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Aug 8, 2009

Social Maven Succumbs to the Dark-Side? (@Scobleizer)

After 2 years of aggressive following strategy at Twitter (see Twitterholic history) to entice 100,000 fans to return the follow, Robert Scoble, a self-made social maven in Silicon Valley has decided to drop all his followers.

Has this nice guy turned to the dark side?

Gaining Followers on Twitter

A common practice on Twitter is to invite people to follow you by following them first. In the early days of Twitter, 50% of the users returned the follow. A class of Twitter users, I call social whales, built up tens of thousands of followers with this patient practice. (i.e. a whale has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.) Mr. Scoble was one of tens of thousands of social whales.

At the advice of friends, Mr. Scoble dropped 100,000 of his followers. His excuse is that he wanted to clean up his Twitter stream. (You are SO unfollowed!)

Dozens of social whales have faced this issue. The common-sense answer is to start a new Twitter account that follows only those of true interest to himself. Thus, the new account becomes an inbox - while the primary account is the outbox. Dozens of social whales have chosen this solution.

By dropping 100,000 fans, Mr. Scoble has become a pho-celeb, a practice where users entice you with a follow and drop you to make themselves look popular. Tens of thousands unfortuantely behave like pho-celebs on Twitter. Mr. Scoble has just declared himself the King of pho-celebs with his public dismissal of 100,000 fans.

Has Mr. Scoble made a social mistake and succumbed to the Dark Side? Should he publically apologize to his fans? Should he encourage more pho-celebs with this narcissistic practice?

What do you think? Please RT.
Do you approve pho-celebs?

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