This is a companion post to How I Live and Breathe Google Reader. A few people have asked for some of my stats, so I am sharing them too.
Objectives behind using Twitter
Different people use Twitter for different purposes. My objectives are:
- Get fresh tech news as fast as possible.
- Learn what leading tech experts and analysts are reading and understand their opinions on current tech topics
- Share fresh tech news and my views
- Make a few friends and have fun.
I think defining your objective behind using any network or service is important as it helps define the kind of social graph and relationships you build using it.
My Sharing Policy
I share tech news and opinion pieces about current tech trends. I try my best to keep my Twitter feed a relevant signal. I don’t tweet all of my friends’ blog posts just because they’re my friends.
I realize this may be construed as anti-social behavior among social media experts, but as I explained in Role of Curation in the Attention Economy, I don’t wish to increase noise for my followers and am more interested in curating my Twitter feed to keep it relevant for my followers.
My Follow Policy
My objectives drive my follow policy. I typically follow people who break tech news. I also follow people who may not break news themselves, but who constantly live in the breaking tech news world and are always sharing fresh stuff.
The key principle behind my Follow Policy is Relevance. Thus, I do not follow all experts and people I admire. A person’s greatness isn’t always proportional to the relevance of their Twitter feed to my objectives.
Because I follow relatively few people, some folks assume that I only follow “big shots”. That simply isn’t true. Sometimes, I also follow people who @Reply me with interesting comments on what I share.
I am constantly following new people and unfollowing some of them. This is a continuous process and I am brutal in curating my following list. Sometimes, I use the following benchmarks in deciding whether to unfollow someone:
- Have I liked/retweeted any tweet or article shared by that person within the last month?
- Can I explain to myself why I follow a person given my objectives?
Lastly, I don’t care if the people I choose to follow, follow me back or not.
What “Follow” Means To Me
To me, a Follow is more than a social gesture. A Follow means that I try my best to read tweets, read the articles being shared, listen, answer questions when I can, offer help where possible.
Twitter as a Conversation Platform
A great many people complain that Twitter is not suitable for having conversations.
On the other hand, a great many people I admire and respect, from top tech bloggers and editors of leading tech blogs, to VCs and media/journalism experts, unaware of this inherent limitation of Twitter, continue to use it for meaningful conversations. So do I.
My Reply Policy
I make an effort to respond to each and every @Reply, as long as it is being made in good spirit and doesn’t reek of fanboyism.
I try to attribute my sources as far as possible, as I described earlier in Thanksgiving via Attribution.
On Automated Tweets
From Google Buzz + Reader + Twitter + Facebook = Noise: “When you auto-share, you’re not a human on that network, you turn into a bot. Bots are what we call spam.”
I neither use any tool that automates tweets, nor do I typically follow those who do.
I try to make each tweet meaningful for my followers. My usual format is:
“Original Post Title” <Link> by “Author/Blog” /via @source /my comments if any
Frequently, the original blog title is either too sensationalistic or entirely misleading or link-baiting. In such cases, I dispense with the original title entirely substituting it with my own.
My URL Shortener
I use Bit.ly as my preferred URL shortener. Here are my Bit.ly stats for the past month:
My monthly stats typically range between 500 to 3000.
Though Twitter mostly works in real-time and I live in India, it is interesting that my followers are primarily based in the United States and EU.
Klout Score and Classification
For those who’re interested, my Klout Score varies from 58 to 62.
According to Klout, I am a “Thought Leader”:
I usually avoid ending my blog posts with the customary “You can follow me on xyz here” plea, but I will make an exception for this post. So if you’re interested in tech news, do follow @ScepticGeek on Twitter! 🙂