Category Archives: Online dating

11 People to Unfollow on Twitter today


Let the record show that I am about to write a Listicle*. The internet is rife with articles on “Who to Follow on Twitter” but I’ve seen scant evidence regarding the contrarian view. Since I generally prefer the contrarian view, I offer the following.

I did this exercise recently, and was sharing my process with Brendan Lewis, who shares in my love of all things snarky, especially when it involves Social Media. He encouraged me to write it up. So you can thank him if it seems helpful. (Note: If it’s not helpful, please direct all complaints to: Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York City.)

Specifically, who should you unfollow? Unfollow these people, and enjoy a Twitter feed with substantially less narcissism, solipsism and self-promotion. Read on:

  1. Unfollow anyone who claims “guru” status of anything. Do I need to explain why? Same goes for “raconteur” and “diva” and some others. If you have to SAY that you’re a guru, odds are you are not. These words are pretentious when self-applied.
  2. Unfollow anyone who lists “running” in their profile. While I generally have nothing against athletes, people who call themselves “runners” bug the crap out of me. There are people who go for a run. There are people who run marathons. But people who identify as “Runners” tend to be self-important types who never played team sports or don’t realize that you CAN play team sports after high school. Crossfitters and triathletes, this means you, too.
  3. Unfollow anyone who unironically retweets Gary Vaynerchuk, Peter Shankman, or Brian Solis. If you MUST follow these guys yourself, do so only for comic value, because these guys actually believe that they are God’s Gift. In reality they exist largely in a feedback loop of their own creation. Same goes for Michael Brito, Jeremiah Owyang, David Armano, and Chris Pirillo.
  4. Unfollow people who use the phrase “content marketing” in their profile or in their tweets. They heard this buzzword recently and decided to catch the wave. This wave will have crested and crashed in six to 12 months. Something else will take its place. Simply “marketing” is OK.
  5. Unfollow anyone who is a self-proclaimed “thought leader” immediately. (For more information, see #1 above). As Bob Dylan said — at least apocryphally —  “Don’t follow leaders.”
  6. Unfollow most PR people. They’re easy to find: their agency name usually appears in their twitter profile (firm names like Edelman, Waggener Edstrom [a.k.a “WaggEd”], Shandwick, Burson, etc.) Most of these folks don’t do anything on twitter but parrot their clients’ messages anyway, and talk about their regimen for training for the upcoming Metro Half-Marathon and Wine Festival (see #2 above).
  7. Unfollow anyone who says on their twitter profile that they’re “gluten free,” or “paleo,” or ”vegan” … these folks are compelled to share their quotidian food choices globally. You don’t need to know, really. It isn’t that interesting.
  8. Unfollow anyone who uses more than two hashtags in their twitter profile. #youre #doing #it #wrong #jackwagon #stop #trying #to #draw #attention #to #yourself
  9. Unfollow anyone who lists their Myers-Briggs personality type in their profile. I can only assume that this is a carryover from online dating sites. What gives? If you’re an INFJ, shouldn’t you be reading a book with your cat anyway instead of managing your Twitter account? Get off the internet! It belongs to us ESTPs anyway!
  10. Unfollow people who claim to have written “bestselling books” that you have never heard of. Authors who have actually written bestselling books generally don’t need to claim authorship of same on their twitter profiles. Having written a book that’s #46 in Amazon’s category Business> Business & Investing> Management & Leadership> Management> Marketing> Digital & Interactive Marketing> Social Media> Does not qualify as a bestseller. For a list of Bestselling authors, see Publisher’s Weekly or The New York Times. J.K. Rowling is a bestselling author. So is John Grisham. So are Bill Gates and Sheryl Sandberg. Unfollow authors who aren’t in that category.
  11. Unfollow any remaining mommy bloggers. That thing was so 2008.

Once you’ve unfollowed these people (if there’s anyone left in your feed), you’ll find that it probably contains interesting things about the world you live in or the industry in which you work. It might even contain things of real intellectual value. When you unclutter your feed from the narcissists and self-promoters, you can follow things of genuine interest. Isn’t that what a tool like Twitter should be used for anyway?

(Disclaimer/Warning: Following the advice in this post may negatively impact your Klout score. But if you’ve read this far, it’s a safe bet you don’t care.)

And now, gentle reader, I eagerly await your vitriol.

*Listicle, n. – a portmanteau of “List” and “article” … get it?

Blog Tag – I’m “it”!

Anyone ever play Tag? That’s the game where you tag someone, and they become “it” and you chase each other around until someone tags you and you become “it” again and the game continues ad infinitum.

