Since I started Twitter in 2007 I followed all kinds of people and over 25,000 followed and unfollowed me over time. I used other tools to get through the noise and a few weeks ago I started to unfollow. I am down at around 1,500 right now. Why 1,500? See further down – let me first say who and how.
Who did I unfollow?
1) People who have “I make you rich” or “follow me I follow you” in their bio.
2) People who still today have no photo up
3) People who have their dog or cat instead of their own photo. I understand you love your dog – but I’m not tweeting with your dog
4) People with over 10,000 followers and still follow more than they have followers. People collect all kinds of things, stamps, photos tinker toys – and today: Connections. Not my cup of tea.
5) If you didn’t tweet in the last 90 days – tell me when you are back – happy to re-follow if it’s interesting
6) People who basically RT all day long to stay in the game, I check carefully – some are actually very nice – others I just don’t care.
7) Random noise & Bandwidth eater. Now if you read so far, please read this carefully: I don’t follow if it is all about walking your dog. I LOVE people talking about there personal life as well – what they had for dinner and so forth but only if that is not ALL I read. I like the complexity of business, family, fun, personal, and what ever constitutes you. We humans are complex anumals and can assemble a social picture in seconds – challenge my ability to do that.
How did I grind through thousands of connections? I used a cool tool called refollow.com. It does it all. You can filter and slice and dice and then mass unfollow.
Who should NOT do this?
If you are follower collector, you shouldn’t do that because your followers will go down right away. Many who auto follow (that’s how you get many followers in the first place) have their tools also do auto un-follow – so you would loose all those who followed you automatically. In other words if Twitter is your follower game platform – it ruins your game ;-)
Now why down to 1,500?.
In accordance to Dunbar, an average human being is limited to about 150 social relationships as a meaningfull number. The limitation is our neocortex. But just a few hundred years ago we couldn’t fly, we couldnet lift much more than our own body weight and had many other limitations. What the industrial revolution did to our physical productivity – the social revolution does to our social productivity – So my “Axel-Factor” is to be able to socialize with 10 times as many as Dunbar’s number is – or about 1,500 people thanks to the social tools we have.