Currently I’ve got about 1,500 followers on my main Twitter account. Once upon a time, I looked with envy at the “big guys” with thousands of followers. In the end, though, I decided to put my energy into following folks with whom I could build a relationship. I follow people I want to learn from — not market to (not that there’s anything wrong with that…).
Several months ago the number of folks I chose to follow exceeded 2,000. At that point, Twitter slapped me around, saying I couldn’t follow any more people until I myself got more followers. It seems my “ratios” were out of whack.
Enter Twit Cleaner.
I love this little Blue Jay. He helped me clear out hundreds of folks who were both “not real” and “not following.” This house cleaning helped me improve my follow-to-being followed ratio.
I still knew I could never keep up with the tweets that flow in, though. I was getting about 100 tweets a minute on my main Twitter account and many more on my other four Twitter accounts. It turns out lots of people — even legitimate human beings –use robotic tweet-pushing technology to flood the twitter stream. It’s overwhelming.
On Sunday morning I was intrigued when Chris Brogan’s morning newsletter put me on to Jonathan Brewer, who turned me on to Tweetbot. I now have much better control of my Twitter stream.
The cool thing about this anti-robot robot is that I don’t have to UNfollow anybody. Rather, I simply instruct Tweetbot to “mute” tweets that are being pushed by the robots. I choose the robots I want to mute — meaning now I can’t see those automated tweets at all. I’m still connected to all my followers, but I’ve demolished the handiwork of the big tweet technologies.
What I am missing? Well, what was I missing before? Almost everything.
Now my muted Twitter stream is more peaceful. Like Jonathan, I like being connected to people, not machines. That’s why I followed these folks in the first place!
In one session with Tweetbot I was able to eliminate tweets that arrived via contentDJ, dlvr.it, Social Oomph, Sprout Social, triberr, and twitterfeed, Flipboard, and GaggleAMP — all “blog amplification” software designed to drive web traffic and build followers rather than communicate, talk, and relate. I also asked Tweetbot to “mute posts from Instagram and Facebook, since I’m not interested in seeing photos from strangers and I want to avoid anything driving me to Facebook.
Don’t get me wrong. Automated tweeting has its place and many professionals rely on it to push out their Twitter stream. It’s just not what I signed on for.
More muting work remains because I haven’t had time to search out all the tweet amplifiers yet. But it’s a first step. Do I feel more lonely? Do I miss my mutations? No. I’m enjoying hearing more from people and fewer commercial broadcasts.