Twitter Sanity

Twitter Followers

Scott Jangro and I are recovering from an interesting experiment in which we followed back everyone who followed us. Sounds pretty simple and easy, right?

Well, it is an easy task to click “Follow” under a person’s avatar, but it is a much more difficult thing to give away a sense of sanity on Twitter.

Jangro explains it incredibly well:

Does anybody really think that anyone with thousands of followers is reading anything but a select list of tweets? What’s the use of an army of followers who follow everybody back? Especially at the expense of having to follow them and ruining twitter for yourself. Neither cares about what each other has to say. It’s just a game of who has the biggest, uh, Twitter.

I’ve cut down from the 4,500 or so people I was following back to the 100 or so folks that I am actually interested in or care about. Twitter is completely usable again on my Touch, on the web, on my mobile and on the desktop via TweetDeck.

So, it’s all well and good to follow everyone who follows you if you are looking to gain more followers on Twitter. However, doing so comes at a cost of usability of the service (much more than the cost of losing a few bots as followers as shown in the chart above).

35 thoughts on “Twitter Sanity

  1. Tim_Jones

    You and Jangro both make good points on the use of Twitter. I got much more out of it when I was only following a couple hundred people. Although TweetDeck makes it much more manageable, I still only (really) pay attention to the same few hundred people.

    BTW, glad I made the cut. :)

    Reply
  2. Tim_Jones

    You and Jangro both make good points on the use of Twitter. I got much more out of it when I was only following a couple hundred people. Although TweetDeck makes it much more manageable, I still only (really) pay attention to the same few hundred people.

    BTW, glad I made the cut. :)

    Reply
  3. Tim_Jones

    You and Jangro both make good points on the use of Twitter. I got much more out of it when I was only following a couple hundred people. Although TweetDeck makes it much more manageable, I still only (really) pay attention to the same few hundred people.

    BTW, glad I made the cut. :)

    Reply
  4. Tim_Jones

    You and Jangro both make good points on the use of Twitter. I got much more out of it when I was only following a couple hundred people. Although TweetDeck makes it much more manageable, I still only (really) pay attention to the same few hundred people.

    BTW, glad I made the cut. :)

    Reply
  5. Tim_Jones

    You and Jangro both make good points on the use of Twitter. I got much more out of it when I was only following a couple hundred people. Although TweetDeck makes it much more manageable, I still only (really) pay attention to the same few hundred people.

    BTW, glad I made the cut. :)

    Reply
  6. Sam Harrelson

    I'm primarily a TweetDeck user on the desktop (both on my Macbook Pro and my Windows 7 laptop). Following thousands of people isn't that bad if you're only relying on TweetDeck since you can segment the people you are really interested in hearing into specific groups.

    However, I love the PowerTwitter FireFox plugin which makes the website interface incredibly useful and usable. Additionally, I'm always on the move and like to use Tweetie on the Touch or TwitterBerry on the Blackberry. With those solutions, following more than a few hundred or so people makes Twitter unusable.

    So, I'm back down to about 120 now and I'm loving it!

    Reply
  7. Andrew Wee

    how’re you keeping up with the updates from people you’re followings?

    keyword-triggered search.twitter.com ?

    i find it sucks up all my time if it’s above a couple of hundred people i’m following.

    Reply
    1. Sam Harrelson

      I’m primarily a TweetDeck user on the desktop (both on my Macbook Pro and my Windows 7 laptop). Following thousands of people isn’t that bad if you’re only relying on TweetDeck since you can segment the people you are really interested in hearing into specific groups.

      However, I love the PowerTwitter FireFox plugin which makes the website interface incredibly useful and usable. Additionally, I’m always on the move and like to use Tweetie on the Touch or TwitterBerry on the Blackberry. With those solutions, following more than a few hundred or so people makes Twitter unusable.

      So, I’m back down to about 120 now and I’m loving it!

      Reply
  8. Andrew Wee

    how’re you keeping up with the updates from people you’re followings?

    keyword-triggered search.twitter.com ?

    i find it sucks up all my time if it’s above a couple of hundred people i’m following.

    Reply
    1. Sam Harrelson

      I’m primarily a TweetDeck user on the desktop (both on my Macbook Pro and my Windows 7 laptop). Following thousands of people isn’t that bad if you’re only relying on TweetDeck since you can segment the people you are really interested in hearing into specific groups.

      However, I love the PowerTwitter FireFox plugin which makes the website interface incredibly useful and usable. Additionally, I’m always on the move and like to use Tweetie on the Touch or TwitterBerry on the Blackberry. With those solutions, following more than a few hundred or so people makes Twitter unusable.

      So, I’m back down to about 120 now and I’m loving it!

      Reply
  9. Andrew Wee

    how’re you keeping up with the updates from people you’re followings?

    keyword-triggered search.twitter.com ?

    i find it sucks up all my time if it’s above a couple of hundred people i’m following.

    Reply
    1. Sam Harrelson

      I’m primarily a TweetDeck user on the desktop (both on my Macbook Pro and my Windows 7 laptop). Following thousands of people isn’t that bad if you’re only relying on TweetDeck since you can segment the people you are really interested in hearing into specific groups.

      However, I love the PowerTwitter FireFox plugin which makes the website interface incredibly useful and usable. Additionally, I’m always on the move and like to use Tweetie on the Touch or TwitterBerry on the Blackberry. With those solutions, following more than a few hundred or so people makes Twitter unusable.

