How Not to Do Twitter: The Rise and Fall of My Twitterverse

04.06.2011

At some point, it occurred to me that I wasn't really interested in reading the tweets of the vast majority of the 15,000 or so Twitter accounts I was following, and there were so many tweets coming through that I couldn't get any value out of Twitter at all. I had no idea who these people were, or whether we had anything in common. Then it hit me--if I don't care about reading their tweets, they probably don't care about reading mine either.

So, I went back and did some further research on my Twitter "idols". Ashton Kutcher only follows 637 Twitter accounts. Pete Cashmore follows 2,260, and David Pogue follows 1,631. Robert Scoble follows an insane 31,758--but it is still only one sixth of the number that are following him, and I am willing to bet he uses a variety of lists and filters and really only reads the tweets of a few hundred Twitter accounts.

I took a "scorched Earth" approach to rectifying the situation. I unfollowed everyone. Literally. All 15,000 plus Twitter accounts I was following--gone. I'm sorry to those I unfollowed. It was nothing personal. It's not you, it's me.

Then, I started anew by following all of the accounts from the list by Jason Hiner at TechRepublic. I have since expanded the list with additional Twitter accounts I am interested in that aren't on Hiner's list, but my 15,000-plus list has been whittled down to a much more manageable 200. I do still use a couple lists in Tweetdeck to filter specific Twitter accounts that I want to follow more closely, but the traffic on my primary feed is now a reasonable pace that I can keep up with.

The Fallout