Tending the SoundCloud Community Garden

A hack for a long-running inconvenience

I still find plenty of interesting music and sound on SoundCloud. The most complicated (i.e., annoying) aspect of the service (aside from spam, which you know is automated, but you can’t — or at least I can’t — resist the instinct to anthropomorphize) is that the number of accounts you’re allowed to follow remains capped at 2,000. This means that every time I want to follow a new one, I have to find someone among my many follows to unfollow. It also means I can’t follow the vast majority of the 10,600+ people who follow me. Such a restriction seems like an ill-considered structure for a social-media community, because it forces individuals to, in essence, be rude by not allowing them to easily reciprocate a fundamental social action.

Exacerbating the problem is that there are no tools (within SoundCloud or third-party), at least that I’m aware of, to assist in the whittling necessary when you do want to follow someone new once you hit to the magic 2,000 ceiling — this tending of my plot in the virtual community garden. The best thing I can do is to type two or three random letters into the search option that lets me filter my existing follows, then click on the handful that show up, and then locate an account among them that hasn’t posted in a few years (yeah, yeah — there’s plenty those). Then I unfollow that account in order to make room for the account I want to follow.

SoundCloud was founded back in 2007, and I think I joined at the start of 2010, because that’s the earliest email I can find that mentions SoundCloud that involves my having an account. I have a couple other emails dating back to 2008 that were professional promotional requests for me to listen to someone’s music on SoundCloud. The service hasn’t changed much in years. As community gardens go, SoundCloud is more than a bit thick with weeds, but it’s still plenty alive. It’s just hard to deal with those weeds without some good tools.

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