Friday, May 29, 2015


The Crowdfire App (Formerly JustUnfollow)

My Twitter Feed started to feel a lot like Facebook. Sure, I was following a lot of people, most for very good reasons, but the noise level was finally drowning out the signal. Promoted Tweets were not helping, and I had reached the "why am I doing this moment". I needed a Twitter reset.

How can an application change from "JustUnfollow" to an application to grow your engagement? Crowdfire makes the transition, and here are the steps to leverage their tool. 

 Opening the Kimono - My Twitter Stats

Click for larger image.
Twitter provides a unique platform for communication. But when the communication channel gets crammed with noise, it starts to fail. Ever have a conversation in a noisy restaurant? Well, my feed was like having a conversation at the Indy 500. It was either give up, or make significant changes. 


The JustUnfollow app on a tablet provided the ability to see "inactive" users. Click to discover if someone had not posted a Tweet in 30+, 60+ or 90+ days. This was reasonably handy, but it was limited to the people that you follow. This is a great place to start - with a simple premise: if someone has not posted in more than a month, they are not really communicating. 

Spring Cleaning Process

My goal on Twitter is not to have a million followers. That would be nice, but communicating with impact to a million people is not where I want to be. Reading Tweets from celebrities and other media types is boring - a total time sink. 

Even the mainstream news people on Twitter are boring. They are unlikely to break news via Twitter - when they are paid to break news on their broadcast or cable channel. "Catch my show at 9:00", "My Special Guest is Joe Expert", "What did you think of the XYZ package?" Yes, I want to see the conversations, but they do not need to be in my normal feed. (Texas people: ever go to a BBQ place and have them hand you a full loaf of white bread with your order? Same thing - a slice or two is nice, but an entire loaf just distracts from the main course.)

Politicians are also pretty boring on Twitter. Inability to speak from the heart on a platform with a microphone, becomes dyslexic, tongue-twisted torture in 140 characters (or less). A mistake at a gathering in South Carolina will hit the airwaves for 2 minutes, on Twitter it echos... and takes on a life of it's own. 

Action Item: Move all Media People and Politicians to Lists, then Unfollow.

Twitter Fans on Crowdfire

I follow plenty of people that do not follow me back. [Hello: @CondoleezzaRice. Follow me, maybe?] I scrub new followers to remove the "Buy Followers", "Please Fund Me", "Check Out My New Photos" Twitter-trolls. Crowdfire provides a quick list of "Fans" - people that follow me, that I do not follow back. The count was surprising (356!), some had dropped from Twitter, they would not be in the Inactive User List, some were doppelganger accounts (yeah, some of my favorite accounts end up in Twitmo on occasion), some accounts were just odd. 

Action Item: Scrub the "Fans" list 

Manually reviewing 350+ profiles forces the tough decision making process. Why are they following me? Do we have followers in common (is that enough to keep a fan)? Review their stream, are they posting stuff that is important to me? Are they posting original thoughts, or just re-tweeting noise? Verdict -- 356 fans reduced to 52. Some were moved to lists, some were followed, but the vast majority Blocked. Twitter does not have a elegant way to force people to unfollow. (Sorry)

Action Item: Scrub the Followers list

This is a total pain. Not only is the list longer, but the clicks required to block any follower is monotonous. First - remove inactive accounts. Crowdfire includes a small data element showing when the account last posted. If you haven't posted in the last 30 days, you're off my list. Second - if your posts are in a foreign language, and only occasionally in English, sorry. Finally, if you are solely on Twitter to promote a business (of any kind) and are not providing content that I need, bye-bye. 

Question: How many times can I read the "10 Ways to Improve your LinkedIn Profile" without seeing anything new? The Tweep that has supporting content stays on my list. 

270 of the 1570 followers were cut. Pretty close to 80/20 Pareto Perfection.

Bottom Line: 

My feed is much more focused, the signal to noise has been improved dramatically, and Tweeps that I really care about are getting more of my attention. I added a couple of items to my Twitter task list:
  1. Review Lists (Politicians, Media, etc.), as needed, for content
  2. Build Lists in specific areas (Central TX, Technology and OneNote, Education) 
  3. Build Community (Writers, Authors, Publishers)
Crowdfire changed their product offering from JustUnfollow - it really helped me to prune my Twitter account. Now, onto building my community. 


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