Reclaiming my Twitter Experience with the “un” project

I wrote a few weeks ago about my experiment to follow people randomly and to see how it changed my Twitter experience: Is following someone on Twitter a social contract?
This afternoon I realized that the reason I was enjoying using the new Seesmic Desktop was because it gave me the ability to create a new “friends” column that just showed tweets from a select few friends, rather than my full Twitter follow stream.
Here, let me show you what I mean:

seesmic desktop

Seesmic Desktop: leftmost column is “friends”

Why would the ability to earmark friends out of your twitterstream be useful? Because there are too many non-friends on the list, too much streaming past you ever minute or two that just isn’t of interest from people who aren’t interesting to me. Of course they’re quite likely interesting to other people who find me uninteresting, but that’s what should be the core of social media at its most fundamental, don’t you think?
Hence The “un” Project.
What’s the project? For me to reclaim my Twitter experience by unfollowing uninteresting people.
Easy enough, right? Well, maybe not. Seems to me that with the addition of more and more celebrities and with the average Twitter gamer having 30k or more followers now, perhaps everyone has lost the ability to unfollow others. 🙂 Or maybe Twitter is evolving and growing in a direction that just isn’t congruent with my own interests in this particular real-time social media.
Be that as it may, I invite you to join the un Project and see how things change.
Oh, and here’s how you unfollow someone:
Find a tweet from the person you’re not interested in (and, again, there’s nothing wrong with these people, they’re just not interesting to me, that’s all):
twitter dujourmag tweet

Click on their Twitter handle or name (in this case, it’s “dujourmag”) and you’ll go to their Twitter profile page:
twitter dujourmag profile following

Click on the tiny little triangle adjacent to the word “Following” under their profile picture, and a little window opens up:
twitter dujourmag profile following remove

Now you can see how to proceed. Click on “Remove” and…
twitter dujourmag profile not following

That’s the secret. It’s kind of liberating, actually. Find people who just aren’t interesting and give ’em the boot.
Spread the meme: The un Project to take back Twitter.

5 comments on “Reclaiming my Twitter Experience with the “un” project

  1. Hey Dave,
    I go hot and cold with Twitter and have seen the majority of “my friends” make the move off of email, MySpace, & Twitter and move over to Facebook. I think your statement, “maybe Twitter is evolving” is spot on. I don’t really care if Dave Taylor is brushing his teeth, but I do care if Dave Taylor sends out an interesting link on “how to” or offers up a review this site Twitter post.
    The brush your teeth comment is not a dig but an analogy on how many of the early Twitter users were/are giving us blow by blow tweets of their day. I suspect most were testing the Twitter waters to see how far they could go with posting mundane bits about their lives and learning how Twitter can be used for their ultimate purpose(UP).
    If you’re a Twitter user, what is your UP? Is it ecommerce sales, marketing an e product, keeping up with friends, using it as a mass IM mechanism, or simply letting the world know what you’re up to. Twitter is gaining major mass appeal, but Facebook is emulating some of Twitters best qualities and taking some of the Twit Steam away. Let’s see what it looks like next year at this time.

  2. Still defining that one, Jeremy. I clearly fell off the deep end with the quantity and quality of the people I was following on Twitter. I have axed about 50 people in the last 24 hours and it does seem to be quite a bit more manageable, but I’m still refining things. I expect to cut out about another 100 or so and stabilize in the 300 ballpark, which reasonably reflects my varied business and personal interests.

  3. You sound so violent for a Boulder-type. Is this a cry for help? Axing and cutting people on Twitter. 😉
    Kidding of course. Are you liking Seesmic better than Tweetdeck? Thinking of trying it out but I do love Tweetdeck.

  4. Interesting – I had started this a couple weeks ago for the very same reason. You did a great job of explaining your rationale. In the beginning I had a dilemma as if it would be rude to “remove” myself from following some, but in the end there was just too much uninteresting clutter. Quality over quantity wins every time.
    I have definitely found this approach to be more manageable and worthwhile, however similar to another commenter my interest in Twitter is waning. Although as you stated it may be evolving, it will be interesting to see how things turn out.

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