Hopefully, in part one I gave you a compelling enough explanation of why I've enjoyed interacting with 1189 twitter folk. Now let me get to some of the nuts and bolts.
How in the world can you keep up with so many people? Here are a few tips:
- Change the way you read. When I first started using Twitter, I followed a few dozen people. I would check it several times throughout the day, and I "read it thorougly" with the intention of "keeping up with everybody". Now I'm skimming, not unlike looking at a newspaper, looking for something interesting. Sometimes it's a funny one-liner, sometimes a great link, or even a prayer request somebody has. (The flip side of this is that it's changed the way I write, but I'll save that for another day.)
- Turn off device updates for everyone except for your close friends. This could be a good middle ground for some. When you're online you can skim the masses for information, and when you're out and about with your phone you can check up on your close friends. One caveat: if you are prone to getting a lot of direct tweets, this method will not work. Obviously if you follow more people, that's more people who can DM you. You will get overwhelmed. Trust me.
- Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck is a cool desktop app that presents your tweets in columns. Each column is a different group. You can see everybody you follow in one panel, and your @ replies in another. You can create custom groups with it, making organizational sense out of hundreds, even thousands of incoming tweets. @recreate, @spencesmith, @michaelhyatt have all been using TweetDeck and seem to like it. I have it and use it occasionally, but I'm not a big fan. Yet. Right now, it feels kind of clunky and Windows-y. I have a personal policy of not using any computer program that makes me feel like I'm on a PC. (Sorry!) But I get the sense that they're on to something, and that future updates will make it even cooler.
- Twittelator Pro: Twittelator Pro is a wonderful iPhone app. It's elegant and easy to use. You can quickly look at people and see their tweets and who follows them. You can search based on topic, person, or location. This is my prime Twitter app when I'm away from my computer. Highly recommended.
- Follow people manually: There are several apps to automatically follow everyone who follows you. Unless you have tens of thousands of followers, I would still recommend the manual route. While you want to follow every person that follows you, you probably don't want to follow every company that follows you. I have also run across a little dose of Twitter spam that is to be avoided. It only took me half an hour or so to follow my initial thousand, and I've added the others incrementally along the way. But if you use an automatic service you like, by all means...
That's about it for now. Well except for my secret spy way. That's for the next post...
Do you have any apps or ideas for making it easy to follow a BUNCH of people on Twitter? Let me know!