Retuning your Twitter dials

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[tweetmeme]I went through a lengthy process last week. My Twitter streams had become populated by a few over sharers and I was missing out on important updates from people I’m keen to connect with. I decided to rethink how I listen to people. I didn’t want to unfollow the oversharers per se (we all have our own strategies and if theirs is to tweet non stop, who am I to judge), instead I simply wanted turn the volume down a little. Now, the tools on offer to review followers and following are the likes of Refollow, and Mytweeple etc, which allow you look at groups of people against a range of criteria, but this wasn’t enough for this task.

I needed to make the most of one of my favourite Twitter friends. The list. I’ve had a few lists for a while, but I wanted to be smarter. I decided to put all followers into a range of lists that would allow me to pick and choose who and what I listen to with ease. Now, I use word ‘ease’ loosely. It took five hours one evening to go through each and every follower, deciding whether I should continue to follow first of all (my unfollow criteria was thus: did I recognise the person? have they said anything recently I’m interested in? when was the last time they tweeted? do they fit with my overall strategy?) then, if I decided to continue following, I’d pop them into a relevant list (sometimes more than one). There are 20 lists in total. Some of these are public and some are private (not everything needs to be shared). The lists include:

  • News – worldwide and local to keep me up to date
  • London stuff – everything happening around London I need to be aware of
  • Cool shit – no explanation required
  • Events – all events I might be interested in following
  • Competitors – those I want to keep an eye on
  • Associates – the people I work with
  • RT worthiness – these guys share gold dust
  • Press – sector specific stuff
  • Clients – everyone I’ve worked or am working with
  • Journalists – keeps me up to date with what they need
  • Build relations – people I’d really love to connect with but haven’t done yet (includes prospects)
  • Banter – the tweeps I chat with regularly
  • Oversharers – needs no explanation and means they don’t clog up the other streams

There are a few others, like sector specific lists, but you get the general idea. I’ve added each list to Tweetdeck and have deleted the general Friends stream, which means I’m only digesting stuff that appears in these. All of a sudden I’m listening to people that had previously been lost in the ether. I’m engaging with people outside of my usual Twitter chat and I’m able to do the stuff I’ve set out in my strategy. Winner.

Now, as I engage with new people I can add them to the relevant list to ensure I don’t miss them. It also means I can follow more people if I choose to without being too overloaded.

How do you manage your Twitter dials? If you’ve come across a better way of sorting them without having to go through them one by one on, I’m all ears. Oh and if you’re not using lists yet, here’s a simple guide from Mashable.

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  1. Hi Gemma

    Of course! When someone explains something to you in plain english – it all makes sense.

    Off to explore lists and my old copy of tweetdeck.

    Thanks for the help


  2. Gemma Went says:

    Ah thanks Jonathan, I’m a big fan of plain English.

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