Thursday, 31 May 2012

Guest Blogger - Darren Goldsmith

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I mean, look at my waistline. And, to utilise another cliché, a change is as good as a rest. So, how about we have an occasional respite from my wittering, blathering and general verbosity? How about me hosting a guest blogger once a week, say, on a Thursday? What a good plan. I like that idea.

So, to kick us off, here's the first guest post by novelist, screenwriter and CG artist Darren Goldsmith. Enjoy! Oh, and if you want to be next Thursday's guest blogger, tweet me (@stevyncolgan) or mail me (
stevyncolgan@mac.com) or despatch a carrier pigeon or trained racing newt. I'd love to hear from you.

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Hello, Darren here. I don’t have a blog of my own so a million thanks to Sir Colgan for the loan of his, for the next 581 words.

After a mini-Twitter debate today - regarding those who find themselves unfollowed and their subsequent reactions - I just wanted to bang some thoughts down. Normally, I wouldn’t bother. I’m busy writing my second novel and that occupies most of my time. I’m taking a week off however, to recharge, so typically I find myself writing other stuff. Yay.

Right. Social media. I’m no expert and I don’t suppose anyone else is either. We make what we will of it and that’s all fine. By the way, I’m referencing Twitter here. I don’t use Facebook or… um, are there any others? Anyway, I replied to a tweet about people being unfollowed this morning. The guy who posted it (utterly lovely man, great writer, has many followers) said:

“Whenever I see someone asking someone else why they've unfollowed them, I become more fearful that Twitter will dissolve into neurotic gloop.”

I guess Twitter might do that. But it probably won’t.

I responded by saying that I thought it was OK for someone to ask why they had been unfollowed. There is the infamous Twitter bug which will randomly unfollow people on your list, for a start (it’s happened to me many times), so it’s nice to know if someone has dropped off without you noticing*. Also, is asking so terrible? The askee might gain some valuable insight. Or not.

The argument is that someone asking why you unfollowed them puts you, publicly, in a corner. I guess it does, to some degree, but so what? Tell them the truth. Or lie. Or tell them nothing. But you can’t expect every person you unfollow to shrug it off. No, you can’t. Some people just won’t. Sorry. That doesn’t make them mad or needy or neurotic. They could just be curious. They could have thought you were getting along just fine and be confused or yep, even hurt, you unfollowed. They could just be having a hard day.

Obviously, if they are being whiny, slap ‘em down. No one wants that shit.

The other argument is that unfollowing someone is not personal. I hate that. Twitter is social media. It’s about people, not data. It’s personal. There are degrees, naturally. You’re not going to be best buddies with everyone in your timeline. If someone I had chatted with regularly decided to unfollow me, I’d like to know why. If someone followed me and then didn’t engage, even infrequently, I would wonder why they followed me in the first place (frankly, what I have to say is mostly shite). I certainly wouldn’t worry when/if they decided to unfollow. I wouldn’t have known them, see? It wouldn’t matter. Degrees.

Yeah, I know the original tweet was about the whiny bastards. I just thought I’d make a case for those who weren’t. People like me. Not that I’ve ever asked anyone why they’ve unfollowed. But I might.

In the case of the original Tweeter, he doesn’t follow me. Never has. It doesn’t stop me chatting with him and making a nuisance of myself. And hey, he can never unfollow me.**

Are you happy to unfollow and not provide a reason (if asked for reasonably)? Do you get a bit miffed or upset if you’re unfollowed? I’d like to know what others think. Comment away!

Many thanks, again, to Steve for the use of his space.

* Yes, it’s possible not to notice, especially on a busy timeline.
** He might block me though. And bloody right, too.

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So there you go. If you have any comments, please add them. Or maybe you don't have a comment on this subject but would like to say something on another. Maybe you don't have a blog of your own but would like to get something all off your chest. Whatever the reason, contact me. New guest blog next Thursday. You could be next.

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