Newt Spam and Hours of List Culling

Wish I would have taken a before and after screen shot on my Twitter page (for my personal @JamesKirk) account. Okay, before someone points out that I can still take an AFTER shot…
@JamesKirk After Culling Followers

But I do remember the before numbers. I was following just over 600 folks, er, accounts (like 602 or so) and had 620 followers. If I were actually a smart blogger, I would have grabbed that before shot and really planned out this post like a professional.

Oh, well. No need to explain why that moniker does not apply.

Here’s the deal. Last night I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME going through my personal account attempting to clean it up. I was going to do the same with @BoldlyGoing, however by 3:30 am I was done. Eventually I got smart with some of the free twitter follower manager services out there, but they don’t do everything I was hoping to have done.

One thing was determining the crap, spammy accounts that are likely also following @newtgingrich. In order to do that I had to use good old fashioned Turing Test superiority and click on all of the suspicious looking accounts in my followers (and following) list.

This just takes time. Click. Profile review. Determination. Block and/or unfollow. Next.

Finally, the @JamesKirk was account was done. (After I’d used a service to discover the lousy bastards, uhm, people who inadvertently forgot to follow me when I followed them.)

There was a lot of them folks. Like 176 of them. Now I have only 18. Why even keep those few? Well, I sort of equate it to reading a book from a favorite author or watching a television show. I want to be entertained, enlightened, distracted, whatever.

I don’t really expect any of the authors I read to read my book, (yeah, shameless plug. Forgive me. Please. Just this time. Maybe a few more times later in the month) The Perfect Meal.

Nor would I imagine the producers of my favorite TV episode of say, Master Chef or Top Chef or Whites to waste their time watching this web gem >>>>>>>> 😐

Okay, so after wasting, damn, I mean investing all that time, what have I learned?

Well, first that the 33% or so of people, or accounts I thought were following me making me feel like a champ with over 600 followers were fakers. What’s my definition of a faker?

A blatant spammy account usually is one with an avatar of a sexy, bikini-clad lady (I do not know how I got them followers, dear. Honest!) (And this is excellently discussed by someone over on the Popular Mechanics site far smarter than me; @PopMech)

Then there were the old, inactive accounts. 2009 seemed to be a popular year to open Twitter accounts, grab a bunch of followers and then do nothing. Any accounts which were really old (like more than six months!) got the axe (yeah, I put an “e” on axe. Su me!)

As I discovered through hours of profile inspecting (and could have learned if I had read the PopMech article listed above before starting this project), the profiles with funny handle names and little to no “bio” information seemed to be spam accounts. Most of them had a high ratio of who they were following to followers (I seemed to be the only person following most of these accounts), and/or a dismal number of tweets sent.

More account deletions.

Then there were just the ones I didn’t feel warm and fuzzy having in my stream. For a variety of reasons. And realize that on the profile page where their account info pops up, there are only the last three tweets shown.

You can learn a lot about an account/person/spammer with what they post in those 420 characters (for those who are just back from a mission to Mars, tweets are a maximum of 140 characters times three equals…Oh, you get it? Good.)

More deletions.

Finally that darned scroll bar on the browser window quit growing with more accounts and I was through my list of followers. Death, destruction and mayhem. And that was just me attempting to get out of my office chair after spending all that time messing with this stuff!

So bully for me. Sure I have a third less accounts that I’m following, and approximately 17% fewer followers. But who cares? The reality is my numbers are much more likely to be considered real, quality quantities of stand-up folks using Twitter for good and not eeevil!