Hi, my name is Rich and I am a Twitterer Who Followed Everyone Guy. Yeah – that is the confession part of this story. 

Since I signed up for Twitter back on 15 July 2008 my modus operandi was to follow everyone that followed me – a bit of Twitter Quid Pro Quo.  It did not matter if the account looked like a spammer, bot or not. I followed them. I made it a point to stop following anyone who stopped following me as well. I mean it only seemed fair in the Quid Pro Quo method of Twitter Following I was using.

I was chasing numbers thinking that was what mattered in the Social Media and Twitter scheme of things.  I was wrong.

What happened was the stream of incoming Tweets became incoherent and loud. I was only able to catch a handful of Tweets at any give time and that was all about timing. I missed a tremendous amount of important info because I had not applied any type of filter to my following activities. Typically I only caught the stuff that was directed @ me, DM’d to me or that came up in the search on Windows 7 I track regularly.

Today I decided it was time to clear the slate and apply filters to my incoming Twitter Stream.

I opted to do this using one of @socialtoo tools that allows you to zero out who you are following on Twitter. This is a paid service but the other option was a manual process and I opted not to do that.

So at about 10:00 AM EST today I executed the order to un-follow 17,133 accounts that were following me.  For a Twitterer Who Followed Everyone Guy that is a nerve wracking button mash.

The script at @socialtoo was very efficient and this is how the timeline progressed:




10:00 AM 17,133 17,089
11:00 AM 15,018 17,086
12:00 PM 13,293 17,067
1:00 PM 10,790 16,994
2:00 PM 7,970 16,916
3:00 PM 4,268 16,762
4:00 PM 700 16,572
4:20 PM 1 16,518
5:00 PM 45 16,376
6:00 PM 120 16,217

I imagine the Followers number will continue to trend down over the next several days as different accounts stop following me because I am not following them. I am good with that. That is what this process today is about – a reset of the stage and an opportunity to clarify and better understand the information coming my way on Twitter.

Overall, the response from people who actively follow me and know me from following me have been quite supportive of this action. It even prompted one person to take a hard look at their own Twitter Followers and make some adjustments. It also resulted in one account calling me rude for using cleansing as the term for zeroing out the accounts I follow. They were right – that was the wrong word and I apologized for using it because perceptions are realities and I must respect perceptions.

However, I will add that those who really follow me and interact with me on Twitter know I am not a rude person at all. They know my nature to be helpful, responsive and positive.

Those are the folks I look forward to interacting with on a regular basis as part of my new Twitter presence and awareness.