The last quarter of 2011 saw some very popular Twitter users decide to unfollow everyone and start over.
If you are wondering whether you should follow this trend, I can answer that question for you rather quickly. For a thoughtful approach to this issue, read what the folks at Pushing Social had to say.
For a faster, more direct (and somewhat snarky) answer, here are 3 other points to consider:
You Are Important…Just Not That Important
You, like me, are not Chris Brogan. You likely don’t follow 131,000 people and you probably aren’t completely inundated with direct message spam.
Let’s face it, everyone that has been on Twitter for a while has a clunky main feed. If you haven’t created lists by now, you are missing a really effective way to interact with important segments of your Twitter world.
Do You Want to Annoy People That Like You?
By unfollowing everyone that follows you, you are likely going to annoy the people that like you the most. They are going to question why you stopped following them and whether you really want to interact on Twitter.
It’s probably unnecessary to annoy your true online community because you made the mistake of following a bunch of spammers or people that talk about themselves too much. There are plenty of tools that you can use to unfollow select people without alienating the ones that count. (ManageFlitter is pretty good if you want to try one.)
A Quick Solution
Although unfollowing everyone is fast and easy, there is another quick way to solve your cluttered stream issue. I touched on it earlier so the thought has probably been germinating in your head for the last 60 seconds.
Create a list.
Start a list in Twitter of the people that you actually like. Instead of spending hours sifting through all of the people you currently follow, simply start now and add people as you go.
With this method, you won’t miss anything or alienate your best followers. If you would like a faster start, go through your recent mentions and use those people to start your list. They have already taken the time to talk with you (not at you) and will likely do so in the future. Eventually, this list will become your main interactive stream.
If you still want to do some house cleaning, delete all of the people that have sent you a spammy direct message. You can also set a criteria for who you will follow in the future so that you don’t create this mess again.
If you want to connect with me about this topic, feel free to comment or catch me on Twitter here.