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Twitter, Some Recents Thoughts

Tom Hall, asked at the beginning of March,
How many Twitter follows is too many?

Not followers, but follows. The people who you are meant to be interested in.
I find myself more and more these days getting lost in Twitter trails of people I follow (a measly 361 at the time of writing), wishing I could stop, but pressing on in case I miss something. I got the junk food addiction.
So what’s the proper Twetiquette (sorry!) for ensuring you can have a life away from Twitter? ….


I replied in the comments:

Hi Tom,
I use Tweetdeck to keep everyone separated into about 8 columns and even then 405 follows is a bit many for me. But our mutual friend Mr. Whatley is a champ and tells me he is able to keep track of his 1500+.
If I didn’t know James, I would be suspicious. But in all honesty, I really think it depends on the person and why one uses Twitter. Overall, unless Twitter is your full time job, I can’t believe folks are able to really follow and pay attention to more than 600 or so people.
Though on the other hand, I think it really depends on how much the folks that you follow Tweet. If they are once a day or once every few day tweeters, then bring on the 1000. But if they are chatty, then no.
I won’t follow back anyone who has more than 1000 people they follow unless I know them in real life, as I wonder what their motives are. Twitter has been my main social media space for the last three years and I want my twitter stream to be quality and want to be able to learn from folks and have good conversation.
Most of all, I try to only follow the folks I know in real life, folks are have interesting twitter streams, and folks who are blogging & tweeting in web and mobile design / development / ideation spaces. Here is the quandry though, I follow very few folks who don’t follow me (less than 15, most of them industry folk who don’t know me), yet I have 3 times more people following me than I follow back.
In terms of how do I choose if I will follow someone? I will read their twitter stream for content and then go read their blog / website link, if they are good, then I give them a whirl for a week or so. This has been cool because I have met some interesting folks this way and now read some good new blogs.
Who I won’t follow back even if they look interesting: Folks with no legitimate blog or website link and/or folks whose whole twitter stream is just links. And if there are no tweets and no website link, then why did you do want me to follow you?
Hey, look! I am writing a Novella.
Last but not least is a trend that has started amongst a few of my web designer friends, which is the more popular they are the more than pare down who they follow.

I have been on Twitter now for 3 years and 2 months, or just over 9k worth of tweets. In the “Twitter Job Description by Date Joined” chart I am somewhere between a ‘Web Developer’ and a ‘Futurist’, which may or may not be a good analogy for my real life as a web/mobile developer and creative idea person.
All of my comment novella on Tom’s blog or not, I am still bewildered by the folks who both follow and are followed by tens of thousands as are they able to follow that many or is it a warped popularity contest. I am also bewildered by the folks who ask you to follow them and they have not tweeted at all, they provide no bio and no website link – how am I to know if I want to follow you if you have no tweets and no website link?
To conclude, Twitter is my main social media network that I prefer/love to participate in and I do want to make an effort to keep the stream of tweets that I write to be quality & occasionally humorous and to follow folks who are also producing/writing quality tweets.

One Response to “Twitter, Some Recents Thoughts”

  1. micky.aldridge

    Hi Jen,
    Great post, and I can see where your coming fom too. Only today did I post an update, asking my followers if they could imagine what a Celebrity twitter users timeline, @, and DM’s would look like. I commented, it must be crazy to see.
    I have personally quite a few followed, and to be honest, I am considering culling a lot of them, however, I, like yourself, organize my followed into specific columns, which does make things easier thanks to Tweetdeck.
    Btw, off topic, I tried to sign in to comment here via twitter, and wordpress signin process, and both failed due to a UserAgent error. I ended up signing in with Google, which worked fine.
    Keep up the good work Jen, and hopefully, one day we will actually get to meet oneanother.
    Micky