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Birch Bay Public Market

Friday, May 10 through the end of summer, Cathy and I will be selling her hand-made soaps, lotions, and toiletries, along with my photography, note cards, calenders, books, etc.

Come see us!

Across the street from the C Shop

4825 Alderson Road, Birch Bay, Washington 98230

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I had an automated blogroll here, powered by Google Reader, but Google, in its near-infinite lack of wisdom, killed Google Reader. Prior to this murder, all I had to do to put a blog on my blogroll (or to take it off) was to place it in a Reader folder called, appropriately enough, "blogroll" (or, of course, to remove it). I use The Old Reader now for following blogs, but it seems to have no way to something similar regarding the blogroll. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know.

Another Twitter Rant: @TrueSports – The Unwanted Followee

I didn’t want this blog to turn into a Twitter blog, but here goes another rant on the shortcomings of Twitter.

My post on UberTwitter for BlackBerry is already my most traveled post, and I was really hoping the excerpt from my latest novel, Jillian’s Gold, was going to pass it. But probably not, now.

I’m sitting in the grocery store parking lot, waiting for my son to come out with the groceries, and I suddenly start to get updates from someone called @TrueSports. Now that’s a little odd, because I’ve never followed anybody called @TrueSports, and to the best of my knowledge, unless I look at the public timeline, I shouldn’t see anything from anyone I’m not following.

So I send a polite (I thought) reply to the first tweet from @TrueSports:

@TrueSports How and why am I suddenly getting updates from you? If you’re on my follow list, I have no idea how you got there.

and to the second:

@TrueSports How and why am I suddenly getting updates from you? I don’t follow you, and I don’t want your updates.

I get back a reply, which seems to be sensible enough:

@LeviMontgomery You could simply un-follow me, problem solved.

The problem with that advice is simply this: I have never followed @TrueSports! As a matter of fact, if you knew me, you’d know how ridiculous a concept it is to imagine me following anyone with the word “sports” in their user name. Well, as I said, I’m not at home. I’m sitting in the middle of a few acres of asphalt. So I hop on the browser in my BlackBerry, and take a look at the list of people I’m following. Guess what? No one called @TrueSports.

My response:

@TrueSports And if you were on my follow list, I would.

I get back a direct message (and this is what decided me to write this blog post):

you could un-follow us, problem solve (sic) instead of trying to validate your own shortcomings by slamming another organization on twiter. (sic)

Well, now I am home, and now I have access to my computer. I went online and searched the list of people I follow. After three separate reloads of the list, @TrueSports finally showed up, buried three pages deep. Now, the list of people I follow is listed chronologically (which has always bugged me). So if the updates have just started appearing, why would they not be at the top of the list? Why would their entry appear before the entries for people added prior to the beginning of @TrueSports’s timeline? I un-followed them, but not before other tweets came in:

@LeviMontgomery get use (sic) to regular sports updates then. But it is impossible to receive updates from those you are not following.

Well, I wouldn’t bet on that. I get followers without getting email notices, why would I assume I can’t get followees without action on my part? In fact, I’m pretty sure it happened once before, although the person in question turned out to be someone I decided to leave on the list. And certainly, he/she/it could have blocked me from his/her/its end. I do that all the time.

Final (I hope) tweet to me from @TrueSports:

@LeviMontgomery We look forward to never being bothered by you again. Do not web reply to any future messages.

The feeling is entirely mutual, I assure you. But this is more than just a rant about a particular Twitterer and his/her/its aggressiveness (and totally unprofessional, antagonistic, impolite behavior).

The fundamental questions still remain.

  • How did someone get on the list of people I follow without any action on my part?
  • How did they end up buried three pages deep in the list, and what is that if not hiding?
  • How widespread is this problem?
  • What can be done about it?
  • Given that one of the strongest emerging uses of Twitter is (unfortunately) as a spam spatula, and given that it is obviously in the best interest of a spammer to exploit this weakness, what incentive does Twitter have to eliminate it, thus losing a perceived usability?

I’d really like to hear from anyone who has had this problem in the past, or who is beginning to now.

I firmly believe (NOTE: opinion! I’m still (no thanks to certain interests, who shall remain nameless) allowed to have opinions) that @TrueSports hacked the Twitter API in a way that let them hide deep in the list of the people I follow. I firmly believe that they do this on the assumption of “Hey, who doesn’t want to hear about sports? We’ll show up and they’ll never even question it, because, come on! It’s sports, right?” Well, I don’t, but more to the point, I want Twitter to continue to be a place where I only follow those whom I choose to follow.

Please leave your comment. Who knows? I may even decide to post any response from @TrueSports. Maybe.

3 comments to Another Twitter Rant: @TrueSports – The Unwanted Followee

  • […] Another Twitter Rant: @TrueSports – The Unwanted Followee »    […]

  • As we discussed moments ago, it does seem to be happening to me too. When this has occurred in the past I’d just assumed that the account had changed their username/avatar to something radically different, but it seems to be too regular now. My network isn’t *that* big.

    My gut feeling says it’s a mixture of account changes, people I don’t remember following and most likely another bug.
    .-= Sheamus´s last blog ..Putting The Social In Social Media =-.

  • Commenting on my own blog from my BlackBerry – we’ll see if this works.

    One of the suggestions that was made to me (by @kingrat, if I remember correctly) was that someone I’d followed had changed their user name, but their timeline seemed to have begun the day I started seeing them, and I wouldn’t have followed a profile with 0 updates. I firmly believe this is a hack.