So I’m going to try using Twitter again. Why, after having caused such a (unintended) fuss when I stopped?

  • Twitter continues to be a flashpoint for innovative thinking — I’ve read too much interesting talk about Twitter not to be tuned in (and I need to eat my own dog food about giving new technologies a chance)
  • I’m curious whether a different approach to Twitter will yield different results — I learned a lot from using it the first time, and from stopping — but I think there’s more to learn
  • I continue to have thoughts pass through my head that I want to share, but don’t have a place to do so (without creating a dedicated feed on my blog)

So here’s the first principle of my new approach to Twitter — only follow people I actually know. I’m defining “know” pretty broadly, e.g. met at a conference, corresponded by email, etc. There are a few exceptions, including carry-overs from my last run with Twitter, e.g. people whose Tweeting I enjoyed following and/or who are followed by people I follow (i.e. to help the half conversation problem).

So I slashed and burned my Twitter following from over 300 to about 40.

To anyone I stopped following — please don’t take it personally. It was an aggressive downsizing, aiming for under 40, done quickly and without over-thinking. It isn’t set in stone and will likely change if the experiment goes well.

The second principle is to narrow down my Twitter use cases, to keep it focused and not let it get overwhelming as it did last time.

Here are the use cases, some of which have been widely discussed by the Twitterati:

  • Ambient intimacy
  • Ask questions of my network — and answer their questions
  • Complain about stuff that bothers me and pretend that someone might be listening — and maybe even find a solution

And I’m going to try to keep tweeting about twitter to a minimum.

So you can find me again at twitter.com/scottkarp.

One thing I will observe now is how interesting it was to discover ads being run by Twitterrific, the Mac client for Twitter — but no ads by Twitter. I’m very interested in the business strategy of creating economic value for other businesses as a way to drive value, symbiotically, back to your own — so I’m curious to see how Twitter does with this strategy.

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