#Unfollowgate: How This Effects The Minneapolis/St. Paul Online Community
True story. There is Watergate, Monicagate and numerous other ‘gates’. There has been no ‘gate’ that has captivated my attention. There has been no ‘gate’, until today that I have been involved in, until #unfollowgate.
In the last couple months, I have noticed certain people who have been quick to comment on certain tweets I have sent out. Monitoring the situation, I evaluated what I was sending, was it useful, entertaining and/or relevant? I overanalyze most everything in my life, so adding this to my plate was not ideal. Regardless, I never want to offend anyone, and try my best to be conscious of what I say.
That did not help.
This morning, I had someone tweet the following:
I just unfollowed @jasondouglas Checking in at work on FourSquare violates my view of ICEE #NothingPersonal.
I was shown this by a co-worker, who was as stunned as me. Being unfollowed is not uncommon. Being called out and made an example of to the world over something as petty as checking in on Foursquare where I work however, is bothersome.
Before moving forward, for those who do not know what ICEE stands for, here are the definitions:
All of the above are great rules to abide by when tweeting. It would be nice to have your tweet achieve all of the above. It is more difficult to inspire, connect, entertain, and educate in 140 characters than the average person would assume.
What is gained by calling someone out for not following your interpretation of the above ‘rules’? Isn’t unfollowing someone the opposite of connecting?
One person tweeted this to the unfollower:
so then what tweets don’t Inspire Connect Entertain or Educate? I think that covers any kind of tweet thats been written.
Agreed. I find it difficult to not achieve one of the four ICEE guidelines in any tweet that myself and any other Twitter user has ever sent.
In my experience in the social media community, I have been met with open arms by almost everyone I have connected with online and in real life. I have built and am building some great relationships with people I would not have been connected to if not for social media.
When someone calls me out, uses my name, and accuses me of not being inspiring, not being a connector, not entertaining, and not educating — all the while telling me it is not personal — I strongly disagree with that. Online or off, when you use someone’s name and use accusatory language, no matter how subjective it is, you have made it a personal attack.
This is why I monitor the conversation around my name in most every online channel. I need to make sure that my name is not being smeared by anyone. This is something I highly recommend doing ASAP; check to see what comes up in search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others; see if there are any groups or fan pages created talking about you or people with the same name. Make sure you own your name. You are a brand.
Once the above tweet was sent out, I had 20 DMs in my inbox within the first five minutes asking if this was real. Unfortunately, it is.
When I attended the Minnesota Business/LaBreche Reputations event with guest Chris Brogan last month. Brogan made a statement about the Minneapolis and St. Paul online marketing community: We do not collaborate, we are too exclusive. It is a lot easier to fight a war with a large army. By not working together, the MSP area is not at the top of the online marketing communities where it belongs.
Behavior that I experienced today is exactly what Brogan was talking about. The MSP community does not benefit from someone trying to throw someone under the bus for self promotion. That is not how an individual becomes a true influencer. Any community that has people like that actively participating in the community is not a healthy community. If the MSP community wants to become a legitimate leading community, behavior like this must cease.
After numerous tweets from my army supporting me (thank you all :-)) the person tweeted the following:
“I won’t be publicizing my ICEE theory removes. Tweets should Inspire Connect Entertain Educate. Apparently is causing a stir.”
I wish he had thought of that before attempting to humiliate me.
I feel sad knowing our great community took a step back yesterday. I hope that our community learns from this and are able to take two steps forward.
This is not the first #Unfollowgate in the history of Twitter. I want to hear your #Unfollowgate story. How was it handled on both sides? Was there a reconciliation?
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