This past week I attended the Tampa Social Media Club Luau Mixer which was held after a long day for those attending the Search & Social Spring Summit (#SSSS) event here in Tampa, I did not make the summit, but was excited to make the mixer. I had a great conversation with one of the Attendees, Kristina, which ensued after we traded Twitter id’s and she glanced at mine and saw the numbers of those I was following and those following me (a little more then half of those I follow, follow me back) We also discussed the number of people I follow being over 400, which was discussed as the magic number during the event. The argument is; how can I honestly follow 1000 people and give new people a chance to truly interact with me (and me with them), and I really did not have a good answer at the time, but I knew I had a reason. Well after some reflection I came up with this analogy that hopefully brings my reasoning to life.
When you choose to go to a Meetup or technology mixer, it would be foolish to believe that I could socialize and get to know everyone, however I do make some good connections with individuals that I will continue on Twitter, while at the same time noticing who else is there as I am sure others notice me (Being 6’4″ also helps with this). Well the more of these types of events I attend, the more I connect with others and bring them into my sphere. I guess you could say I do the same thing on Twitter. I follow anyone that I perceive as having the potential to add to my knowledge base, knowing full well that we may not interact with each other right away, but I look at my list of those I am following as “the Party”. eventually one of three things will happen; we interact with each other and connect, I decide that that person is not the peer I am looking to follow and I remove them, or they decide that they don’t wish to follow me (I always figure this is they just haven’t had that conversation with me yet, but they are potential knowledge). Personally I am happy with any one of those outcomes as it gives the organic nature to the information that I am exposed to and that I assimilate into my own thoughts.
I have learned that by using a platform like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, and taking advantage of Twitter lists I am able to set up information flows giving me the best chance of finding the information I am hoping to learn while exposing me to the conversations that I am hoping to take part in. I guess it’s my follow list and it’s my party, many are invited, but I am out to find how I can connect with those attending. No software or gimmick used in building my lists. What are your thoughts on these numbers?