For Aron: Cut the Leash?

>> Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Aron asked: I have a twitter account. I use a tool to automatically follow people who follow me, but now I can't read their tweets but cause there are so many, should I turn off auto-follow?

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Follow people who say things that interest you, intrigue you. Everyone gets inundated with enough nonsense during the day and, if you're swamped with, such useful items as "Going to the bathroom," and "Tw8ty is feeling steamed because her boyfriend's late," you're going to miss the things that really interest you.

Just follow those you can't bear to miss.

Hey, they can't all be long answers.


  • Quadmama

    Good answer... if people follow me simply to have me follow them, they'll be disappointed. I always look at a new follower's site to see if it's worth following, but I won't follow if it's not interesting... or if they tweet every 10 seconds.

  • Aron Sora

    I did it, I feel so much better. Now I need to go through 1,000+ people I'm following and vet them. But it will be worth it. Thank you.

  • Phyl

    It really will be worth it, Aron. I find that the majority of people who follow me on Twitter have done so because they are marketing something they hope to sell, and did a search for a keyword that I just happened to mention in one tweet, and they followed me hoping they could find a way to take money out of my pocket.

    I have no trouble whatsoever in NOT following vultures like that. It's much better if you pick and choose, individually. You get a really interesting mix that way.

    But also remember that you can quickly skim. Do you use something like TweetDeck? It makes skimming easier, at least in my experience.

  • flit

    I hardly ever actually go to twitter... I should least to my new account.

    Anyway... Steph ...with all your engineering and science stuff, you have no doubt got WAY better math skills than I ...dumb question that I should be able to figure out on my own but...

    if I walk 6 km/hour, how long would it take me to walk a mile (as opposed to a km)?

    Sparkpeople uses things like
    walking a 21 (or 17, or 24) minute mile in their exercise tracker thing and I don't know which one I should be choosing

  • Stephanie B

    I use the same philosophy on bloglists, though I have a broader spectrum when it comes to my EC favorites.

  • Mike

    Twitter is one of those things I have not found much use for. I have an account, but I do not follow many or have many followers - simply because there are too many 'tweets' to read through to find anything good.

  • Phyl

    But that's where judicious skimming does come in handy, Mike. I've gotten a ton of good stuff, for my blog and just for my own interest. I follow many of my favourite bloggers and other acquaintances, but I also follow publishers and agents, and hear about neat stuff in the book world that way. So it may depend on how you use it.

    And there's a fantastic discussion group called LitChat, and when I've nipped in there in an afternoon, I've gotten into some wonderful discussions about books.

  • JD at I Do Things

    If I'm going to use a social site, it's most likely to be Facebook. I'm much more picky about who I "accept," and so it's easier to scroll through and read updates that actually interest me. And I like being able to post photos and stuff. Twitter is only fun to me when a few friends are on and we chat. Or when I want to announce a new post!

  • The Mother

    I seem to have a lot of weird folks following me. They peddle woo and tweet religious stupidity. I unfollow, regularly, and I have, since that first week, been extremely selective about the folks I follow back.

  • Stephanie B

    I can't add anything, really, to the conversation since I've never been involved in twitter, but I encourage you, Aron, to enjoy the discussion.

  • Aron Sora


    I know, I clicked on so many links that lead to spam. I have my twitter feed plugged into my RSS feed.

    Don't just get a twitter because it's there. Make sure you develop a plan and write down that your using twitter for. I've gotten a lot of attention for tweeting about space habitation, but I don't tweet about every piece of space news.


    Twitter is like a spotlight, shine it on content you like and you get a surprising amount of clicks to that content. I'm using it to reward people who write about space habitation.

    @JD at I Do Things
    I get more traffic from my facebook account then my twitter account. But, the next day, my friends at school are chanting that I don't have a life.

    @The Mother
    There are alot of 2012 doomsday accounts on twitter. It scares me, we are focused too much on a negative vision of the future instead of accepting the possibility and working to fix it.

    @Stephanie B
    I have a question, so you can participate in space settlement day, what is your opinion of space habitation? Can you save that question for around July 20th.

  • Stephanie B

    Yes, I can. Given my backlog, I might not have a choice. :)

  • Aron Sora

    Yahoo questions is just bad though. I don't want to go back to that toxic waste dump for help, it's scary.

  • Shakespeare

    I'm just so glad you have questions coming in... that means I don't have to ask any for a while. (not that I don't have some in the wings)...

    I don't think I'll get Twitter. It would just annoy me. Facebook does.

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