Twitter: making the cut

As we’ve seen from previous posts keeping up and feeling overwhelmed is something I struggle with regularly.  There are so many great people out there in libraryland, it makes sense that I would want to keep up with all of them.  As part of my “I’m not a Superhero” therapy ;) I’m admitting I can’t do everything I’ve been attempting and over the next month or so I’ll be weeding.  I started with Twitter.

First I needed to figure out what I need/want to get from Twitter, so I went to my del.icio.us account.  I’m an avid user of delicious and while I don’t like the option to automatically post my links to my blog I’ve decided I should share them more often.   Here are the ones I reread

I also considered some of the popular and/or successful librarians who don’t use Twitter.  I wont point fingers, but they are out there.

I decided what I want from Twitter is a “real” connection and/or useful information. So it was weeding time.  Yes I know this can be perceived as cold, but hey, it’s my time and it’s valuable! Then I went through my “following” pages.

With some people I recognized names/handles immediately.  If I did, I questioned -

  • Have I had a personal interaction with them?  If yes, most of them stayed.   If no, I took a look at their feed and biography.
  • Was I getting useful information from them?
  • Could that information be better accessed somewhere else?   For example if it’s a link to their latest blog post, I should have their blog in my FeedReader.  That way I can read it when I have the proper time and attention to devote to it.
  • Did I want to connect with them but hadn’t yet?

If I didn’t recognize a name I looked at their feed and biography and considered -

  • Was I getting useful information from them?
  • Could that information be better accessed somewhere else?
  • Did I want to connect with them but hadn’t yet?

I’m now down to 133 people.  I’m really hoping to get down to 100.  We’ll see.  I also decided if what I’m looking for it a real connection or information I’d better be providing that those things  too.  I believe by attempting to connect with fewer people I’ll be making better connects with those I connect with.

Has anyone else done this?  If you follow 500 people do you feel like you’re getting what you need/want from Twiitter? and what is it?

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3 comments for “Twitter: making the cut

  1. September 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    When I get a new request from someone whose name I don’t recognize, I’ll look at their twitter friends. If I see a lot of people I already know and connect with, I’ll take that into consideration because that increases the chance that we will eventually cross paths.

    I also take the number of people they subscribe to into consideration. If they subscribe to hundreds and hundreds of people, I’ll assume that they are just “collecting friends” and don’t have much intention of really connecting.

    Now that I’m over 100 twitter friends, I’ve become more selective as to whom I add, which isn’t necessarily fair. I guess I should do some weeding myself.

  2. September 11, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Bobbi, I just recently “weeded” my Twitter feed down too and I used basically the same methodology that you used. My problem with Twitter was that I was following so many people that I was missing out on real conversation and useful informtation. Granted, I don’t always put out librarian/archives/history related information but I do like to read what others have to offer. I don’t think paring down is a bad thing, you have to do what is most productive/useful for you.

  3. September 11, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I will confess I’ve pretty much been following anyone who follows me as long as they don’t look like a spammer. I feel bad if I don’t, but then I realized that has made twitter useless for me and for them.

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