Stacks of people have asked me why I ever started to use twitter… and why after so long I still use it even after they gave it a go and let it slide. The answer is pretty simple, I follow the right people, and let them bring the news to me. There’s very few accounts that I follow because I want to know what sort of sandwich they are having today.
It doesn’t really matter if you are into the same sort of thing as me, with the millions of people using Twitter, and services out there to direct you on who you should follow, you’ll have no trouble in creating a quality list of people to follow that will keep you up to date on whatever your interest, before you’ll read or hear about it via the traditional outlets. Here’s how I do it for my web stuff.
Get the ball rolling
When I first kick things off, I’ll have a quick base that I’ll start to follow (@scobleizer, @guykawasaki, @smashingmag, @techcrunch) since I know I’ll straight away be given a wealth of information on all things web from them alone. The great thing about @scobleizer and @guykawasaki in particular are that not only are they huge in their fields, but they are well known for actually engaging in conversation with their followers. (If you are after a different topic than the web, think of the most famous people you know in your topic and find them on Twitter, half a dozen or so should do to get the ball rolling)
This is a good thing. Keep an eye on who they talk to and about frequently, there’s a good queue on who you should follow.
Another good place to start your base is at wefollow.com, pick a few of the top for your category and see who and what they talk to and about.
The leaders you never knew you loved
Another place I like to go to find a few more people to follow is wefollow.com, a great site that lists people by category not only on how many followers they have (as this isn’t important to you, follow counts can be deceiving) but also how influential they are. That is, how much people care about what they are saying; are they getting a lot of replies, are they getting retweeted a lot? These are the sorts of people you want to follow, as it proves they know their shit.
I’ll have what she’s having
Only after I’ve got myself a decent little list going on, will I then take advantage of Twitters new feature, ‘users you may be interested in’ (see it here) which will present you with a list of suggestions on who to follow based on who the people you are following are following. Basically, if you’re following people of a high value, and a bunch of them also follow a particular account, that’s a fair sign that account is also of a high quality.
Of course, it’s pretty hard to get this balance right, as even some of the people others find high quality I find annoying. Your follow list needs to be an ever evolving thing, cull those that aren’t right for you, and always be on the lookout for new people to follow. There’s so much stuff out there that you’re already missing out on, and until my list of people I follow is perfect, so am I… but that day is a long way away.
At the end of it all
If you follow this recipe, you should be able to uncover a wealth of information via Twitter that you probably would never have know, or at least not know until the news was old.
As I said earlier, I’m not really in favour of following people who talk too much nothingness on Twitter even if I actually like them. As all it does is waste space in my stream with stuff I don’t care about, and gives me the shits, it’s this sort of use that throws a lot of people off Twitter I think. I’d rather be able to head out for lunch, and come back knowing that my stream will be full of awesome links for me to check out, that odds on are exactly what I’m into. Each to their own though, there’s nothing at all wrong with you following your friends updates, they might even get upset if you don’t! It’s even considered by many to be Twitter etiquette to follow back anybody that follows you, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish, and not one I support.
There’s also a hidden message in here, that if you put in quality tweets, you’ll be rewarded with followers and influence.
Hopefully you’ll find my tweets interesting if your into the web, development and where it’s heading, you can follow me at @duellsy
How do you find the most relevant people to follow on Twitter?