My Twitter Tuneup

On my 2012 strategy for the nascent social network.

Estimated reading: 2 min

The recent Twitter redesign got me thinking about how I use the service.

Reviews of Twitter 2.0 seem to be mostly positive. In short, Twitter seems to be a grown-up version of its prior self. So, maybe I should use Twitter in a more “grown up” manner as well.


For the last two years, I did what all of the social media experts told me I was supposed to do:

  • curated lists
  • used hashtags
  • mastered the art of the pithy “RT”
  • observed trends
  • connected with others
  • built my own following

But Twitter was starting to feel, well, stale. So I decided that it’s high time for me to refine the way that I use it. (And I’m not the only one. Social-media guru Chris Brogan caused quite a ruckus with his post on social media fatigue. Many people followed suit, dropping people they followed en masse in an attempt to reduce their own noise-signal ratios.)

Dunbar’s Number is a good starting point.

My Twitter problem was twofold. First, I spent far too much time reading relatively meaningless tweets. (Lest you label me a hypocrite, I am aware that the vast majority of my own tweets in all likelihood fall into that category.)

So, my 2012 Twitter “strategy”–and I use that term pretty loosely–entails the following two pillars.

Tweet Less

While initially intriguing and even fun, I’ve decided that Follow Friday does not represent time well-spent. Apologies in advance to anyone miffed that there’s no #FF with your Twitter handle. More generally, I just don’t see the need to always report to the world on what I’m doing or reading. I’m going to see if less is truly more.

Follow Fewer People

I used ManageFlitter to nuke all of the people I followed, only to add back certain ones–and add new people and companies altogether. Apologies in advance to anyone miffed that I no longer follow you. Nothing personal. While I have no magic number in mind, it seems to me that Dunbar’s number is a good starting point.


Are you using Twitter differently next year?




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  1. Stacey Cornelius

    I’m thinking along the same lines, Phil. Social media can be exhausting, and the noise level is considerable.

    I try to make quality over quantity my motto, even though many “experts” like to stress volume to get attention – in more ways than one.

    Dropping everyone at once is an interesting thought. I imagine many people would be unnerved at the prospect.

    • Phil Simon

      No argument here, Stacey. More than a year after nuking everyone, I had very few complaints.


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