I hit 500 followers on twitter today. No, I don’t care so much about that, more importantly, I’m now following over 650 people. I do my best to manage the accounts I follow to keep it relevant to what I want to see. I have also tried to keep the ratio of followers to following about 1:1. This does get thrown off by a few people, companies and organizations that I keep tabs on. That’s not to say if I add you on twitter and you don’t follow me back that I’ll unfollow you. If I add you, you have something interesting in your tweets or bio that made me want to follow you, and you’ll stay. Unless you put “social media expert” in your bio or have more than one automated post per day or have ads for your “give me $5 and I’ll show you how to…” website. Those are instant unfollows.
As the number of people I was following hit 300 or so, I started missing too many tweets that I wanted to see. I tried several different ways to filter out the junk posts without filtering random tweets I might want to see. It all got easier when I started using TweetDeck
TweetDeck is a great little program that will manage multiple twitter programs, has amazing organizational abilities, and is cross platform, running on Adobe Air. With TweetDeck you can easily create groups of people you follow. I have six columns running in TweetDeck. The left is the default “All Friends.” Then I have three columns that search all of twitter for keywords that I tweet about. One is a photography (photography, photographer…) related search, next is Linux related (linux, redhat, fedora), next a local search (boise, idaho), and then I have the column for mentions and @replies, basically a search for “zebpalmer”. Finally, and most importantly, is my “VIPs” group. It’d probably give the users in the column too much of an ego if they knew they were in a group titled “VIPs”, but I created this group with very little sleep or forethought; it was the first random string I could type into the “Please name the group” box. Anytime I really like a twitter user or find a news feed I really like I add them to the group.
This setup is perfect for me as I can see whatever is scrolling by in “all friends” and may randomly see something I like. I also get to find new users and keep tabs on the twitterverse in the keyword searches. And I don’t miss tweets from high value twitter feeds and friends.