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Don't Simply Follow on Twitter, You Should Spend Time Reviewing | dan pontefract
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Don’t Simply Follow on Twitter, You Should Spend Time Reviewing

Don’t Simply Follow on Twitter, You Should Spend Time Reviewing

In December of 2012, Twitter announced it had surpassed 200 million users. As TechCrunch noted, it was a 42% increase in their user base in under a year. Wow.

Of course it was CEO Dick Costolo who let us know in the summer of 2012 that 400 million tweets were being sent each day. With the increase in users since that time, one can easily surmise we’re well past this number in early 2013.

These data points got me thinking.

How am I ever going to read 400 million tweets a day?

twitter2No, not really. I’ll save that for a trip to the Library of Congress where they have already collected 170 billion tweets and are still going strong.

What I’m referring to is our (or perhaps my) approach to Twitter.

Upon reflection, I think I’m missing out. When I’m on Twitter, I’m scanning streams, hashtags and searches that I make. That part is ok and I’m learning a lot as a result of my usage habit. But what I’m not doing enough of is spending time reviewing the streams of individuals. I’m not putting time in my personal time management system to review what individuals have ‘tweeted’ over a period of time.

Because I may check Twitter infrequently, I may be missing out on potentially golden tweets of individuals. Because I may be searching or scanning hashtags for certain topics, I may be missing out on sage advice, links or thoughts because I don’t pick it up during my normal Twitter habits. Those tweets are buried on the profile of a Twitter user.

That’s going to change. I’m going to start checking out past tweets of individuals, in case I’ve missed something.

I’m not simply going to follow on Twitter anymore, I’m going to spend time reviewing.


  • Jon Husband / 29 January 2013 6:48

    I think this is critical .. along with opening the “View conversation” ‘window’ when noticing that people are having a several-tweet exchange. You get more-and-better context, both re” a ‘conversation’ and any given tweeter’s POVs, interests, sources, etc. More learning available that way ?

  • Jane Bozarth / 29 January 2013 6:50

    Good stuff, Dan. I know folks say it’s hard to find time for this, but our friend Gina Schreck taught me a useful trick: A few times a week just pick out someone who’s following you — especially someone you dont know — and take a few minutes to scan their recent tweets. If you have time, pick 5 people with whom you don’t usually connect and just say hello (this can go a long way toward encouraging those new to Twitter). I try to work this in and find it is not too difficult while bringing a big payoff.


  • Dan Pontefract / 29 January 2013 7:32

    Now that is further sage counsel @Jon and @Jane by two very wise interlocutors. Many thanks.

  • Angela Alini / 29 January 2013 8:08

    Hi Dan,

    Maybe the solution is some analytics on your personal twitter feeds….so that you can catch trending in an individuals posts:)

    • Dan Pontefract / 29 January 2013 1:03

      Only captain Analytics would say that @Ang! So, I use HootSuite amongst other tools to follow streams and searches already … how might I do what yer suggesting?

      • Angela Alini / 29 January 2013 2:16

        Your original qry prompted a little bit of research on my part:) Obviously I wouldn’t recommend you invest in any of the big BI tools that I play with…however, there are some cool end user alternatives.

        This one looked promising…I may have to download the free trial and check it out.

  • Mike Desjardins / 29 January 2013 7:14

    As it turns out you are one of the few people who I follow in this exact way. I find it much more engaging than the random tweets of thousands.

Want to leave a comment? I'd love to hear from you. Cheers, dp.

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