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I made Twitter a LOT more useful to me today

Twitter had become too noisy for me. I had over 300 friends, mostly people that I had sought out and added, but I also reciprocally added anyone who followed me as a friend. What I ended up with was WAY too much Twitter traffic. I had to turn off text messaging entirely, partly because it was too much to keep up with, and partly because I got a $325 phone bill last month. I thought my text message plan was unlimited, but Cingular said it was only 1500 messages, so I got a nice fat 1700 message overage charge. Ouch.

But the bigger problem was like trying to talk to too many people at once – too much noise, not enough signal. So today, as an experiment to see if it makes Twitter more useful for me, I removed anyone that I hadn’t:

  1. Met in person in Real Life OR
  2. Talked on the phone with OR
  3. Had any significant online interaction with

In the end, my criteria turned in to “if I have to think for more than a half a second about who this person is, I’m going to remove them”.

I went from 300+ friends, down to 135. It was hard, and I twittered about it was I was going. I was surprised at how many people asked me to not dump them! If we “knew” each other well enough for them to ask not to be removed, they would have been safe anyway. I wasn’t trying to fish for friendship by threatening to dump people at all, but it was nice to see that people wanted to stay connected to me. :-) If I accidentally removed you, let me know, and I’ll re-friend you.

So now I have 135 people that are really my friends, and my Twitter network just got a LOT more useful and fun for me. Signal to noise ratio: WAY up. Loving it.

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