I got an interesting question from Ethan Griffin via Twitter yesterday:

@cspenn Quick question… Did you unfollow me on purpose? or is it one of those new fangled tools you have?

The short answer: ascribe absolutely no significance to being followed or unfollowed by me. As I joked in response, if Jason Falls is the Social Media Explorer, I’m the Social Media Mad Scientist with beakers and test tubes filled with APIs, data files, SQL statements, and PHP scripts. That’s what I do, experiment with stuff until it blows up – thus, the significance of being followed or unfollowed by me is roughly zero, since I’m not explicitly assigning any value to who I follow or unfollow beyond whatever I’m working on at the time.

The original question does raise a followup question though: how much weight do YOU assign to someone following you? Given that the level of commitment is near zero, does someone following you have any material significance? Why would you value that in any way, given that following isn’t required in order to have conversation or create a valuable relationship?


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