Well this is just like that, except we’re on the Internet, and when you become “it” you have to tell everyone five things about yourself that other folks may not (or, may, actually) know. SO … I’ll tell my five things and if I tag you, then you’re up next. Comment on your own blog, or comment on mine. Whichever works best for you.

I was tagged by Gerald Baron here.

So here goes. My five things. In no particular order —

1) Travel: I have visited all of the 48 contiguous US states. I have never been to Alaska or Hawaii. In fact, I have lived in seven of them (in descending order of time as resident: Colorado, Washington State, Montana, Indiana, New York, Ohio and Massachusetts). If you want to test me, go ahead. I can tell you a story from any of the states I’ve visited. Outside of the US, I’ve been to Canada (does that count?), Spain (twice), Greece, and had a brief layover in the Rome airport (but I don’t count that, usually. Though it is interesting). In spite of all this, I don’t consider myself particularly well-travelled.

2) Theatre: I got my college degree in Drama from The University of Montana. While studying there, a good friend and I founded a summer children’s theatre camp. The Montana economy being what it was at the time, we didn’t want to have to work at McDonald’s, you see. Sadly, the organization no longer exists, but in the memories of the scores of kids who attended during its seven years. I was first introduced to performing in Musicals while attending my high school, Colorado Academy. I played in the chorus of that most ubiquitous of high school musicals, Fiddler on the Roof. Since that time, I have been involved in more than 50 productions. I intend to do some more theatre at some point, though I’m taking a bit of a hiatus for now.

3) Religion: I check the box marked “None”. I’m an atheist. There are no gods, no devils, no heaven, no afterlife. This here and now is all we’ve got. I’d like to use this forum to clear up two common misconceptions about atheists. First of all, “atheist” is a description, not a label. It’s a subtle distinction, I know, but an important one. It describes my views about theology, not a club to which I belong. Which leads me to my second point: The word “atheist” comes from the Greek “atheos” meaning “godless one”. It does not mean that I am out to destroy religion and its followers. Being that America is a predominantly Christian nation, I have many friends and family members who are devoutly religious. I do not share their views and we share a mutual respect. I’m happy to discuss this subject at length with anyone who is interested. Just ask me. As my friend John P. is fond of saying “my religion doesn’t have a problem with other religions. I wish you the best of luck with your faith.”

4) My wife and I met online. We just celebrated our 3rd anniversary. Does that make me an “early adopter”?

5) I once was homeless in New York City. Well, not EXACTLY homeless in a sleeping-on-a-steam-vent sort of way. But my roommate (Phil) and I were evicted from our Manhattan apartment by the NYC Housing Marshal without having any knowledge that it was about to happen. Phil and I were sub-leasing our apartment on East 80th Street from a guy named Alex. Trouble was, Alex wasn’t giving our rent to the landlord. He was putting it in his pocket. For FIVE MONTHS. So she had us evicted. Trouble was, she didn’t know that Alex had even sub-leased to us, and we didn’t know that he hadn’t told her. Phil and I both assumed, because we’re good people, that this Alex character was a decent guy, an honest guy. Well, he wasn’t. So …

So for four days, literally all I had was the clothes I was wearing. I had no address, no clothes, no bed, nothing. Only when we made contact with the landlord and told her our story did she grant permission for us to get all of our stuff out of the City storage facility (which is located in a CHARMING neighborhood in the industrial section of the South Bronx, on a street where the rats do not fear human-kind). After PAYING $500 to get our stuff out of city storage, we had to arrange transportation and sort everything out. When the Marshal and his associates come to clean out your apartment, suffice it to say that they don’t exactly use bubble wrap or label the boxes. I’ll let you use your imagination about the level of chaos that was visited upon us when we unpacked.

After that, I lived on my own until I got married. No more roommates or subleases for me!

6) Okay, I know it was only supposed to be five things … but I couldn’t resist. The sixth thing is that I’ve found out recently that there’s a guy out there who has my same name. But he’s not me. In fact, he’s an author who lives in the UK. His website is here and his blog is here. Check them out. We’ve exchanged a few emails, and he’s commented here on my blog before, and I sincerely hope I get to meet him one day. He seems like a terrific chap.

And now, since I’ve revealed my Five (well, six, actually) Things, I hereby tag the following five (well, six, actually) individuals:

Jake Stanford

Brian Sibley (the other one)

Patrick Van de Wille

Nathan Behan

Matt Fiorillo

Phil Strumpf