Luis Suarez’ Twitter Unfollowing Experiment

“What if Twitter decided to drop off the count of both followers and following? Would you still make use of it, like you are doing today? Imagine if Twitter decided get rid of that vanity metric, so that we would focus more on the conversations themselves, i.e. on topics, hashtags, events, etc., etc., do you think you would still be making use of Twitter and enjoy the overall experience as much as you are doing nowadays?”

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez tried the interesting experiment of unfollowing everyone on Twitter and using Twitter lists instead. He documents what he learned in the process.

It’s interesting how ego plays such a big role in social media. I remember when I first removed visitor analytics. Would I still write if I didn’t know whether people visited? Would it matter?1Unfortunately, web analytics has been replaced with email subscriber analytics. MailChimp dutifully informs me every time I get a new subscriber, or lose a subscriber, and my subscriber count.

It’s tempting to try Luis’ experiment. What do you think?

By Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.


  1. I like your “audience” question a lot — would you write if you knew no one visited..

    I think that there is a direct relationship between the writer’s target audience size and the depth at which they can express themselves. You can write more clearly and intimately for a small group or even as single person than you can for millions. So I think at least in that way your imagined audience is tied closely to what you produce.

    Also, communicating tends to be iterative — clarity and meaning comes with refining a context. So your real audience has the power to shape what you write as well.

    I do think there are writers who can write only for themselves and maybe that’s the destination of the “know thyself” journey. But I’ve always found it really tough to sustain and philosophically I guess I find it unsatisfying.

  2. Shelby, thanks for commenting!

    As I don’t limit this blog to a single topic, identifying my audience is impossible. I’m probably the only one who reads this blog that is interested in everything here.

    For my family-oriented and vacation posts, I imagine I’m writing to my mom. For posts like this on social media, I imagine I’m writing for my family that blogs and is on social media. You know who you are. ;-) For WordPress topics, I consider I’m writing for someone similar to me. What sort of documentation would I need to duplicate what I’ve done? Political and religious posts tend to document my current views. As I tend to be willing to change my views, these posts can become embarrassing as time goes on, so more recently, I’ve limited them. That’s probably too bad because the process of writing these posts helps me clarify my thoughts. Yeah, I should just write in a private journal. I’d get the same benefit without letting Google index it.

    Writing for myself? I must admit, that’s a significant part of what I’m doing here. Otherwise, I’d just use throwaway media like Facebook or even Medium. Experimenting with running, theming, optimizing, etc. is also a large part of the fun. :-)

    Probably my biggest kick in blogging is getting comments. So, thanks! :-)

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