Catfood Follower 1.30 introduced some changes to removing traitors: followers who have stopped following you back. This post will help you understand how to get the best results from the new Follower.
The first thing to understand is that two things need to happen before a traitor is automatically removed. The first involves the rules that you set up for your account:
Each time Follower runs it will look for people you’re following who don’t follow you back and add them to a list of candidates for removal. Nothing will happen until a candidate has been on the list for the number of days specified under Remove Rules. You’ll see a message in the log like “exfriend is pending removal”, this means Follower is keeping tabs on exfriend and will attempt to remove them once they’ve been on this list long enough. The reason for this is to prevent Follower from removing users you’ve only just started following.
From 1.30 you’ll see “xxx remove candidates require authorization - run Catfood Follower Settings” in the log when new candidates are added to the list. This change was made because Twitter forbids automatic unfollowing. To authorize removal run Catfood Follower Settings, highlight each account and click the Unfollow… button:
All you need to do is check each account that you want to unfollow and then click OK.
Note that you can do this any time after an account is added to the list of remove candidates. The account will not be unfollowed until the number of days specified in settings has elapsed. If the account starts following you back then it will be removed from the list of remove candidates even if you have ticked the box to authorize removal.
In short, to mimic the old behavior of Follower just run settings periodically and authorize all of the Unfollows.
The best way to get the most automation possible about of Catfood Follower is to set up a couple of scheduled tasks. The instructions below are for Windows Vista and 7. On XP look for Scheduled Tasks in Control Panel –> Administrative Tools.
- Click Start and type Task Scheduler. Run Task Scheduler.
- On the right hand side of the Window click Create Basic Task….
- Type a name (i.e. Follower) and click Next.
- Choose how frequently to Run Follower (i.e. Daily) and click Next.
- Enter a schedule – you probably want to run Follower when you’re not likely to be using Twitter as it can consume a large number of API requests. When you’ve set the schedule click Next.
- Select Start a Program and click Next.
- Click Browse… and select C:\Program Files\Catfood Software\Catfood Follower\Follower.exe (assuming that you installed Follower in the default location). Click Next.
- Click Finish.
Running Follower.exe with no command line arguments processes all follow and unfollow rules for all accounts in live mode. You’ll see a small progress window while Follower is running. This prevents you from needing to use the Test button in Settings.
The second task I’d recommend is to run Follower Settings every so often as a reminder to manually process the unfollow authorizations (of course this step is only necessary if you’re unfollowing – if you just use Follower to follow back new friends you’re fully automated with the one schedule task above).
(Updated 2010-11-18 at Twitter's Request: Please note that the second task is just a reminder for you to MANUALLY decide if you want to remove each of the users that Follower has listed as not following you back. Running Follower as a scheduled task with the /settings switch does not process any rules and does not provide any automation in the process of deciding who to remove. I only recommend it as a reminder that you need to MANUALLY check each user to remove as Twitter does not allow this feature to be automated.)
To set up a task to run settings follow the instructions above with three differences: in step 3 choose a different name (i.e. Remind self to authorize unfollows); in step 4 you probably want to use a weekly schedule rather than daily; and in step 7 enter “/settings” as the command line argument to Follower.exe.
When running Follower automatically you might want to check the log occasionally to check that everything is working as expected. For each Follower run a log file is created at (on Vista/7):
C:\Users\YOU\AppData\Roaming\Catfood Software\Catfood Follower\follower.log
If you can’t find this path you may need to show hidden files and folders in Windows Explorer (Organize –> Folder and search options –> View –> Hidden files and folders).