And two events clearly illustrated this for me yesterday:
1 – I went to ManageFlitter.com to see how many people I am following that aren’t following me. I was following almost 3,000 people that were NOT following me. This really worried me because the main reason I use Twitter is as a way to connect with others and have conversations with them. By following those 3,000 people that have no interest in seeing my tweets, it’s making it far more difficult for me to connect with the people that DO want to chat with me. I don’t like that.
2 – I have about 600 people in my Circles in Google Plus. I started looking at the people I have in my circles and realized that half of them I didn’t have the faintest idea who they were. I’ve already lost control of my network on Plus after less than a week!
One of the things I have constantly wrestled with was how to scale as the size of my networks grow on these social media sites. I have always been really strict about who I follow on Facebook, and even now I only have about 600 friends and have been there about 3 years. But on Twitter I follow over 16K people. I’ve always wondered in a rush to expand our networks, if we aren’t really stifling our ability to actually connect with people.
So I’ve decided to do a bit of an experiment. On Plus I am going to be super-picky who I follow, and only follow people that are close friends and/or people I know and have met in real life. Complete contrast to how I manage followers on Twitter.
The idea is to test two different approaches: Is it better to try to have mostly platonic connections with thousands of people like I do on Twitter (with the hope that some might develop into deeper connections), or have deeper connections with only a few people, and let your network grow only by bringing in closer connections, like I have on Plus.
Man this social media stuff can get complicated! How do y’all manage your online networks? Do you have different approaches for different sites? Am really fascinated in how we scale (or attempt to scale!) our ability to communicate online.