011 at 3:54 am

    It’s really all about reciprocity. There’s something wrong with people who can’t help you because they “are asked to do too many favors” or who “are too busy” or who “fill in the blank whine”, but think it’s perfectly fine to ask (or beg) their followers to follow their rules and buy their stuff.

    I still listen because it’s often better than an episode of Days of Our Lives.

    It may be business, but the golden rule still applies.

  29. Rieva October 21, 2011 at 3:54 am

    P.S. Danny, very funny blog

  30. geoffliving October 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    The best part about the great unfollowing is I know of only one of the two people who did it. I love being absent. Did I just say that?

  31. bdorman264 October 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    skypulsemedia is a FB deserter…………just sayin’…………

    Very humorous and probably with a ring of truth. I learned early to at least do some cursory checking my follows and it has worked out well. Of course, I don’t actively seek out new people for the most part so I guess I attract like minded people wherever I visit, huh?

    I got to meet Gini in real life last Monday and certainly look forward to the day we will be able to meet. If you are nervous, Gini might vouch for me and say I didn’t try to stiff her with the bar bill……….:)

    • DannyBrown October 24, 2011 at 11:16 am

      @bdorman264skypulsemedia So I’m the only one picking up your bar tab these days? Sheesh…

      It’s like anything, mate – you want quality, you have to seek quality. Otherwise you end up in a crud barrel…

  32. Debra_Ellis October 24, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Hi Danny,

    Thank you for the chuckle.

    Maybe the social media gurus believe the old saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Of course @ginidietrich could provide some guidance, but would they listen? I think not.

    Maybe we are feeding the monster by talking about it….

    Watching the mass unfollow thing was amusing, but there were two things that I found surprising. First, automating the unfollow process is against Twitter’s terms of service. How does one automate unfollowing thousands of people without being flagged? It appears that Twitter’s TOS only applies to mere mortals.

    The second issue was the willingness to blatantly lie. During the mass unfollow, someone asked one of the gurus how many followers were lost by unfollowing so many. He responded that he had gained a few hundred. I couldn’t resist checking. According to TwitterCounter, he had lost a few hundred. I tweeted the guru with a screen shot and asked if TwitterCounter was wrong. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t a response.

    I’m a direct marketer and have been told repeatedly that I don’t “get” social media. Maybe not, but I do get this: Social media is an excellent channel for connecting with individual customers on a one to one basis. It allows direct marketers access that was never available in the past. It’s a shame that the juvenile and manipulative behavior of a few early adopters taint the channel.

  33. FranchiseKing October 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Here’s my feeling on this whole really not that important topic;

    A. I’m starting to feel that it’s become very fashionable to call out these “guru’s.” Of course by doing so, the people who are doing the calling out are benefiting from the traffic and the comment stream.

    B. I’m also getting the feeling that some of the folks who are calling the “guru’s” out on SM stuff are running out of things to write about.

    C. It’s pretty obvious that some of the bloggers that are blogging about Chris and Darren doing terrible stuff, (like trying to get things to a more manageable state) kind of wish that they had those manageability issues. (Because if they did, they wouldn’t have time to write stuff like this.) Yes, Danny-like this.

    This stuff is all starting to reek of jealousy.

    Posts like this get people in the conversation, I suppose.

    But, what’s the real goal? Again…what’s the REAL goal to writing these slams?

    You know the answer.

    And, so do I.

    JL

    • DannyBrown October 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

      @FranchiseKing And of course, that’s the beauty of opinion, Joel – we all have them, and it’s up to others to decide what’s worth listening to and what’s not. Here’s my take for you, since you laid out your list:

      A. If you’ve read any of my posts from the last 6 months or so, you’ll know I really don’t care about traffic or comment streams. It’s why I blog infrequently, and rarely promote my own posts. I enjoy great conversation, but that’s a different beast completely from having a “comment stream”.

      B. See answer above. But running out of things to say? No – just choosing what things to say, as opposed to being generic. Of course, that’s in the eye of the beholder.

      C. Here’e the funny thing – most people don’t have the “manageability issue” because they did smart things with their accounts, like not auto-follow and filter spam, DM’s, etc. And the savings they got with that time? Used it on clients as opposed to complaining about manageability.

      D. Sorry, just noticed, there is no “D”. However, your jealousy quip made me smile. I can’t speak for others, but for me, I get to put my son to bed and wake up under the same roof every day. I get to spend quality home time with my family as opposed to traveling all over (it’s a big reason I turn down speaking and conferences, my family is more important). And I’m fortunate enough to work with great clients and build success, which lets me be around my family instead of any alternative. Trust me, Joel, I have nothing to be jealous of. I have an idea many others don’t, either.

      Like I say, we all have opinions. Some are right, some wrong. It’s be pretty damn boring if only some were shared, because of mistaken views on the reasons they’re being shared.

      Cheers.

      • FranchiseKing October 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

        @DannyBrown Thanks, Danny. I’m happy for your success. Big time. Keep on doing what works for you.

        I still don’t feel that the guys deserve to be slammed. (Not for “unfollowing,” anyway)

        Chris and Daren have both nice a nice job. They’re both very professional, and the things that they did early on—before most of us, deserve our respect.

        I know them both. I like them and trust them.

        I’m happy to defend people that I feel do a good job. They’re not perfect, though. If you know me even a little bit, I have no problem calling out anyone who deserves it. Friends or not.

        I’m going back to work now.

        JL

        • MSchechter October 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

          @FranchiseKing@DannyBrown Just out of curiosity Danny, are you calling out the actual unfollowing or the giant deal being made out of said unfollowing?

        • DannyBrown October 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm

          @MSchechter@FranchiseKing More the hand-wringing “feel” that much of it had. I know people who’ve culled thousands of dead accounts, spam bots, etc (I culled 7,000+ from Twitter alone) but didn’t feel the need to make it anything than what it was – a cleansing exercise. Do we really need a long explanation of why you’re unfollowing?

    • Debra_Ellis October 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      @FranchiseKing There’s no doubt that some people write call out posts to generate traffic and drama. It a proven tactic that has even been recommended by some of the A-list bloggers. Some. Not all. And, having read most, if not all, of Danny’s posts, he doesn’t fall into the “some” category. While I rarely agree with everything he says (sorry Danny), he has been forthright in the things he shares.

      The problem with social media is that it is a new channel. People were placed on pedestals because they amassed thousands of followers . Some who took the cloak of authority grew to fill it with knowledge and insight. Others used it solely to promote their personal brand and improve their financial stability. The first group created a sustainable model. The second, not so much. You can tell the difference between the groups by looking at their activity. The first continue to test and grow. The second spend a lot of time whining about challenges and talking about unproven theories.

      There are new people entering the social media world every day. Are we to sit quietly while others provide misinformation and create drama? Or, should we call people out who aren’t being forthright? If the goal is to shine a light in the dark corners, I vote for the call out.

      • DannyBrown October 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm

        @Debra_Ellis@FranchiseKing Hell, it’d be pretty boring if we all agreed with what we read or saw, Debra – if that was the case, I think I’d give up blogging altogether! :)

        Nice points, by the way – cheers!

  34. EugeneFarber November 1, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    So my initial assumption that it is a publicity stunt turned out to be true? Interesting.

  35. Nanci Murdock January 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I know! I’m like, WTH?! ..and now all those that had under 10,000 are now following, like, 72 people.

    Really?

    Very disappointing.

    Great “leaked” e-mail. Love it.

    /nm

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