Be careful what you wish for

About a month ago, I wrote a post bemoaning the fact that I was finding Twitter too draining and that the 1550 people I was following were drowning out the gems that I had been used to receiving in my early days; when I was following about 500 people.

A few days later, as part of handing over the Bright Ideas blog to another author, the Twitter account that I had curated went too. This meant I had to start my Twitter (almost 2 year old) relationships all over again.

I wanted to follow as many people I knew as quickly as possible so that I wasn’t bereft for too long. Doing this was risky though as I quickly had many followees than followers. To many people this signifies that you are not worth following or you are a spammer. People who I had built solid relationships with, who knew my real name, who I had contributed articles or work to and some who have actually met me, have not yet followed me back. I haven’t gone out and re-followed everyone I used to otherwise my balance sheet will be something like 1550 followees and (currently) 261 followers. Not ideal.

So why haven’t my old friends followed me back? This might be because they are also feeling at their limit and don’t want to follow anyone else. This is a danger for anyone new on Twitter, because it may be that if you only join now, many of the people that matter are “full” or oversubscribed. Hopefully I’ll be on a waiting list! Or maybe it’s because they were too polite to unfollow me in my first Twitter life.

So, even though I moaned about “too much noise” a month ago and I ended up getting my “wish” of less noise (for 24 hours, no noise at all), I’d dearly love to have all of those 1550 people back.

However, I’d like to thank the 261 wonderful people who have rediscovered me and my new account. I now appreciate our connection more than I ever knew.

10 thoughts on “Be careful what you wish for

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Be careful what you wish for | The Way Forward --

  2. I think we all need to spread the word Judith…as Kelly says, there are probably many of your readers who are not aware that you moved.
    Can this post be published on Bright Ideas perhaps?

  3. I can really relate to what you are saying, Judith. When I was main tweeter and blogger on another education site, there were plenty of Twitter followers and readers of the blog. Some have found me (largely thanks to you) but I wonder if others feel that what I have to share is no longer of as much value without the stamp of ‘officialdom’. The original site can’t be maintained regularly because staff is so tight; I am doing exactly what I was doing before (and then some) but people whose ideas I value, and who I would really like to follow and read, aren’t doing so. It’s puzzling and frustrating. But at least you are reading and following, and for that I am grateful. (I even take it personally when people unfollow – that didn’t happen before 🙂 I can only think that the relationship rebuilding takes a lot of time. Thanks for articulating my own feelings and ‘build it and they will come’ (I hope)

  4. Yes, I totally agree: not as many blog posts and tweets, and not representing an organisation are important factors. What I do find really strange is the relationships I have built over a long period of time suddenly being discontinued. These people have emailed me previously, have met me, bonded with me, know my real name. I guess I’m just not very interesting anymore!

  5. My relationships were pretty well all virtual so the degree of personal loss is not so great. It must be like a form of grief for you in a way. I am immensely grateful for the people who _are_ following (and staying) – they are a pretty classy bunch! And if the others tweet something that I mentioned days ago, well that’s their loss for not keeping up 🙂
    Hang in there Judith. You are immensely valuable to us.

  6. Thanks Judi. Isn’t it amazing how connections are just so vital? Who would’ve thought that Twitter could have such a profound affect on one’s life?

  7. Remember over a year ago, Judith, I accidentally deleted my Twitter account, and had to build from scratch. I know what it’s like, and I think it’s not a personal thing that people haven’t followed you back, it’s just they haven’t realised. I’ve rebuilt and follow too many people, but they all sound so interesting that I let my lists organise things for me.

  8. I don’t think it’s personal either, but don’t people check or get emailed about new followers? I do. I think that people must be overwhelmed as per my post ‘How many is too many.’

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