Thursday, July 24, 2008

Is the Whale Jumping the Shark?

First I thought it was me...suddenly half my followers were gone, as were more than half of the people I was following. Maybe yesterday's post recollecting the time my water broke offended people? Then I logged into my association's account and same thing--more than half of the hard-won followers had disappeared, as had half the list of people we were following--a list that took hours to research and compile.

Wait a minute, though...I was one of the people who stopped following my company, according to the much diminished list of followers; same with the other staff members who had been following. I know I didn't stop following, nor did they, so obviously this mass deletion of followers/followees was being orchestrated by Twitter itself.

So great--here I am, having just a few weeks ago convinced my association that they needed to be using Twitter, gotten it set up...and suddenly it appears that Twitter is deleting followers in attempt to wipe out spammers.

Now what? Just when the higher-ups at work were getting excited about Twitter I have to now go back to them and tell them that a bug in the system "accidentally" wiped out half our efforts?

As far as I'm concerned, Twitter may as well just shut down the studio at this point. It's like having your money stolen from the bank--once it's happened you're never going to trust that bank again and certainly won't be replenishing your looted-by-the-bank account. It's not like we had just dumped a contact list into our association's Twitter account; I can't recreate it without spending hours manually re-finding everyone we had added to begin with. Twitter claims that they'll be restoring lost follower/following relationships; I'm not holding my breath.

If companies everywhere were skeptical to begin with, how are they going to feel when they realize that Twitter is not actually the ultimate social media tool they'd finally believed it to be? When people realize that, at any given moment, well-thought out follower/following relationships can be wiped out in the blink of an eye will it lead to the whale's final demise?

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