Until January 2011 I was following over 1,200 people on Twitter. My TweetDeck columns were constantly updating and it was almost a full-time job keeping on top of the firehose of information. Although I tried to segment things into different columns through groups, it was still a bit overwhelming.
So I decided to put Dunbar’s Number (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar‘s_number) into practice and only follow 150 people. These are those that either constantly feed me with information I wouldn’t get elsewhere, or I interact with on a regular basis to stimulate my thinking. Many of them I’ve met face-to-face.
At the same time as this mass-unfollowing, in an attempt at joined-up thinking I announced (http://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2011/01/11/how-im-organising-my-digital-outputs-i… to the world how I’d be using various services in 2011.
It’s working well so far. I shall be explaining soon over at my main blog how, as a researcher, this is one strategy to avoid information overload. Some, however (presumably insecure enough to use tools that inform them who’s unfollowed them) have felt jilted.
C’est la vie; all is flux.