When Twitter first started, I thought what a load of pointless nonsense, and left it well alone. But somewhere along the way I signed up, largely out of curiosity I think, but later finding it useful as a means of communication whilst out on a walk (by linking through to my Facebook wall I could let people know I was safe). Then I found a few people that looked interesting and it mushroomed from there. Now I’m drowning in tweets and don’t have time to read them all. And spotting the good stuff amongst the drivel is becoming increasingly difficult.
So yesterday I decided a cull was in order, and it seems I’m not the only one who feels that way. As I sat down to do it though, some other things occurred to me.
Firstly, quite a lot of people on Twitter seem to be obsessed with getting followers. Why ? I can understand a business wanting that but an individual ? Must be an ego thing. Chasing numbers of followers is fortunately something I’ve never really done. Yes, I’ve had a little congratulatory smirk to myself when I’ve passed a milestone number, but that’s more about saying to myself that I must be putting something out there that some people like. But from today, I just don’t care and people can follow me if they wish, and not if they don’t.
Secondly, the whole #FollowFriday thing just reinforces the whole game. Rarely comes a Friday and I haven’t followed someone recommended by a #FF. But how many of those turn out to be of value rather than noise on my timeline ? Very few I think. And you sort of feel under pressure to do #FFs yourself to counterbalance the fact that people are recommending you. I’m giving this particular game up, and only going to do #FF for truly special people and things that are useful. That also means I’m not going to be clogging up other people’s timelines with endless thanks for being recommended on an #FF. As I will no longer worry about how many followers I have, it will surely be of no relevance to me if I’m being #FF’d. Other than to work out who appreciates what I’m tweeting or blogging.
Thirdly, I don’t use lists enough. I’ve set loads up but never really used them to filter my timeline. I’m going to be doing that a lot more. And everyone I follow is going on a list – if I can’t put them on a list that groups things I’m interested in hearing about, they can’t be of much interest to me can they ? I’m doing this now while the number of people I follow is only around 300. Once it gets to be more, I’ll never do it.
And finally, I’m going to purge the people I follow. Some may be upset, and threaten that they know who unfollowed them. Tough, if all you care about is keeping up your list of followers, then you’ve confirmed I’m doing right by culling you! But some of the people I unfollow, I will simply be transferring to my business twitter account where it may be more appropriate.
So, in conclusion, from now on Twitter is going to be about the outdoors folk I like and find interesting, my real-world friends, and useful things like news, weather and travel information. Oh, and Masterchef keyword bingo, of course.