A quick update on a story from the beginning of the week.
You may recall my dismay over losing sixteen Twitter followers at once. Since they had all quit at exactly the same date and time, I chalked it up to my uncovering some sort of machine-driven alien plot. After all, if you’ve ever tried to get sixteen humans to do the same thing at the same time, you know how difficult that can be. Only hive mind-driven cyborgs could pull off a stunt like that. The truth behind this seemingly coordinated mass defection, however, is a bit more mundane.
I believe most if not all of The Twitter 16 unfollowed me simply because I wasn’t following them. Furthermore, they probably unfollowed me quite recently, and the Qwitter servers saved up all the quit messages and sent them to my e-mail box at the same time. While I’m only assuming the behavior of the Qwitter servers, I have some good evidence I lost followers simply because I wasn’t following them based on a comment to my post. A comment which contained the message: “Mystery solved”. The comment included a link to a story written by @thirstycrow for his off topic blog. One of the Twitter 16 had read my post and responded with more backstory explaining what had happened.
That night I saw a tweet in the person’s feed, a blip.fm song reference about which I made an @reply comment. Then I typed out a direct message and sent it off only to be told that I can’t send a direct message to someone who is not following me. Strange. I checked my small list of followers and, yep, I’d been quit….Better to just un-follow and move on…Well, as it turns out I hadn’t been quit. I had mentally checked the box that said this person had followed me when I received the direct message when in fact he had not. (I backtracked through my email trash and found no ‘This person is following you on Twitter’ message.) I had not offended him by not responding, and he had not un-followed me.
So, no alien plot against the world unmasked. Only bad Twitter ettiquette on my part. Had I followed @thirstycrow and the rest of the Twitter 16 when I received their initial follow all of this would have been avoided. Lesson learned.
By the way @thirstycrow and I again mutually follow one another on Twitter, and, if you’d like to read his whole account of this affair, it’s here in a post entitled: Twetiquette and Qwitters.