Posted Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 at 4:16 pm under tech, twitter.

Twitter dynamics: unfollowing guykawasaki, Scobleizer and cameronreilly

cameronreillyI’ve only got so much time a day to read blogs, Twitters, etc.

With blogs I find that I tend to try to keep up with those that post at a frequency at or below what I can handle, irrespective of quality of content. There are lots of blogs that I really enjoy, but which post new material so often that I end up never going to their sites. E.g., BoingBoing or ReadWriteWeb. I tend to always go to new content at blogs I like that have about one new article a day. I have dozens of examples in both these categories.

With blogs it’s no problem if some of the sites you’re subscribed to have tons of content. If you never click through on the indicator that there are 500 unread postings, you never see them.

On Twitter though the dynamic is very different. I follow about 140 people. From time to time during the day – normally when I’m drinking a coffee like I am now, or eating food – I’ll go have a look at Twitter to see what’s up in the wider world.

Unlike with blogs, if someone posts hundreds of Twitter updates you’re going to see them all. You’re perhaps going to see something like the image above (click for larger version). That’s not what I want to see at all. I’m hoping to see a whole bunch of people posting a few things, not screen after screen of one person talking to many people I don’t know or follow. It’s worse than being in a room with someone talking loudly on a mobile phone, hearing just one side of the conversation – this is like being in a room with that same person, but they’re talking to multiple people at once.

So with some reluctance I have recently un-followed Scobelizer, guykawasaki and cameronreilly. I actually like much of their content, but they have much too much of an unbalancing effect on my overall Twitter experience.

Move along.

  • Herne

    @terry Haha! Peer pressure.

  • Herne

    @terry Haha! Peer pressure.

  • http://jon.es terry

    Hi Herne. I re-followed Cam earlier today. I guess I couldn’t handle the pressure.

    Terry

  • http://jon.es/ terry

    Hi Herne. I re-followed Cam earlier today. I guess I couldn’t handle the pressure.

    Terry

  • Herne

    You gotta follow Cam, he has a lot of interesting things to say. Unlike much of what some others *cough*Scoble*cough* *cough*Calacanis*cough*. If you’re going to use Twitter to market your thing, great, but don’t spam us 1400 times a day. I was getting annoyed with Kevin Rose’s “I’m streaming video right now!” every 2 minutes the other day.

  • Herne

    You gotta follow Cam, he has a lot of interesting things to say. Unlike much of what some others *cough*Scoble*cough* *cough*Calacanis*cough*. If you’re going to use Twitter to market your thing, great, but don’t spam us 1400 times a day. I was getting annoyed with Kevin Rose’s “I’m streaming video right now!” every 2 minutes the other day.

  • http://jon.es terry

    Hi again Lulu

    I thought about the seeing only @replies to the people I’m following option, but that seems to take the fun of serendipity out of Twitter. I like to see the chatter that’s between one person I know (follow) and one I don’t. Turning that off would make Twitter much less interesting to me. I guess it’s just something about the pattern of those things – if there are tons of them at once and they fill a few screens, then I don’t want them. I’ll turn Cameron back on I guess and ignore his purple patches. With Scobleizer and guykawasaki it feels more like a constant stream of flow-of-consciousness twitters that for me at least aren’t of much interest.

  • http://jon.es/ terry

    Hi again Lulu

    I thought about the seeing only @replies to the people I’m following option, but that seems to take the fun of serendipity out of Twitter. I like to see the chatter that’s between one person I know (follow) and one I don’t. Turning that off would make Twitter much less interesting to me. I guess it’s just something about the pattern of those things – if there are tons of them at once and they fill a few screens, then I don’t want them. I’ll turn Cameron back on I guess and ignore his purple patches. With Scobleizer and guykawasaki it feels more like a constant stream of flow-of-consciousness twitters that for me at least aren’t of much interest.

  • http://jon.es terry

    Hi Lulu – thanks for the tip, I’ll try that.

    And hi Cameron. I’m actually interested in some of the subjects you were commenting on when I unfollowed you, so it’s somewhat ironic that I turned you off. It’s a change from some other high-frequency twitter stuff which really is just hot air. I’ll see if I can follow Lulu’s advice and whether that helps.

  • http://jon.es/ terry

    Hi Lulu – thanks for the tip, I’ll try that.

    And hi Cameron. I’m actually interested in some of the subjects you were commenting on when I unfollowed you, so it’s somewhat ironic that I turned you off. It’s a change from some other high-frequency twitter stuff which really is just hot air. I’ll see if I can follow Lulu’s advice and whether that helps.

  • http://luweez.net Lulu

    For this exact reason, I have my feed set to display replies only for the people I’m also following. That way, I won’t be faced with a barrage of one-sided conversations. Admittedly, I miss out on (possibly) finding some “interesting” people to follow, but it does help to reduce the noise somewhat.

    Happy Tweeting!

  • http://luweez.net/ Lulu

    For this exact reason, I have my feed set to display replies only for the people I’m also following. That way, I won’t be faced with a barrage of one-sided conversations. Admittedly, I miss out on (possibly) finding some “interesting” people to follow, but it does help to reduce the noise somewhat.

    Happy Tweeting!

  • http://gdayworld.com Cameron Reilly

    yeah I agree with you on this, that would be a good feature. But then again, I guess unfollowing someone (like me) who twits too much for your tastes is probably the cleanest solution. In my defense though, I usually only turn twitter on once or twice a day, and usually have a bunch of people to reply to in one hit. The other 23 hours of the day you won’t hear much from me at all. :-)

  • http://gdayworld.com/ Cameron Reilly

    yeah I agree with you on this, that would be a good feature. But then again, I guess unfollowing someone (like me) who twits too much for your tastes is probably the cleanest solution. In my defense though, I usually only turn twitter on once or twice a day, and usually have a bunch of people to reply to in one hit. The other 23 hours of the day you won’t hear much from me at all. :-)

  • Bar

    that’s funny because I just stopped following cameronreilly today, too, for the same reason. Shouldn’t there be a twitter adaptation that stuffs the tweets of overkill twitterers into one or two entries? I.e., instead of 45 cameronreilly tweets in a row, we could both have seen cameronreilly (45).

    It would also help to treat all @xxx messages as direct messages.

  • Bar

    that’s funny because I just stopped following cameronreilly today, too, for the same reason. Shouldn’t there be a twitter adaptation that stuffs the tweets of overkill twitterers into one or two entries? I.e., instead of 45 cameronreilly tweets in a row, we could both have seen cameronreilly (45).

    It would also help to treat all @xxx messages as direct messages.