Cleaning House With Twitter

December 7, 2009 · 4 comments

Do you tweet too much and ignore your followers?

Confession time.
I went through my Twitter followers list and unfollowed quite a few people. Of course most of them were spammers. My following to followers lists were twitterfar out of balance. What bothered me was, I had been following certain people who were “annoying tweeters”, those who post long strings of tweets that seem to block out everyone else. These were not celebrities (I don’t follow Brittany), they were people just like me. People who are trying to market a product, be it a blog or tangible  item, and at least in my case, hoping to be a part of the community.

The people I follow on Twitter are those I find interesting, and those who are reciprocal in the community spirit that is supposed to exist. I’m a late comer to Twitter; I resisted it until I could understand the concept. In fact, I steered clear of most social networking sites for the same reason. I know a few very Internet savvy people who still don’t use these services. Some people simply don’t like this kind of fast-paced forum. Others see it as “Whoring themselves out…” to gain blog readers or hawk a product.

I balanced my lists. If I had been following someone for more than a month and I got no Twitter love in return, I dumped them. And this will continue to be my policy with Twitter. At first this may sound self-serving and cold. I see it as realistic and human. As I learn more about Twitter – with a full understanding it is not the zenith of online communication, merely a step toward the “next big thing” I have set certain rules for myself.

  • I don’t befriend people offline who have no interest in me – I see no reason to do that online.
  • If you have 600,000,000 followers and you follow 20 people you better have something really good to say. Sometimes this is the case, Chris Brogan for example. I don’t expect superstars to follow me. Note: I don’t have any superstar friends in the real world either.
  • If after a period of time someone ignores me, I see no reason to continue with them. Apparently,  we have nothing in common.
  • I will never use automated software to gain followers. Nor will I use any other nefarious means merely to increase my followers.
  • Finally, I do hope my followers and those I follow increase as a natural progression. Any other way is just not my idea of friendship.
  • Spammers need not bother, although they will.

Ben Gillbanks posted an outstanding article, 5 reasons why I don’t follow you on Twitter on his blog BinaryMoon. I agree with everything he said.

And now, what are your thoughts about your ratio of followers to following?

{ 4 comments }

Niall harbison December 7, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I have to say that I have been clearing out my followers recently as well. It is amazing who many people you have in there that you have no idea who they are and they never tweet either! I think things are starting to balance out on twitter as people realize that it is not about the number of followers you have and more about the interaction you have with a smaller group of people

Hal Brown December 7, 2009 at 5:43 pm

I agree. I see more interaction happening, at least with the people I follow. This is one area where I need to look less at numbers and more at quality. Gettin' there.
Thanks for the comment.

Niall harbison December 7, 2009 at 10:57 pm

I have to say that I have been clearing out my followers recently as well. It is amazing who many people you have in there that you have no idea who they are and they never tweet either! I think things are starting to balance out on twitter as people realize that it is not about the number of followers you have and more about the interaction you have with a smaller group of people

Hal Brown December 7, 2009 at 11:43 pm

I agree. I see more interaction happening, at least with the people I follow. This is one area where I need to look less at numbers and more at quality. Gettin' there.
Thanks for the comment.

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