Twitter Experiment Update and the Results

Well my Twitter experiment is now officially over, with everything going on in my life the past couple of weeks, I decided to extend the experiment to more than just a week. So how did it go?Since May 1st  – I am now following:

This was a significant increase from the previous number of about 110.

While I found I could keep up with the number of updates there taking place, but only as long as I wasn’t doing anything else. It became quite a chore for me to follow all the different conversations in my “all friends” column.  I did find that I couldn’t multi-task and just glance over to see how conversation were progressing.

I really missed not knowing who I was following enough to feel comfortable jumping into the conversations that were going on around me.

Image representing TweetDeck as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

During this experiment I learned that while you can make lists, they are a pain to setup and maintain.  Even though I use TweetDeck for most of my Twitter interactions, having 22 columns to keep track of my different interests is a just a bit much.  Especially since I am expanding my interests to include the effects of aging and improving my, blog in anticipation of some further experimentation during summer break.

I guess the big question is if I will continue to follow over 1,100 people on Twitter or do I plan to pare the list down to what I consider a more reasonable number (between 200 – 300 for me).

There are many positives to following so a larger number of people:

  • more diverse conversations
  • different points of view
  • talking about ideas that you may not have otherwise
  • meeting more people

The issues with following so many are:

  • keeping up with the different conversations
  • missing out on conversations with people you have made online/offline friendships with
  • feeling overwhelmed by the number conversations and just turning off Twitter (I find myself doing it more than I did in the past).

To be honest based on the experience of the past 3 weeks, I am planning on moving back to following a much smaller number of people on Twitter and will start the process in the near future.  But to keep track of those that I have been following, and not loose the benefit of their Twitter comments, I will be selectively be using the #hashtags and lists to keep up with specific topics and people who frequent those topics/#hashtags on Twitter.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseSo while it may look as though I am ignoring Twitter karma by not following everyone who follows me, it really is not the case, I just cannot keep up the “all friends” Twitter stream with that number of people in it. I am now going to follow more than three times the number I was in the past, but I just can’t do a 1:1 follow number, due to how overwhelming it gets.  It certainly is not because I am stuck up or anything like that, I just want to have more personal conversations and be able to keep up with those in my “all friends” Twitter stream.

It looks as if I am pretty comfortable with my life in the slow lane – it is not nearly as stressful as the fast lane.

What are you doing to make a difference?