I have been taking a look at my Twitter ‘network’ as of late, wondering how I can mix up the information that flows through my world without requiring too much more investment of time on my side.
For a while the list of people I followed was intentionally kept small (under 150), as I am a big believer of the Dunbar Number and the power of a small(er) networks. Over time, I have allowed it to squeak up to 225 which made the conversations more interesting and diverse, but also required a bigger investment of time as I try to stay attached to my ‘community’ (yes, I am one of the nut jobs who likes to try and read every tweet from the people I follow).
I took a look at some of my pals who are able to follow 1000s or 10s of 1000s of people and still participate and contribute regularly. Their way of thinking was a much bigger leap than I wished to make, so while I am hopeful my network can expand, it means baby steps to ensure success.
So today I started a little experiment.
I decided to stop following 25% of the people currently on my list and then add in another 100 people I don’t really know (or don’t know at all) to mix up the information coming through this channel and test the waters on expanding my network.
The fun part – the additions. I decided the only way to do this, the fair and balanced Libra minded way of doing this, was to follow every 4th person in my ‘followers’ list. Why the 4th? I don’t know. It just seemed like an easy number to track I guess.
Doing so, I added 145 people. I was supposed to stop when I got to 100, but I got a little overzealous and didn’t think it right I add, then immediately remove, folks, so I am leaving it as it and hoping I can keep up. I also didn’t get through the entire list of my followers as I want to do this in chunks, but it was an interesting and exciting process as I realized there are a lot of people who follow me who I don’t personally know, and I am looking forward to getting to know them a bit better.
Now came the hard part. The unfollow process. It sucks as I know some people will take this personally. Please don’t. I went with the same fair and balanced Libra minded way of doing this by removing every 4th person in my following list. I removed 40 people. Most of them close friends or people I adore, so it was a very odd feeling when I hit the ‘remove’ button.
I do feel bad as I cut a couple of my Joyeurs. I cut several of my good friends. I also cut my boss and the company I work for. Everyone I unfollowed popped up 4th in the list. I had to do it to keep the experiment ‘true’.
With the unfollow made, I will not see their updates in my Twitter stream. It also removes the ability of them sending me a direct message via Twitter. There is an easy way around this as they can do an @kristiewells with a message and I will see it – or they can shoot me an email. I can also still go to their personal Twitter page and send them a message (as long as they continue to follow me) and read through their stream to check in on them from time to time. I just thought the removal process was a necessary part for the whole ‘changing the information I receive’ part.
So there you go. The great Kristie experiment. I think I am going to do this ‘spring cleaning’ once a month for three months to keep things interesting, and will clean up the lists as needed; meaning if someone starts posting things I find offensive or not beneficial to my world, I will unfollow and add someone else in their place.
Excited to see/hear new things, meet new people, AND keep in contact with those in my original network (whether directly following you or not).