I love Twitter! I think it is is one of the biggest mind-expanding tools you can have, if used properly. It can also be a giant time-suck of a waste. How can you make it expand rather than melt your mind? Follow and engage with people who will provide you insight, links, conversation and ideas to push your envelope. To do that, you have to be careful about who you follow and spend time engaging with. I have a set of rules I have created to help me quickly sort through my follow options to see if they look like they are going to be mind-expanding, or mind-wasting (no bueno).

The path to greatness is created by those you surround yourself with, online is no different than offline

The Twitter Follow Rules

Who I Follow on Twitter

  • your profile shows you are interested in Miami, coffee, real estate, reading, technology, entrepreneurship, marketing, travelling, photography, animals, art, higher education, geo-anything, blogging, geekiness, history, architecture, mac and a few more secret key-words
  • you are followed by people I respect and trust
  • you reached out to me
  • you were recommended by someone via #FF
  • I know you IRL (in real life)
  • you said or shared something interesting

I won't follow you on TwitterWho I won’t follow

  • your stream is nothing but you pushing out marketing messages
  • you have no @ messages in your stream (or you don’t know what @ is)
  • you tweet 100% in a language I don’t understand
  • you are a porn-bot (or any kind of bot really)

Who I will think hard about before hitting the follow button (and un-follow button)

  • your avatar is an business icon
  • you have the words “guru, internet marketing, MLM, investing, wealth” etc in your profile
  • you have a disproportionate number of followers/following (ie your “following” is wayyy higher than your “followers”)
  • you send me an auto-DM with a link to your website when I follow you (yuk!)
  • you have no profile info

FYI – I auto-follow then do a weekly “clean up” of the undesirables, it makes life easier.  I also add almost everyone to one or more twitter lists to help me keep things under control.

Follow me on Twitter

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Craig Daniels September 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Janie – wow great post – I'm very much on the same page as you for twitter rules

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janiecoffey September 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Hi Craig, I find that if you spell out your dos and don'ts, you might have a more enjoyable twitter experience. Not sure if the spammers and bots care, but at least I tried…

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Megan E Barber September 5, 2010 at 11:01 am

Fantastic post Janie! You're inspiring me to write my own rules when it comes to Twitter following/not following. I'm especially tired of those MLM and "marketing gurus".

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janiecoffey September 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I'm glad you liked it felt some inspiration! I was inspired by another twitterer, let's keep the chain going!

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Betty November 18, 2010 at 11:24 am

You just gave me a wonderful idea! I'm going to have to rethink my reasons for following. Sometimes we get so caught up in the numbers and want as many people to follow us. In return, we'll follow them just so they'll keep following us. So, yeah, I'm going to have to rethink my reasons and clean out house. Some of these auto tweets are auto annoying! LOL
My recent post The Deep Dark Secret of Peg Solitaire

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janiecoffey November 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Hi Betty, last year I whacked almost 50% of the ones I was following. My twitter experienced improved exponentially! I highly recommend it! I do it now ever few months (clean up). I say, "Go for quality, not quantity"

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