      So, I’m back down to about 120 now and I’m loving it!

      Reply
  10. Robert Nelson

    Me too. I got involved in some sort of autofollow, followme website that about ruined twitter for me, and that was just with 200 persons. So I have spent the last couple of days unfollowing, subscribing to RSS feeds for several, and reducing the list of people that I follow down to those that I really care about. And as I drop people I am being dropped, but since I am using twitter to increase my knowledge, does not really matter.

    Reply
  11. Robert Nelson

    Me too. I got involved in some sort of autofollow, followme website that about ruined twitter for me, and that was just with 200 persons. So I have spent the last couple of days unfollowing, subscribing to RSS feeds for several, and reducing the list of people that I follow down to those that I really care about. And as I drop people I am being dropped, but since I am using twitter to increase my knowledge, does not really matter.

    Reply
  12. Robert Nelson

    Me too. I got involved in some sort of autofollow, followme website that about ruined twitter for me, and that was just with 200 persons. So I have spent the last couple of days unfollowing, subscribing to RSS feeds for several, and reducing the list of people that I follow down to those that I really care about. And as I drop people I am being dropped, but since I am using twitter to increase my knowledge, does not really matter.

    Reply
  13. Robert Nelson

    Me too. I got involved in some sort of autofollow, followme website that about ruined twitter for me, and that was just with 200 persons. So I have spent the last couple of days unfollowing, subscribing to RSS feeds for several, and reducing the list of people that I follow down to those that I really care about. And as I drop people I am being dropped, but since I am using twitter to increase my knowledge, does not really matter.

    Reply
  14. Sam Harrelson

    I'm primarily a TweetDeck user on the desktop (both on my Macbook Pro and my Windows 7 laptop). Following thousands of people isn't that bad if you're only relying on TweetDeck since you can segment the people you are really interested in hearing into specific groups.

    However, I love the PowerTwitter FireFox plugin which makes the website interface incredibly useful and usable. Additionally, I'm always on the move and like to use Tweetie on the Touch or TwitterBerry on the Blackberry. With those solutions, following more than a few hundred or so people makes Twitter unusable.

    So, I'm back down to about 120 now and I'm loving it!

    Reply
  15. Robert Nelson

    Me too. I got involved in some sort of autofollow, followme website that about ruined twitter for me, and that was just with 200 persons. So I have spent the last couple of days unfollowing, subscribing to RSS feeds for several, and reducing the list of people that I follow down to those that I really care about. And as I drop people I am being dropped, but since I am using twitter to increase my knowledge, does not really matter.

    Reply
  16. davidsteelerose

    What about an auto-follow strategy to see if the person who just followed you may actually be an interesting follow? Over time, if they don't contribute much, then unfollow…. How else would you know?

    Reply
  17. Sam Harrelson

    That just seems completely inefficient to me (having tried it).

    I'd much rather find people that are interesting via search.twitter.com or through a RSS feed of keywords on terms/ideas/issues/locations etc in which I'm interested.

    Opening the floodgates and then paring down dilutes the stream and quality of people I'm following and who are already interesting.

    Reply
  18. davidsteelerose

    What about an auto-follow strategy to see if the person who just followed you may actually be an interesting follow? Over time, if they don’t contribute much, then unfollow…. How else would you know?

    Reply
    1. Sam Harrelson

      That just seems completely inefficient to me (having tried it).

      I’d much rather find people that are interesting via search.twitter.com or through a RSS feed of keywords on terms/ideas/issues/locations etc in which I’m interested.

      Opening the floodgates and then paring down dilutes the stream and quality of people I’m following and who are already interesting.

      Reply
  19. davidsteelerose

    What about an auto-follow strategy to see if the person who just followed you may actually be an interesting follow? Over time, if they don’t contribute much, then unfollow…. How else would you know?

    Reply
    1. Sam Harrelson

      That just seems completely inefficient to me (having tried it).

      I’d much rather find people that are interesting via search.twitter.com or through a RSS feed of keywords on terms/ideas/issues/locations etc in which I’m interested.

      Opening the floodgates and then paring down dilutes the stream and quality of people I’m following and who are already interesting.

      Reply
  20. davidsteelerose

    What about an auto-follow strategy to see if the person who just followed you may actually be an interesting follow? Over time, if they don’t contribute much, then unfollow…. How else would you know?

    Reply
    1. Sam Harrelson

      That just seems completely inefficient to me (having tried it).

      I’d much rather find people that are interesting via search.twitter.com or through a RSS feed of keywords on terms/ideas/issues/locations etc in which I’m interested.

      Opening the floodgates and then paring down dilutes the stream and quality of people I’m following and who are already interesting.

      Reply
  21. davidsteelerose

    What about an auto-follow strategy to see if the person who just followed you may actually be an interesting follow? Over time, if they don't contribute much, then unfollow…. How else would you know?

    Reply
  22. Sam Harrelson

    That just seems completely inefficient to me (having tried it).

    I'd much rather find people that are interesting via search.twitter.com or through a RSS feed of keywords on terms/ideas/issues/locations etc in which I'm interested.

    Opening the floodgates and then paring down dilutes the stream and quality of people I'm following and who are already interesting.

    Reply

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