I know you’re probably wondering how long it took to read over 4,000 Twitter bios. It was about 11 hours and 24 minutes… give or take. You may also be wondering why I read over 4,000 Twitter bios. To understand this piece, I need to give you a bit of backstory first.
I joined Twitter a long, long, long time ago. March 15, 2007 to be exact. At the time of writing this, that puts the number of years that I’ve been on Twitter at just over 10. A full decade spent on a single social media platform. Crazy.
Much like everyone else who joined Twitter in the early days, I made a ton of mistakes. For example, I followed everyone back that followed me to the tune of about 26,000 users.
It felt like the right thing to do at the time — I was reciprocating their gesture after all — but it turns out that doing so only creates an enormous amount of chaos. I couldn’t listen to anyone, let alone engage, and I felt like I was out of touch and overwhelmed, which ultimately made me put my head in the sand and ignore Twitter altogether.
Ignoring Twitter made me a little frustrated though. I had really enjoyed my time on Twitter and to avoid using it, simply because things had become a bit chaotic, made me feel like I was missing out. So, I set out to clean up my Twitter, which first meant unfollowing about 22,345 people.
Yep, you read that right. 22,345 people.
That process took me about a year and a half to complete. I didn’t do it all at once, of course, but rather in bite-sized chunks over time. And, it was a painstaking process because I felt bad unfollowing anyone let alone 22,345 people. Eventually though, I got the number down to about 4,000 folks.
It was from this place that I began reading each person’s bio to see whether or not it still made sense for me to be seeing their updates in my main newsfeed. Before I did this though, I began by listing out the criteria I had in mind for the type of people I wanted to follow on Twitter. I also got clear about why I wanted to follow them and what Twitter would be for my business and my life.
Armed with all of that info and criteria, I sat down, deleted all of my old lists and created new categories that made more sense for where I was at with my business (and life) and began reading and categorizing.
In the end, I was left with robust lists (neatly categorized to match my current interest areas), a small and manageable list of folks that I was following and a notebook filled with reasons why people didn’t get followed. This is the piece that I wanted to share with you today.