Eliminate Your Twitter Friends the “Fun” Way with “ChumpDump”

Everyone uses Twitter in a number of ways for many different purposes. I’m different than most people in that I don’t follow hundreds and hundreds of other people; I can’t remember the last time I followed more than 20 people. (I’m at 17 at the moment.) Why? Mainly because when the Tweetie icon in my menubar turns a shade of blue, I only want to be bothered by it if it’s got a tweet written by someone that I actually care about following.

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks that there should be some value to the people that you choose to stalk over Twitter. TechCrunch this week posted an interview with Dan Rockwell, the creator of a new mobile app called ChumpDump.

It actually turns the process of weeding through your huge list of followers into a game, where it actually lets you earn karma points and vouchers for dumping the “chumps” that you’re following (but letting you designate certain tweeters as “saves,” that is, people that you definitely want to keep following). And of course, you can go to their website to see a map of everyone who’s recently been declared a chump or a save, because tarnishing other people’s reputations is the American way, right?

For me, I think it seems like something very weird, and I personally would not want to publicly “dump” someone from Twitter using something this weird. But that’s Twitter for you, giving everyone their own awkward way to make their mark.

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About Douglas Bell

I live in Washington, D.C., and work as a Broadcast Technician at WAMU 88.5 FM, the local NPR affiliate in the Washington metro area. My primary shift is to engineer the local feed of NPR’s Morning Edition, including local news and weather, long-form features and station breaks… and yes, the shift starts at 5 am, so I’ve got the whole quasi-nocturnal thing going on. I am also the Coordinating Producer for Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie, an independently-produced podcast and public radio program. Extracurricularly, I play cello, and participate in a church choir and a handbell choir. I enjoy discovering new places, and am constantly searching for the perfect cheeseburger. I am also known as a frequent teller of puns.

One thought on “Eliminate Your Twitter Friends the “Fun” Way with “ChumpDump”

  1. Hey guys, thanks for the write up!

    “For me, I think it seems like something very weird, and I personally would not want to publicly “dump” someone from Twitter using something this weird.”

    Actually this what we thought as well. In the original design of the app, we didn’t have an explicit communication feature in that after you dumped or saved someone, you could then – tweet that act out, effectively reaching out to the person you dumped or saved and stating why.

    BUT like anything once people started playing with it, beta testers wanted the feature. Now most wanted to reach out and use a “save” to try and reconnect with someone they enjoyed having in twitter and wanted to use it as a means to reconnect. Some however wanted to dump someone and state why, as if it get it off their chest.

    There have been plenty of online tools to allow us to sever our connections with all our various virtual friends online, most allow us to do it in a way that the dumpie party never knows unless they themselves use some kind of “notification” tool to alert them. But in all those tools the actual real meat of “why” is never vented so no one knows anything, you never get an idea of why someone followed your or not.

    Our game simply brings this kind of inside “nod” we all know yet don’t seem to address publicly out of the box.

    A map of the dumps would be no different than a map of the saves, and its merely taking the data thats there and having fun ways of visualizing it. Other visualizations to come btw 😛

    I also think “tarnished” is a bit harsh. I mean every day you can go search.twitter.com and type in a statement like “ATT sucks” and farm the word of mouth right out of the masses online that express likes and dislikes- yet its ok to do this just for brands and not people? Today on twitter they are one in the same in terms of influence, you signed up for their feed, if they failed you, wouldn’t you, who failed them want to know why? Odds are you’d say yes, but discreetly.. but then the whole world of social networks is less and less discreet now isn’t it?

    Now thats a whole nother discussion, and we’re not saying the trend is right or wrong it is what it is. 🙂

    dan

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