Listen, it’s been great hanging out these past few months. Twitter feels like it’s hitting the mainstream and things are really heating up. And that’s the problem.
When I first started using the service, it was like I was listening in to the superstars of marketing, writing, and social media. I’d been reading their blogs for year, but now I was offered a glimpse into their real lives (OMG, Guy Kawasaki likes spam musibi!).
And this Twitter thing had a positive business application as well. By watching the superstars, I was able to stay current with up-to-the-minute news. I read the articles they recommended, decreasing the time I spent searching for good content and increasing the time I spent reading it. I was even able to engage them myself and network a little.
The most important aspect of all was that I could follow discussions occurring between them. If Brian from Copyblogger and Liz Strauss get into an argument, I want to know about it! These conversations taught me to be a better marketer, expanded my thinking, and consoled me that the best minds were wrestling with the very same issues I was.
When Things Went Wrong
This break-up: it’s not me, it’s you. It’s the fact that you’re too good for me.
As I found more and more smart marketers to follow, I expanded my customized news feed and my learning capability. Don’t get me wrong, I was very selective. But I wanted too much.
Everything that made Twitter useful to me was being overshadowed in the torrent of content, ideas, and conversation. I was following people who were too good, too interesting, too smart - and it was just too much.
Roundtablers, Cacophonists, Spammers, and Me
I’ve noticed four (very) general variations when it comes to a particular person’s follower/following volume and ratio.