Posted by Frank - Follow me on Twitter

Well, it has definitely been a little while since I have posted.  Sorry to those who enjoy reading what I write, but being in my Senior year of college is quite demanding in terms of workload.  However, I have found some time to give you some thoughts on my new outlook on Twitter and why following anyone may not be the right way to go.  I know some people believe reciprocity is a good thing and so did I for quite some time, until I felt I was apart of insincere conversations.

So, how did this start?  Well, after reading some statements from John Chow, Chris Pirillo, and Mike Beuchele…I started to rethink the way I use Twitter.  All of the mentioned the same thing and that was it’s too hard to follow thousands of people on Twitter.  I thought about it and felt the same way.  Just think, out of those thousands of people you are following, how many of them are you truly interested in what they are saying?  Maybe 30-50 of them at most.  While I was following well over 1,500 people at the time, those that I was truly interested in what they were posting on Twitter I couldn’t see because my stream was flooded with tweets from other people.  I am trying to knock those other people at all, but either we didn’t develop a friendship on Twitter like I did with some other people or we just didn’t share interests.  There’s nothing wrong with this at all because I don’t expect everyone to have an interest in what I am sharing.  We are all different and for good reason!

Mike Buechele mentioned a great site to me called CloudAppers.  This site basically allows you reformat those you follow on Twitter.  All you do is type in your Twitter credentials and Twitter will then unfollow everyone you are currently following and then you can start your follower count over.  (WARNING – When you do this you can loose a lot of followers like spammers, bots, and those that only follow you if you follow them.)  This way your feed will show tweets from those people you are friends with or those you are interested in what they have to say.  In the past, following so many people made me miss out on what my friends were saying and I wanted to change that.  Now my conversations have picked up drastically and I am seeing Twitter in a new form.  It’s more enjoyable and I can interact easier than before.  I still leave my account open for anyone to follow me, but I either need to build a friendship with that person or take an interest in what they are contributing too, to follow back.  I am not opposed to following or being recommended to follow new people, but I want to have meaningful conversations.  I felt I wasn’t having that as much in the past.

Chris Pirillo mentioned recently that he felt Twitter was not a place for conversations, which you can watch here.  I couldn’t disagree more, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I see where he is coming from.  However, everyone is going to use Twitter in their own way.  I still feel conversations is what drives successful businesses and friendships and Twitter is a great medium for that.  Even though Chris didn’t feel Twitter was a place for conversations, he shared a website called Bettween.com which allows you to track conversations on Twitter.  Seems like his theory got trumped!  I think that site is definitely very useful for people who have many conversations with different people.

I will always feel Twitter is a great service and is here to stay and now that I have taken this new direction with it, I can say I am enjoying the service even more.  I have lost a significant amount of followers since reformatting who I follow, but I am fine with that because I no longer have to deal with spammers, bots, or followers who only follow you if you follow them.  It’s best to have relationships with others that mean something and make you a better person.  Simply looking for personal gain on a social networking platform is a red flag for failure.  Be sincere, contribute to the conversation and I can guarantee you will see what true social networking is about!

How many people are you following on Twitter?  Do you agree with the changes I have made?  I’m sure everyone has their own reasons for why they use Twitter, but do you think there’s a right or wrong way to use it?  What are your thoughts about this whole concept in general?

Further reading:

What’s A Large Following On Twitter Worth?

Top 10 Reasons To Follow Someone Who Follows You On Twitter

How To Increase Followers On Twitter

Are You A Qwitter?

  • Thanks for the mention. Going from following 3000+ to just under 300 has been great for me. Clearer conversations and no spamming. As you wrote, I also lost around 2000 followers but most were gone almost irremediably so they were all bots or otherwise not interested anyway.

    • I think conversations are key on Twitter to build a positive following and not one with people who don’t care about what you have to say. I agree with you, dropping my follower number down has been great and I wish I was doing that from the beginning. I have lost a lot of followers in the process of starting from scratch, but since they are mostly bots like you said…good riddance!

  • An insightful post with good tips. To get maximum benefit, social sites have to be used sensibly. Twitter has a full potential of becoming the largest official spam network if not used appropriately. The result will be that everyone will be tweeting with nobody to read!