Mashable reported this weekend about a quirky app called “Twitter Doghouse.” What it does is unfollows another user for a period of time that you determine them to be in the doghouse, then follows them again. It was developed by Elan Dubrofsky and designed by Jure Stern for the “Ruby App to put Twitter or Facebook users in ‘My Doghouse’” contest on CloudSpokes.
When in the app, you choose the person you want to put in the doghouse. Then you choose a timeframe and a message to send when putting them in the doghouse and when they are welcomed back into your circle of trust. One thing I noted was that the entirety of my followers weren’t available to put in the doghouse. There is also an option that allows you to send a tweet to put someone in the Twitter Doghouse and that didn’t work, though I don’t know if this issue might be related to inaccessibility of all users (I tried to put @jimdougherty in time out from @leaderswest).
Twitter Doghouse is innovative in its timing feature
One of the neatest things to note was how the app is based upon time (it was the context of the contest). Some Twitter clients allow for muting a user, but the management of that is oftentimes difficult. If you mute someone, odds are they’ll stay muted. Twitter Doghouse automatically manages that for you, which is pretty cool. This could be the impetus for some other apps down the line (created by people far more creative than I’m thinking right now).
I have no patience for a Twitter Doghouse call-out
As cool as this is in concept, tweeting someone to tell them that they’ve annoyed you and you’re putting them in the “Twitter Doghouse” is reminiscent of the “Jim Dougherty and some others unfollowed me” tweets. It’s caustic, and the underlying issue isn’t shared in good fun: you are trying to influence another user’s behavior. I’ve always felt that if you disagree with how someone is using their social network, it’s much better to simply unfollow them than to chastise them for it. For instance a lot of people are surprised that my personal Facebook page is a repository for pictures of my kids – but that’s where our family can see them. You could tell me not to do that, but it’s not going to change my behavior. You could post on my Facebook wall about it, and it would just tick me off.
Twitter Doghouse is innovative app that I implore people never to use on me. Please just unfollow me and let’s resolve to stay friends. Thank you.