Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Unfollowing everyone and starting fresh


When I started using Twitter I was following the advice of many gurus of how to set it up correctly and they explained all the “do’s and dont’s” of Twitter which at that time I didn’t understand very well, to be honest… Fast forward 3K+ tweets and 25K+ followers later I think I understand how Twitter works and I must say I love Twitter :-) To make sure I can use it even better it’s time for me to do some cleaning on my Twitter account and that’s why in the next few days I will unfollow everyone and then later follow back the few I want to read daily. Here’s why:

Unfollowing everyone and starting fresh

When I started out, Guy Kawasaki posted why we should follow everyone back

Basically - to reciprocate - as a token of gratitude for following us and because this lets them DM us (send us direct message) and because it’s just a nice gesture. Well, with more than 25+ followers it’s not anymore…. It was OK when I had just a few thousand followers but now with so many of you following me I’m sorry but I just stopped looking at the Direct Messages anymore… there was so much DM spam there that I just couldn’t handle it. And the genuine messages got lost, for which I’m truly sorry.

You can’t really follow 25K+ people anyway…

I just can’t keep up with my twitter timeline so it’s time to start fresh. Don’t get me wrong - I love you all - all of my followers and I’m really humbled and grateful for following me and keeping up with my daily musings but out of respect for you I just can’t keep up and need to start fresh here. You can always @ me and I will write back!

You can still communicate via @ “Replies” so it’s really not a big deal anyway

That’s what I do - I monitor @ replies and try to be as responsive as possible. This is the way communication in Twitter is done anyway even if people who “@” you don’t follow you or you don’t follow them. I don’t expect this to change when I unfollow everyone.

I’m sorry I will unfollow you. It’s really not personal. Believe me.

I just want to serve you even better and that’s why I’m doing it. Examples set by Michael Hyatt and Chris Brogan (and they have a lot more followers than me) proved that what I planned to do a while ago is the right thing to do, that’s why I’m pulling the trigger today.

I will use SocialOomph (which I already use for scheduling my Tweets) and I will pull the trigger in about an hour. This will take a day or so as the Twitter API lets you only unfollow 1K+ people an hour so.

I’m still reading Twitter via the lists and I will monitor @ replies as usual

I use Twitter lists and I’m planning to use them even more after I’ve pulled the trigger. My Twitter behavior won’t change. I just want to start fresh and configure people I follow the right way.

Again, it’s not personal. I just want to serve you better as your Twitter friend and a person you follow and for this I need a clean slate. This will not affect the way you follow me. You’ll still follow me and see my updates as usual. I will just “temporarily” not follow you back.

You’re always welcome to follow me and @ me anytime! Tweet you later, alligator!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 /unfollowing-everyone-and-starting-fresh/