personal information management systems

The failings of following

on Feb 10 in personal information management systems, strategy, Twitter posted by

Thought of the Day, Feb 10, 2009

“A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.” — Mark Twain

It seems that microbloggers are obsessed with who follows them, or doesn’t, or who they follow. Following, not following, unfollowing, checking who is following… ad nauseum. Every other blog post about Twitter seems to be about the philosophy, strategy and technique of following or how to get followers. The exact search phrase “who to follow on Twitter” resulted in 2,600 hits on Google! I’ve been guilty myself, in the interest of helping Twitter newbies. (Follow you, follow me: finding people on Twitter

What set off this latest Thought (rant) is a blog post about who to follow on FriendFeed. What about other microblogs, such as Plurk, or Tumblr? (See a list of the top 10 microblogs.)

Personally, I think it’s enough to follow a couple of hundred users who share your interests on the microblog of your choice. Otherwise you get information overload, and begin miss important Tweets. (The point of diminishing returns related to the number of Twitterers to follow is another topic I have blogged on previously.) And for me, the point of Twitter is to serve as an information management system, to get from social interaction what search or research is too slow to provide.

Yes, who you follow is important to your microblogging experience, and determines much of what you get out of platforms such as Twitter. But let’s develop a suite of best practices and be done with it.

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