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Ahad Bokhari

Pumpers and Dumpers

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This is a random post, rather more of a rant than anything else and it’s about a certain type of people who create the illusion of popularity with many foloowers on any given online social site. You’ll see them on Twitter, Instagram, and yes, even Github.

The idea is to mass follow people, wait for a while to see if they follow you back and then dump those who don’t. I first noticed this behavior on Twitter some years back, but see that it’s perpetuated to platforms like Github as well.

It’s as effective a technique as it is detrimental, and can easily land you oodles of followers within weeks - the problem is that with so many dead followers your signal and influence weakens considerably.

It’s rampant on Twitter, but I’ve been noticing lately annoyingly so on Github as well where users sole purpose is to follow those who they feel are lower in the pecking order knowing that many newbies jump at the chance to follow back a stronger developer. Perhaps some are genuine in their quest to find like-minded people to share their code and stuff with, but for the most part I see it as a malicious act of trolling.

We all want a vibrant community around our stuff / code, but there are genuine ways to do so, ways that can lead to a much stronger community, signal and output of contributers.

Yes, I agree it’s tough to find the right group of people but pumping and dumping with the knowledge that most of your followers are dead on the platform is down right annoying.