I recently received this tweet from one of my Twitter connections
@fransgaard You really do repeat yourself a lot on twitter… :-/
— Marcus Deglos (@manarth) April 9, 2013
I explained that repost my own articles several times to hit 3 different time zones of people whose Twitter stream is already busy with loads of tweets from people far more clever than me.
But I am aware that for people who use Twitter far less, my tweets may be flooding their Twitter stream and it got me thinking back to when joined Twitter in 2008.
Guy Kawasaki was one of the people I followed early on, but I got quite annoyed with him reposting his tweets several times. I complained and he replied back with pretty much the same message I gave Marcus. History repeats itself it seems.
The evolution of a Tweeter
There seems to be a pattern of evolution to Tweeters, that has largely remained the same over the years as Twitter itself has remained a single stream of tweets:
People in the beginning of this evolution may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tweets of people they follow, who live in the other end of the spectrum.
The solution is simple
If you feel your Twitter stream is flooded with tweets from a small number of Power Tweeters set up a Twitter list and add these prolific Tweeters to the list and unfollow them.
Because you unfollowed them their tweets will no longer clutter your main stream but as you have them in the list you can always find their content there.
Some people use services like manageflitter.com to detect people that unfollowed them and will consequently unfollow back. This is not (or rarely) an act of vengeance but a hygiene issue as Twitter limits the number of people a user can follow beyond the number of said user’s followers.
Don’t worry about it. Those that have an active interest in your content or the relationship with you will continue to follow you (or have you in their lists). And just because you don’t follow each other doesn’t mean you can have a conversation by @ing each other.
A word on Team Follow Back
Some groups of Tweeters feel that if they follow you you must follow back. They are identified with hash-tags like #teamfollowback.
They are wrong. Twitter is an asymmetrical social network so there is no requirement of following anybody based merely on they follow you. The “Team Follow Back” initiative is simply a way grow up numbers of followers fast regardless of whether they are in relevant in any way.