You're reading...

Twitter 500

So any of you who have been following my little experimentations with Twitter following might be interested in a little update… a few of you have asked & I’m long overdue – sorry. If you’ve not been following and want to read the background then I explain here & here.

Any of you who have better things to do perhaps take a look at some other recent blogs from the list on your right!


I started earlier in the year by bringing the amount of people I followed down to 150. This achieved a few things, most notably :-

    • A clear out of all sorts of randomness & noise
    • A real focus on the people I continued to follow

Driving this was my observation on how Attention Dilution kicks in combined with some shared thinking on how Dunbar’s Number might be playing a role. The move was cathartic and a great experiment but limitations started to emerge…

    1. There are lots of interesting people that I continued to discover that were very relevant for my work & interests. To keep the magic 150 required me to consider who I would swap… this became increasingly hard and in fact pointless.
    2. There were moments when I was ready to “engage” on Twitter only to see that the 150 were not around… sometimes this motivated me to do something better instead. Other times I missed the wider interaction I had removed myself from.
    3. The focus and space brought attention to a long-standing dilemma about whether I was tweeting as my company/brand or as myself David. Rightly or wrongly, 150 was not enough for my company purposes and was too much for David’s purposes.

What I did next seemed to upset a few people, confused me for a while but has been brilliant…

I set up a personal account to run separately from the company account. I just did it one morning and it started a whole new chapter for me. My personal account is for me to engage as an individual, often on non-work related frippery, with a relatively small number of people. “Owning” my name on Twitter has curiously become quite important to me.

The company account continues to be used as it always has – I didn’t change my behaviour there and I still value the place it has in my life. However, I shifted the number of people I follow up to 500. Curiously, this has kept a good focus and the randomness and noise that I once suffered from is negligible. Even more curious is the fact that I now tweet more than I’ve ever done, but with better purpose!

My learnings?

Well, first and foremost if it’s not working for you change it. Find that purpose. Forget any imagined social graces and just go with your instinct and play around with Twitter. The worst that can happen is that someone tells you that they miss your connection – that in itself seems like a great starting point to re-engage!

Secondly, let the changes sit a while. It helps create some impetus if you need to change again.

Finally, share the learning & the journey. Nobody is the expert and we’re all trying to find a way that suits us. Sharing the learning helps us think about what we’re doing and can help inform others actions.

Well I hope that helps but if you have any questions, just ask!


2 thoughts on “Twitter 500

  1. Just came across this via a twitter connection :-

    I’ve come at this whole topic from a different angle but have ended up adopting these in my twitter use.


    Posted by David Goddin | May 31, 2013, 8:01 AM


  1. Pingback: About the Blog | People Performance Potential - May 30, 2013


%d bloggers like this: