I wish I could quit you. -Brokeback Mountain
I wish I could qwit you. -Your Twitter followers

There is a Twitter related service called Qwitter whose main function is to let you know when a follower “unfollows” you. It is a very simple service where you need only give them your email and username (no password, which is awesome) and they will not only email you every time someone stops following you, they will also tell you exactly what Tweet you last posted that drove this person to unsubscribe to your updates. I really love the execution of this service. It’s clean, works great and involves no password or sign up. Big cheers to the developers for all of that.

I thought I would try this out and signed up for a few days. The results were mystifying. Someone unsubscribed right after I said, “Good night!” Someone unsubscribed after I posted one of my blog posts. Someone unsubscribed after I wrote a reply to someone else, someone they weren’t even following so I cannot imaginge they even saw that message.

What was I supposed to learn from this? Don’t wish people good night (IE, don’t ad personal touches to my Twitter feed), don’t reference my blog posts (thereby losing all marking benefit of Twitter), don’t talk to other people? If I stopped doing all of the above, there would no longer be a point to being on Twitter at all.

I turned off updates from Qwitter after only a few days because I couldn’t see the value of them. I spent so much time trying to figure out why followers left and why I should care that I realized it was just a distraction and a waste of time.

To those that use Qwitter, I have to ask:

  • Do you want an alert everytime someone unsubscribes from your blog or mailing list?
  • . . . an alert everytime someone removes you from their address book?
  • . . . an alert everytime removes the bookmark for your website from your favorites?

If you answered yes to all of the above, I need you to enlighten me on why. Because, to me, your twitter followers are no different than the other people who contact or subscribe to what you have to say all over the web. Sure, there are a few people who could unfollow me and I would take it personally but, for the most part, why should I care? Especially because your decision to remove me may have nothing to do with my last tweet, yet now I am overanalysing everything I write and having to stifle who I am.

Qwitter takes the simple act of an unsubscription and makes it a personal offense. CNN doesn’t care if you turn off email alerts, why should you care if someone turns off messages from you?

To me, it’s a distraction and its just going to curb your personality and brand if you spend all your time trying to please others.

Now what I would find a useful service is if you could specify a minimum. If 10 people stop following me after I write a specific tweet, yeah, that I want to know about. But one person? I just don’t see the value.

I know some of you are Qwitter addicts, I have seen you tweet about “so and so unfollowed me when I posted x.” Please feel free to post below on what makes this service and plus for you and not just a distraction.