Finding a conversation on Twitter can be a daunting task. The easiest mistake to make is to follow too many people so that your home page is filled with a plethora of tweets. Instead, be discerning about who to follow or make Twitter lists of those people whose Tweets contribute to your desired conversations.
Choosing people to follow on Twitter is not like friending people on Facebook. On Facebook, friending is a sign of knowing — a statement that we know each other, even if only on the third grade playground. Following on Twitter is more about the conversation than the association. Unlike Facebook friending, Twitter following is not a mutual decision and it’s not personal.
Here’s how I find people to follow on Twitter:
- Face-to-face Connections
I choose to follow people I know, people I meet at professional events, or people that are endorsed, through re-tweet, by those I follow.
- Contribution to a Conversation
Because I use Twitter to inform my practice, I look at past tweets and decide if the tweets are the type that would teach me something or direct me to information of interest on the web.
- Personal Interest
Even if a person might not inform my practice, some folks simply have interesting things to say.
- Tweet Trials
I often follow new people on a trial basis. If I find myself engaged in their tweets or re-tweeting their tweets or even just reading their tweets, I’ll continue following. If, however, I always skip over their tweets, I’ll stop following.
If you want to follow hundreds or thousands of people, use Twitter lists to compile the tweets you really want to read so that you can sift through the noise.
And, if you follow me and I’m not following you, don’t take it personally. If you want to engage me in a conversation, @mention me. I’ll respond.