Tag Archives: twitter


Someone started a hashtag last week called #coderbooks.  I was late to the party, but once I started doing it I COULDN’T STOP.  Rather than inflict them all on Twitter, I’m collecting my amusements here:

  • The Black Perl Script #coderbooks
  • The Man in the Iron Emacs #coderbooks
  • The Greatest Iteration #coderbooks
  • Henry vi #coderbooks
  • #000000 Beauty #coderbooks
  • Lord of the Files #coderbooks
  • Waiting for Sudo #coderbooks
  • The Secret LIFO of Bees #coderbooks
  • Root #coderbooks
  • Rikki-Tikki-Java #coderbooks
  • The Greps of Wrath #coderbooks
  • The Old Man and the C++ #coderbooks
  • To Kill -9 a Mockingbird #coderbooks

And here are some #codermovies, too!

  • My Big Fat Greek Threading #codermovies
  • Fatal Abstraction #codermovies


Thanks to whoever created the hashtag!

This App Is Everything I Don’t Want Twitter to Be

Yesterday I became aware of this app called JustUnfollow.

It’s a Twitter app that will help you automatically unfollow people who don’t follow you back. And make sure you’re following the people who follow you.  Apparently it’s good for increasing your Klout score.  Or something.

This is me blasting my brains out.

Holy crap, if you asked me for every extreme along every axis of how one could use social media in a way that makes me want to run screaming, this would be the quintessential example.

Reasons this just sounds like an exhausting, draining, horrible way of using Twitter that exemplifies everything that is wrong with the world:

  1. I follow people because they are interesting and I like reading what they have to say. What they say does not become less valuable or interesting if they don’t follow me back!
  2. Piggybacking off of #1: I actually read my Twitter feed.  What else is it there for?  Why else would I be on Twitter?  So if I’m NOT following interesting people who say things I want to read, I might as well give the whole thing up as a bad job!
  3. Because of #1 and #2, there is no way I’d want to make the set of my Twitter feed exactly equal to the set of people who follow me.  That sounds not only horribly boring and limiting, but it seems likely it would be an echo chamber of people who aren’t actually interested in anything anyone else is saying and are just trying to brag about their numbers of Twitter followers.  Also, how do you ever expand that type of group organically, if no one will ever interact with anybody who isn’t already interacting with them?
  4. Whether I follow someone or not is not generally personal. It has a lot more to do with (a) whether the person happens to feed me news, jokes, trivia, etc. that are both of interest to me and packaged in a frequency and attitude that happens to click with my reading and news-consuming habits, or (b) I like interacting with the Twitterer on a personal level (or both).  I’ve unfollowed people I respect or think are interesting simply because their Twittering habits did not jive with my reading habits—but I still respect them as people and read their blogs and whatnot.  You know what would make me NOT respect them as people?  A revenge unfollowing.
  5. I’m not going to follow someone just because that person follows me.  This requirement would make it actively more difficult to have my stated goal of a feed filled with interesting people who say things that are valuable to me or interact with me in ways I enjoy, because I’d be obligated to follow anyone who followed me regardless of the negative value that person would introduce to my Twitter feed.
  6. To summarize points #1-5: My Twitter feed is all about me.  It’s about what I like to read and what’s fascinating to me and the people I’m friends with.[1]  It becomes a less useful thing if I let anybody else muck with it using any criteria other than “these are the people I like to read.”
  7. An app like JustUnfollow makes Twitter all about grabbing for followers.  How ugly is that?  The reason I’m enjoying Twitter so much has nothing to do with aggregating followers; that sounds exhausting.  I’m enjoying Twitter because I like chatting with people on it.  Quality of interaction—not quantity.

Maybe there are functions of apps like JustUnfollow that make them useful and not horrible.  I’m willing to listen if someone wants to convince me this isn’t a soul-sucking leech of a program.  But even the branding—”JustUnfollow?”  Billing its primary function as automated unfollowing, not because someone on your Twitter feed is mucking up your Twitter reading/engaging experience but because they had the audacity not to follow you back?  Gah!

I’m loving Twitter. But an app like JustUnfollow would turn it into all the worst things about social media.

And hey, if you see me on Twitter and want to be Twitter friends, interact with me. I’m @sl_huang, and despite this rant, I’m very friendly.

  1. I like my Twitter feed.  I knew I had a good composition of people on there when the Doctor Who casting news came out, because it had never been so abundantly clear that the people I follow were in the intersection of folks with both an abiding interest in nerdy science fiction shows and a burning drive for better representation of women and minorities in media.