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why I unfollowed you on twitter (and how to unfollow everyone too)

Welp. Evenyone has their limits and I’ve reached mine.

My wonderfully nerdy partner in crime Iain visited NY recently and over many glasses of wine and pasta we had a debate about the reason Twitter exists. A debate about Twitter’s purity of communication. A debate about how, why and even when people should use Twitter.  Iain thinks Twitter is a conversation tool solely. One where you should listen AND be listened to. He’s right. And until today, I wasn’t really “listening”. 

Until this very moment, I was following more than 1500 “friends” as Twitter. It was a lot of work getting up there and for a moment I was proud. Not anymore. I was caught up in a Twitter Frenzy I’m not sure I still believe in. Twitter has become a spammy medium and I’m falling out of love..sorta.

No I’m not leaving Twitter. It’s an amazing tool. It helps me connect with my team, I learned a lot from many of the people I followed. Many of you I will follow back. It’s just going to take me some time. (Want to give me a boost?) Shoot me an email.

Top three reasons why I declared follower bankruptcy:

reason 1

I’m getting inundated with autoresponders. (Robots that send thank you direct messages when I followed you. My thoughts on them: 1. They are impersonal (mostly). 2. Many people fill them with spammy advertisements, using it as automated marketing tool to “buy their product now!” etc. As such, my direct messages timeline has become a total nightmare and not usable anymore. I had to do something and I decided to remove all my followers in order to thwart the robot attack.

reason 2

The Twitter API is slow enough already. With so many follows, the best (free) tools our there (including Tweetie, etc) do not work properly. I want to use these tools to keep learning (and pass that learning on you YOU.

reason 3

I’ve been insanely curious recently just how many actual “friends” I have on Twitter anyway. Meaning - just how many of you are only following me because I’m following you. And worse yet, might be using a tool like TweetLater to automatically unfollow me the second I unfollow you. I guess we’ll see. :)

So that’s it. These things IMHO were F-ing with my ability to enjoy and get value out of Twitter. Today marks my battle back to Twitter fun. :)

where to from here?

Welp, I wait for this handy dandy script that chuck wrote to finish unfollowing everyone, and then I start adding back people that will make my Twitter expereince what I need it to be - interesting, informative and engaging. Are you interesting, informative or engaging? Hit me up, yo.

Rock on.

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RE-Tweeterz unite!

Yay! Another fun lil’ project from your friends at POKE.

Meet TweetToad. Your little “yes-man” on the interwebz. :) is a simple service that helps you (re)Tweet just the way the pros do—over and over again!

Know someone who always has the BEST Tweets?! Give them the incessant reassurance they need with all-new TweetToad. Pick ONE friend and TweetToad will give them a Twitter high-five every time they tap a great Tweet.

Or maybe it’s you that needs the love? Get the (re)Tweets you deserve! Set up your own Toady Account and have turn him into your own personal Yes-Man! He’ll tell you how great you are one Tweet at at time. (You ARE great you know.)

Join the (re)Tweet revolution. Before it gets hit by a massive burning truck.



tune in to twitter radio

from the site:

Mark McKeague, a student at Queen’s University Belfast, has invented a radio that tunes in to and broadcasts messages posted on the social-networking site Twitter. In addition, the tweets are sorted by sentiment, such as happy or sad, based on their content. McKeague, who studies music technology, has created an interactive version of this radio twitter that allows people to listen to messages posted on the website in real time.

“I came up with the idea when thinking about the amount of information that is being broadcast on the internet, through numerous social networks and personal sites,” said McKeague in a press interview. “There is so much information being broadcast and most of it goes unread and unnoticed. I wanted to find a new way to use this information.”

McKeague found a radio when he was home for Christmas and liked its old-fashioned style and feel. He took it apart and added an Arduino microcontroller, commonly used in DIY electronics projects, that picks up on the radio’s tuning dial. He added a connection to the radio’s speakers and wrote software to download tweets and send them to the radio.

Via: Technology Review



two (more) awesome uses of Twitter

I’ve been speaking a lot recently about the evolution of Twitter and all the amazing ways it is getting used across media, advertising, politics and family life. I’m going to try to create on an ongoing list building on this previous post. If you know of any I’m missing, please add ‘em in!

We all know Twitter as the place millions of people from around the world talk about what they are doing. But when you have that many people using a freeform communications tool they are going to bend it to their own voice: like mouthing off about this fatiguing 2008 Presidential Election process we’re in. This election has driven unprecedented content since it began (but that’s another post) and all of that chatter makes a great spectacle if you can get it all in one place. Enter

First, and most importantly, it is open. Meaning, you don’t have to be a twitter member or user to use For many people, it has become a way to check in on (and do their own “chatter” reasearch on who is favoring who (and why). If you are a twitter user, you can join the conversation by posting directly from and your update will go to everyone who follows you and into the election timeline.

My wife and I love to use it while we’re watching the debates…it has become our own Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) where we get to heckle and watch people heckle from the front of the room. Awesome.

2.Rick Sanchez

The stunt-blundering CNN correspondent cum anchor who did things like get himself tased, stand out in hurricanes, and simulate how to escape from a car underwater. Love him or hate him, Rick is once again shaking things up by trying to lead “the man’s” ongoing effort to pioneer in social media, Rick (and CNN) might be on to something with this one.

Rick Sanchez has been using Twitter on-the-air during his Saturday and Sunday evening shows on CNN and according to the above tweet, might be branching the show out futher. Similar to the way I use the example, Ricks hows the Twitter on the screen and talks back to and about the tweets as they pass his screen. Talk about interactive mash-ups. This model isn’t going away folks and more people will experiment with it. We know many anchors try to comb through emails while on air - this is an evolution of that concoept (and probably a more valuable one). Sanchez has accumulated quite a few followers already. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Is it working? It’s probably too early to tell, but check this out: Steve Garfield (One of the Internet’s first video bloggers) has a flickr account that is getting hammered because he posted a shot of Rick Sanchez pointing at his tweet on air.

See the photo below.

There is some controversy on this photo as Rick removed a URL from the tweet (cleansing) for his use.

At the time I posted this 25,456 people are following Rick on just less than 700 updates. Follow this one closely, folks. More discussion of CNN’s use of Twitter can be found here and here.