The Principled Purge

If you haven’t already seen it, Ian Rogers’ blog post on prun­ing Twit­ter is quite good. He fol­lowed me back when I wrote about dig­i­tal music; I don’t write about that any­more, ergo he unfol­lowed me. It makes all the sense in the world. Why is it so hard?

I wrote Unfol­low­ing Is Hard back in 2012. I pared back to 500 peo­ple. It felt like an accom­plish­ment. Could I ever get under 200 like Ian? Doubt­ful. Even if I fol­lowed his lead and turned Twit­ter into real-time RSS, I’d find myself in the same fix. I pulled over 800 blogs into RSS at my peak! I’m a suck­er for infor­ma­tion. I just can’t help it.

Worse, I’m sen­ti­men­tal. There are peo­ple I’ve been fol­low­ing since I joined. We’ve had lots of laughs. They’ve watched my son grow up. How could I leave them now if they’ve not grad­u­at­ed to Face­book friend sta­tus?

That’s what I like most about Ian’s post: clear­ly delin­eat­ed friend pro­files that iden­ti­fy where they should go. His birth­day rule is the best. He trans­formed Face­book into Path. He just unfriend­ed his way to it!

I call it the prin­ci­pled purge. This isn’t just rip it up and start again; these are mal­leable plat­forms and we should evolve as our use cas­es change. And if you get scared you can always cheat with a handy list!