Follow, Un-follow, and “What’s Twitter for, anyway?”

Yesterday I did an @-reply to Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer):

@Scobleizer, for me twitter is for getting interesting insights and ideas. I’m sure not going to get them from those who follow me! (ducks)

Robert had tweeted his blog post on a change of follow habits, You are SO unfollowed! in which he said:

On Monday I unfollowed 106,000 people on Twitter. The reaction so far has been quite interesting. More than 7,000 accounts have unfollowed me back.

Twitter is such a useful ecosystem for ideas and news, why would you want to limit it to only those who want to listen to what you say?

I follow people I find interesting. Some of them follow me, some don’t. Either way, it’s ok. If @gruber, @mkapor or @timoreilly were to follow me, I’d be flattered. But it certainly doesn’t bother me if they don’t. I actually prefer to presume that most of the folks who follow me do so because they find me interesting.

Some of those 7,000 who un-followed @Scobleizer were bots or other sorts of spamming machines. That’s another reason to just follow twitter accounts that you find valuable – my direct messages in twitter don’t suck since everyone I follow is interesting to me. Scoble’s original post does a nice job of enumerating the reasons his change of habit has improved his Twitter experience.

I do wonder what’s next for Twitter. It’s useful and fun, but it’s also still changing and growing. Clients and tools like Seesmic Desktop, CoTweet, and FriendFeed are all changing the way we use Twitter. What’s next, I don’t know. But I’m enjoying the conversation.

Fabulous Auction to Benefit Square Peg Foundation

Our fabulous volunteers put together this amazing auction to benefit Square Peg Foundation. They’ve done a amazing job and we’ve received great support from the community. Here’s are just a few of my favorite items:

2000 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse De Lande – Grand Cru Classe Pauillac (Bordeaux) wine (Double Magnum 3L)
Masterminds of Programming – Conversations with the Creators of Major Programming Languages (Autographed)
Soccer Clinic w. Houston Dynamo Coach Tim Hanley
A Trip for Two to Washington D.C. for Four Days & Three Nights at the Grand Hyatt Washington

Thanks again to our volunteers for doing such a great job setting up this auction and attracing such generous support!

The Search for Meaning… from the Square Peg Blog

Arianna Huffington was the morning Keynote Speaker at the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp for Non-Profit, Saturday in Berkeley, CA. I was looking forward to her speech. I enjoy Arianna on KCRW’s Left, Right, and Center and usually agree with her editorials in The Huffington Post. I knew it would be a good speech – an inspiring and thought-provoking speech. it was a lot more.


[More at Square Peg Blog]

Hanging at the intersection of Where and I.D.

I spent the day hanging out at WhereCamp09, enjoying the geekdom and learning about great new projects. These folks are really doing amazing stuff.

But it surprised me how little the geo-geeks have done to embrace the social web.

The folks hanging at WhereCamp definitely need to be plugging in to the ID/Privacy/InfoCard/VRM effort. Too much of the cool stuff they are talking about is just creepy without robust controls on private data.

It’s also clear that the Identity folks need to somehow do better at getting the word out about their solutions to some of these problems.

I don’t know if this missing connection is a bigger problem for the WhereCamp folks or for the IIW folks. Is it a symptom of myopia for the mappping crowd, or lack of visibility for the identity nerds? Which effort is hurt worse when they are slow to cross-pollinate their ideas?


Stereotyping is easy for all of us. Our brains are categorizing machines, shoving every thing we see and do into tidy little boxes within boxes. A stereotype that conjures fear is even more powerful, because nothing gets our attention faster than danger – this also is built-in our wiring.

So it’s great to see more diverse presentation of Muslims in the media.

For an excellent point-of-view on this, check out Time’s Mona Eltahawy on video,

[From Latest Videos from]

Craigslist Foundation’s Boot Camp – June 20th, 2009, in Berkeley, CA

My wife and I founded Square Peg Foundation in 2004, the same year Craigslist Foundation had their first “Boot Camp for Non-profits.” That first Boot Camp was an amazing experience for me, and since then I have only missed one.

As Craigslist Foundation describes it:

Boot Camp is an inspiring and unique community effort that connects people to the resources they need to help build stronger and healthier communities. Our focus is simple – to connect, motivate and inspire greater community impact.

[From Craigslist Foundation’s Boot Camp]

If you work at a non-profit, volunteer, serve on a board, or have always dreamed of starting something that really matters, you should join us at the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp for Non-profits! I hope we’ll see you there.

“Them” is very much ‘Us”

Shel Israel wrote a powerful post a couple days ago. I just saw it. It’s in the general theme of social networks, but really it’s about bigotry. A Must-Read:

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Danah Boyd on socialization in the digital world

In this video interview, Danah Boyd makes some great points about lack of socialization of kids. Lack of space for them to gather and be social even in with their own friends and some of the factors making this happen. Then she talks about how they DO socialize, online… OK, there’s a few asides regarding Scoble being different from normal users, but the rest is fascinating stuff.

Danah Boyd interview by Robert Scoble, at Davos:

[From QIK | Streaming video right from your phone]

Danah Boyd is a researcher who studies teens ad their online interactions. See more on Danah at her website.

You can also read about her on Wikipedia