What’s Your Twitter Threshold?

Do you follow 10? 50? 100? 300? 1,000? 5,000? The sky’s the limit and you’re a social whore?!

This week, I reached my limit, which is just shy of following 100 twits. Of course, my limit is a delicate balance of hyper-active and inactive posters. Over the course of several months, I whittled off the Guy Kawasaki and Robert Scobles of the the world with great appreciation for their work, but extreme frustration with their tweets.

(Why do we call them tweets instead of twits anyway?)

I’ve also done some serious soul searching with regards to following SEO rockstars versus SEO noobs. At one time (and perhaps still), I was an SEO noob. Somehow, I ended up dining with SEO rockstars and friendships were formed. Does that make me an SEO rockstar? No, it makes me a part of their entourage (read: really lame).

So why does it matter? Because I feel guilty when I don’t follow a SEO noob since I was a noob just one year ago. Why do I do it then? Because I simply don’t have the time or patience to follow that many unknown individuals. When I know you (or have even had a handful of substantial exchanges via the web) it’s much easier to care about your opinion of Cloverfield, the story you just Sphunn and whether you think Heath Ledger overdosed or was killed by Elvis.

At this moment, I have 69 follower requests (entirely because of Andy Beal’s “75 Internet Marketing Gurus on Twitter“) and no time to slowly sort through each weighing whether I know the individual or their post rate will be a burden. In time perhaps my threshold will expand, but for now I can’t hold anymore and feel like a failed marketer for cutting off potential networking opportunities. Forgive me great SEO Whore God of Marketing!

*Please note – I use follower almost interchangeably with someone I follow because I have a private account and if I let someone follow me, I’m instantly following them. I know I could simply go public and not have this problem, but I don’t want that many people I don’t know reading my stream of consciousness, which is primarily how I use Twitter.

Thank you Rae for pointing out the reference error.


On a personal note:

I’d like to post more frequently over the coming months as I dropped off the planet after Pubcon. For those that weren’t aware, I took a two week honeymoon to Barcelona, Andorra and Paris over the holiday break. Upon our return we moved to a new home in Neptune Beach, FL and then work and First Coast Surfrider hit me like a ton of bricks. Growing up is overwhelming. :)

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  1. avatar Daver Says:

    My limit is and has been 100. As I find new interesting people to follow I cut the fat of the non posters or the ones that have a Noise > Content level. I also cut some tweeters that would just drop 20+ tweets in a row on a constant basis – it made everything else get lost in the chaos.

  2. avatar Chris Winfield Says:

    You should definitely post more – I enjoyed it…

  3. avatar Wingnut Says:

    My limit as of now is 100, and slowly getting there. I think if you have see all @YourName’s turned on, and TwitterMail set up – it doesn’t matter if you follow someone back. Also thanks to Andy’s post I have a lot of new followers and pretty much wont follow someone back unless they try and connect with me.

  4. avatar Michael D Says:

    This was a great post and I agree with Chris. Noticed you mentioned Surfrider in your tweets, I’ve been doing work with the Malibu chapter past few years. Some great people.

  5. avatar rdrysdale Says:

    Michael – Sweet, an SEO and a Surfrider member! =) That’s awesome. I’ve been a Surfrider member for several years now and just recently became Chairwoman of our chapter. It’s almost a full-time job, but the work we do for our community is huge. Malibu has had some fun issues lately, especially with Save Trestles. We try to help you guys out with action alerts. Let me know if there’s anything else we can do and I’d love to meet up with you at a future conference.

  6. avatar pat Says:

    I don’t do the twitter at all.

    Barcelona fun fact: My favorite toy store ever in a million years is there. I went into the store ten years ago and bought over three thousand dollars worth of toys, most of which were only 50 cents each. Here is why it was interesting. They were original Star Wars toys, cases of them. There were also argonauts, and hot wheels, and cases of cases of things that were all worth so much money it was crazy.
    I tried to tell the woman how much they were worth, she didn’t care and gave me an additional reduction of price.
    So put it this way. I bought dozens and dozens of Han Solos for around 30 cents each. I sold the same toy for about a hundred dollars a piece. Yum.
    I hope you had a fabulous time on your honeymoon and it is good to see a new post :)

  7. avatar rdrysdale Says:

    It was an incredible trip and it’s funny you mentioned the toy store. We saw one that looked packed full of awesome stuff, but didn’t go in. However, in Paris I found the comic book store of my dreams. Proceeded to stock my Jean Grey collection and found some original X-Men in English (!) going for so much less than they were worth. One day my children will go to a very nice university. ;)

  8. avatar SearchBuzz Says:

    You convinced me to stop following Guy Kawasaki! (I needed a kick in the a$$)

    I wonder if I will miss his ‘tweets’, “Cat Stowaway Discovered in Suitcase 1300 Miles From Home” and every story linking to Truemors.com

    How does a community benefit from this?

    Good post…well received!

  9. avatar pat Says:

    Oh, that reminds me, I once mentioned I had a gift for you. What it is is an Xmen comic from the 60′s I don’t remember which one but I think it is number 12 of the original series (it has spiderman on the cover).
    I want to give it to you, and actually need to give it to someone soon because I am going back to “backpack” Pat in a couple months, and I carry everything I own, so it will get squished and ruined.
    It is yours if you want. Email and we can figure out how I can get it to you.

  10. avatar Jason Bartholme Says:

    Hi Rhea, Good post. I have over one hundred total followers since the Marketing Pilgrim post. That is about my threshold. I need to go in a get rid of some of the site feeds because I read them elsewhere. Some of the obsessive tweeters need to go to. Honestly, I don’t care what Jason Calacanis is doing every five minutes.

  11. avatar TheMadHat Says:

    100 people I follow…and anyone that takes up more than 75% of my twitter page at anytime gets the axe. Unless it’s a rant, then they get leeway. Or if it’s about beer, cause you can’t fault someone for thinking about beer all day.


  12. avatar rdrysdale Says:

    Beer and rants are good. As are rants about beer. :)

  13. avatar Everett Sizemore Says:

    I finally got around to subscribing to your blog! Although I’ve been here before, I clicked on the URL from your Twitter profile just now and it struck me that I hadn’t added it to Bloglines. Hey – whattayaknow, Twitter actually acted as a real marketing channel for once. ;-)

    Thanks for including me in the ever-growing list of random people whose extemporaneous thoughts you follow. I’m happy to be following yours.

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