Last week I posted about how I needed to get back on track with my targets for this year, posting and tweeting to be specific. So I started hitting my twitter apps on my iPhone, doing some check-ins and reviewing my twitter feed.
So far it’s been going pretty well, I’ve managed to increase my frequency back up to at least a tweet a day and redeveloping the habit I tried to establish at the beginning of the year. I also have to admit there’s a fair amount of “noise” in my stream and I need to do something about it.
Over the next few days I’m going to be carving out some time to “clean the stream” which mean that I will be unfollowing a number of folks. Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not doing this out of spite but out of a need to be able to actually make sense of my stream and gain some value from it. I’m also not going to declare “twitter bankruptcy” and just unfollow everyone as there are a number of individuals in my stream that I want to continue to follow. I’ll be evaluating everyone I’m following before I hit the unfollow button.
How do you make the cut? Here’s some of my criteria, in no particular order:
1. Be active
I’ve already begun this part of the cleaning process, if you don’t tweet why follow you? There are some exceptions to this rule, the school system, organizations and online services for example.
2. Tweet something other than just affiliate links
I love it when folks share things but if your entire stream is just a series of links that all lead to your latest affiliate program sorry but your fishing the wrong stream. I’m not saying if I see an affiliate link here and there I’ll unfollow you, only if the bulk of your tweets are that way.
Word of warning – don’t DM me with an affiliate link, I’ll unfollow you immediately. See my Twitter Policy.
3. Respond if I DM you
I don’t often DM folks but if I do getting a response is cool and I appreciate it. I try to do this the best I can but sometimes you just can’t and I also understand that too. If you do respond, your stock goes up in my book.
4. Keep it clean
Most folks do this already but I felt it important to include it. I understand that folks should be able to express themselves in any manner they feel appropriate but as I often have folks look over my shoulder (including my kids) so keep it clean and I’m more apt to continue following you.
5. Tweet about things I’m interested in
I saved this one for last as when I took a quick scan of my stream earlier I think this is the one that most will trip on. When I first started using twitter I followed everyone and their brother trying to build a following (I follow you, you follow me) which helped build my initial following and has also helped create my current stream challenge. So if you don’t tweet about a topic I’m interested in out you go.
Once again, if I unfollow you keep in mind I’m not doing this out of spite but out of need and if for some reason you feel compelled to stop following me I understand that as well.
After I’m finished with this pass I’m going to let the dust settle and then determine if I need to do anything further to “clean the stream” or if I just continue on and let my Twitter Policy (which will also be reviewed and updated if needed) be my guide.
Do you “clean the stream” or just let it flow? Please share in the comments.