Looking for some people to follow on Twitter? How much is too much?

28 Sep

As I remain a librarian at heart, how could I resist this link – 100 British Librarians on Twitter – and it is all part of a helpful application that allows you to follow them all in one go. I love librarians – they are amongst the most spontaneously helpful people on Twitter.

And then, of course, another list came up – Learning Technology Professionals – around 60 or so, again to follow easily in one go. Following these guys really keeps you up to date with the latest tech news, helps you find out what learning technology universities are using with students (hence what students come to expect from all university services…), oh and you will learn more than you ever needed to know about Apple and iPhones too…

For me the biggest benefit of using Twitter has been professional networking and instant troubleshooting/creative thinking. Connecting with this many relevant professionals in one go felt like a gift.

But that was 160 people followed in a day. Crikey. I had been fighting to keep under 300, so I could keep up with all my favourite Twitterers, and now I feel I have bumped up into the zone of the ‘power-users’ and ‘web 2.0’ experts, i.e. the people I don’t like to follow because they never communicate with me, because it never feels personal.

So why do it? My theory was I would follow them all then unfollow one by one as I decided who wasn’t working for me. That way I discover loads of new useful connections, but it does open me to the accusation of following people to gain followers, then dropping them to keep my following:followers ratio looking good. Oh the Twitter games. In fact it hasn’t turned out that way – I’ve gained some followers sure, but I have hardly un-followed anyone. How does that work?

Pros

It turns out there are lots of switched on, relevant, professional, amusing, approachable people on these lists. There are few over-active Twitterers (the one sin that would guarantee excommunication), so my Twitter stream hasn’t been taken over. The contributions feel balanced. I worried that some of my favourites would get buried, but this hasn’t been the case.

Cons

The feed does turn over much faster during work hours, so I am sure I am missing out on some Twitterers, especially my friends who tried it out (because I went on about it so much) and tweet once in a blue moon. But then, I’m not exactly missing out on great Twitter activity there. I am always an @ away if they need me.

Verdict

Laziness wins! I took the shortcut and followed lots of people, and it really hasn’t made that much of a difference. Not enough to put me on a determined sift of who I follow. I have given up on the numbers game. Life is good following 462-odd.

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One Response to “Looking for some people to follow on Twitter? How much is too much?”

  1. Twitter_Tips September 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    Twitter is a service. Other companies make the user interface. Use TweetDeck or Seesmic Desktop (among many choices) and your can group and filter the people you follow easily.

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