Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cleaning Up the Twitter Auto-Follow Mess

This morning, Mark Shaw had 16,092 followers on Twitter. Mark got there by "auto-following" (the Twitter practice of following back anybody who follows you). Mark has learned his lesson -- “You end up basically clogging up your stream with all this nonsense.” On his Phlog, Mark describes how he cleaned up the mess.

If you’ve already screwed up the auto-follow choice like Mark said he did, you can still get clean, but it's going to take some time. Twittori will help you remove people who haven’t tweeted for a period of time and Friendorfollow will identify people who aren’t following you back.

But how do you get rid of people who simply aren’t adding value? There’s no software to do it, so you have to do it manually. “It’s very time consuming, which is why I wish I hadn’t done auto follow in the first place,” Mark laments. But the process is worth it. Here are some determinants Mark uses to gauge follow or not follow:

• Am I interested in what the person is tweeting about? No? Go!
• Does the person display a website or a url? No? Go!
• Are the updates spam or RSS generated? Yes? Go!

Even after the culling (which Mark says consumes about 15 minutes of his day), you may still be left with a lot of people. If so, set up a group on Tweetdeck that separates the tweeple you don’t want to miss.

Now you’re in business.

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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