Social Media Barnacles Will Slow You Down

One of the reasons Nelson defeated the French at the Battle of Trafalgar was the British ships had copper bottomed hulls. The reason? Copper is toxic and no living thing can grow on it, so all the barnacles and limpets and seaweed couldn’t grow on the hull and slow it down. Thus the British ships were faster than the French, who were weighed down by all sort of little creatures hanging on to them.

What the hell has this to do with anything? Well, it was something I thought about as I had a big clear out of “friends” from my social media accounts. I decided that not all “friends” within my social media accounts were worth the trouble and were causing my own social media activities to slow down.

No more.

I had a big cull and got rid of a lot of barnacles from my hull. And it is very refreshing.

Humans are complex things, but to reduce the presence of another human being to an avatar allows a more mechanical reaction. I look at any of the avatars classed as a friend on digg and a process occurs. “Does this friend ever vote on my stories?”, if the answer is no put him on the delete pile. “Does this friend submit cool stuff and link to me regularly on his blog?”, remove him from the delete pile and put onto the daily digg file. “Does this other friend not vote for me and has not even friend-ed me back?” Yes, delete the bugger right now and stop him (or her) slowing down my ship.

As Michael Corleone says, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” Although I do take wry satisfaction deleting a friendship which was leeching thought cycles from my brain.

I’ve spent nearly a year in intensive social media exploitation mode, or SMEM (lol) and when I see certain avatars around the space I groan and think, “oh not that guy again.” I am sure if you have spent any time in the space you have your own collection of people that induce a feeling of derision and revulsion. I am sure my own avatar induces the same feeling on a lot of people.

But lets not go there, lest the misanthropy take hold deeper within my soul.

So to save any more of your time, and mine – it’s New Years Eve in the Antcliff household and holiday spirit is cracking through my early morning fug – get rid of any friends on your social media account you have deemed to be a barnacle. Including mine.

So if you are no longer on my digg list, you know why. Stumbleupon also for that matter.

18 thoughts on “Social Media Barnacles Will Slow You Down”

  1. You raise a good point here. Getting rid of the “dead weight” can help a lot.

    I’ve been being more active in seeking out quality relationships with other bloggers. In the process, I’ve been trying to weed out contacts that do nothing more than take up space.

    The difficulty I run into is that I’m a “nice guy” at heart and I genuinely like to talk with people. However, I’m finding that a lot of my time is wasted in idle “chit chat” which could be spent on building a better blog and/or social media profile.

    Thanks for the good reminder, Lyndon!

  2. Hey Lyndon, nice to see ya alive and kicking (smacking and whacking). I generally have a lot more ?fans? than friends on the few social spaces I play with outside of Sphinn? where I just feel like loving everyone :0). I don?t really play the game and so I rarely need to worry about anyone asking me to ?do them a favor?. To be honest, I don?t know if it is my general stance on whoring or what, but it is rare that some one asks me ?to look at something?.

    I am pretty sure it was you that was on about ?personal brand management? a few times and I tend to also look at things from that perspective. That is to say that I tend to try and be particular as to whom I am ?friends? with and generally have no patience for vote begging buggars (like that James Morris guy, yeesh… just kidding there JM :0).

    Anyway, nice to see ya posting and doing some house cleaning? Happy New Year?s to ya mate!

  3. Phew! Just checked and I made the cut…Was worried for a second there. After all, who wouldn’t want to be Stumble buddies with the Social Media Exploitation Guy hereafter known as SME…ermm…hold on…

    Oh bugger

    Happy New Year to you sir 🙂

  4. Ok, this post made me curious. Looks like I survived the house cleaning on SU, for now at least. I’m too lazy at the moment to search through my Digg friends, it’s much less convenient than SU.

  5. People only want to be my friend so I read their post?!?

    I thought that was kind of the point of social media. If I scrub my hull I might only have one friend thus being not very popular. I am like JMorris and love the attention. So on the off chance the bottom feeding barnacles might one day vote on or visit my page I think I am going to let them be.

    Using social media sites for traffic and content are great. I go there to find much of the great information I use today. But for the really good information I subscribe to feeds. I feel that the social media barnacles are in the same class as spammers so I just disregard their “shouts.” I look at them as a part of the game just like having e-mail.

  6. Ha, ha! I bet all your social media friends went to check if they are still on your list.
    I know what you are talking about, I also have a few “friends” who want me to read (and vote) their brilliant stuff every other day. While I don’t mind doing this for people I respect and admire, I hate it when it’s the only purpose on somebody’s agenda. And you know what? I tried to do the same to them, and very few actually respond in the way they would like me to. Probably I should get rid of those.

  7. My favorites are those who “friend” me and send blocks of 5 posts at a time to Sphinn or Stumble expecting service.

    Then some repeatedly comment in our blog with gratuitous link dropping. It’s gross. The user “name” in the comments thread is “Gee read my cool post XYZ.” The “website” they list is the post they’re promoting. It took a while to learn not to accept every friend request.

    Lyndon…nice to see you posting. We wish you a happy new year.

  8. (After what Marty said, I couldn’t resist.)

    I agree with you here, Lyndon with one difference. I keep my real friends who occasionally use the services friended, because for the most part, it takes them a little while to truly see the benefit, and are only joining because I insisted. Then invariably, at one time or another, they get a huge bump in traffic and become a convert.

    Other than that, hey, business is business. As a sporadic user myself, I really wish people didn’t follow me to certain services, like Digg, as I’m mostly there for personal use.

  9. Thanks for the article. It was something I wondered about, although I’m new to this game and still friendless. 😉 Has anyone ever gotten mad because you deleted them??

  10. Ha! Good stuff Lyndon. I like the correlation of the barnacles. Now, get out of exploitation mode and back to work! 😉

  11. @ Alice, simply be yourself, communicate, have something to say and don’t try any tricks (at least don’t let people see them 😉

    No one has got mad, because I think those relationships are dead and it’s not how many “friends” you have, but what your friends do.

    What sparked this was the number of digg “friends” I had who never did anything, not even log on. And with the new style of digg it makes sense to have less friends so as you can communicate more effectively.

    The point is, no one wants to be used and if you try to take without giving you will be viewed as such.

  12. I had never considered this point before! Though it is pretty common sense, the online world mimics the real world. In real life you develop “barnacles” and need to get rid of them before they drag you down, the online world is just the same. If only some people spent time being a positive friend instead of worrying if they are your #1 friend.

  13. I read this post as I was going through my newsreader deleting as many blogs as possible. I had 1000+ unread posts. I just can’t keep up.

    I also had to cancel a weekly post that just soaks up my time b/c it compiles quotes from blogs. I don’t have the time for that anymore.

    A word to the wise: Write less frequently! It makes it easier to want to keep subscribed to your blog!

    I’ve also been thinking of canceling my Digg account b/c I don’t really use Digg.

  14. Nathania,

    AFAIK, Digg does not even let you cancel a Digg account that you no longer want. It helps keep their membership count inflated enough to impress (or scam) potential corporate purchasers. You can guess that I’m no fan of Digg.


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