Twitter Fatigue? Follow More

Photo by Brood_wich on Flickr used under Creative Commons

Let’s talk about Twitter. It’s been a while.

I recently decided to stop being lazy and reciprocally follow a bunch of people on Twitter. Probably a year ago, I pruned the list of people I was following from about 400 to about 200.

That number didn’t grow much either over the year. However, this week I went from following about 250 accounts to more than 700, and boy was that a chore.

I can feel Rich cringing. Why would I do such a thing?

Actually, it’s kind of Rich’s doing. He mentioned I should try Cadmus, an app that analyzes your tweets and provides a list of what’s trending among your friends. I like the app, but immediately noticed how static and boring it seemed.

Obviously, this wasn’t Cadmus’ fault. It was mine.

Today, looking at Cadmus shows a much more diverse array of topics, and I’ve actually enjoyed paging through Brizzly because my stream is so much more varied and interesting.

Using Twitter causes fatigue because people feel compelled to read it like email or feeds, and as they branch out and follow more accounts, their streams flow with too many tweets. Everyone who’s used Twitter for more than a few months hits this wall.

I used to use groups (in TweetDeck) and then lists to organize, but as usual, I got organization fatigue. But now, I might have a solution that works, i.e. browsing new tweets when time permits and checking trending topics if I want to review what’s been trending.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on how to manage and get value out of Twitter, and I suppose if you want to dis Twitter and those of us who use it, you can do that too.

Let me know in comments how you keep up, how many you follow and any other strategies you use.

Update: Seems dumb to forget our Twitter handles, which are @jkuramot (me), @rmanalan (Rich), @ppedrazzi (Paul) and @anthonyslai (Anthony). You can also follow @theappslab.




  1. I'm still of the school “don't read everything in your Twitter stream, just dip your toe into the firehose every once in a while.” However, I have organized some lists around specific topics, and if I need to review tweets on a specific topic, I can just consult the list. For example, my Oracle list is at the URL. Not everyone is in a list, which helps with the organizational fatigue (I wish I would have thought of this earlier; this “put everyone into at least one list” can drive you crazy). Perhaps it's a good thing that I don't put everyone into a list, because I have some lists (such as my list) in which the members are not respected all that much.

    I've never used any third party Twitter app, with the exception of Slandr (which I use on my mobile phone, and when I want to retweet). Well, I guess FriendFeed is a third party Twitter app also. 🙂

  2. Pretty similar to what I do, except I really like third party apps like Brizzly and TweetDeck for both laptop and iPhone. has improved greatly, esp wrt to speed, but it's still not as useful for me.

    My point here is make your firehose bigger to get more out of Twitter.

  3. My new Twitter strategy is to create lists instead of following. It makes it more like a google reader experience rather than a social experience.

  4. My new Twitter strategy is to create lists instead of following. It makes it more like a google reader experience rather than a social experience.

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