If you haven’t already seen it, Ian Rogers’ blog post on pruning Twitter is quite good. He followed me back when I wrote about digital music; I don’t write about that anymore, ergo he unfollowed me. It makes all the sense in the world. Why is it so hard?
I wrote Unfollowing Is Hard back in 2012. I pared back to 500 people. It felt like an accomplishment. Could I ever get under 200 like Ian? Doubtful. Even if I followed his lead and turned Twitter into real-time RSS, I’d find myself in the same fix. I pulled over 800 blogs into RSS at my peak! I’m a sucker for information. I just can’t help it.
Worse, I’m sentimental. There are people I’ve been following since I joined. We’ve had lots of laughs. They’ve watched my son grow up. How could I leave them now if they’ve not graduated to Facebook friend status?
That’s what I like most about Ian’s post: clearly delineated friend profiles that identify where they should go. His birthday rule is the best. He transformed Facebook into Path. He just unfriended his way to it!
I call it the principled purge. This isn’t just rip it up and start again; these are malleable platforms and we should evolve as our use cases change. And if you get scared you can always cheat with a handy list!