Chris Brogan’s “Unswamp Your Twitter Feed” gave some excellent advice on how to decrease the amount of “noise” in your twitter feed by changing a setting that would prevent messages sent to people you don’t know from appearing in your stream. While this will bring relief and satisfaction to many people who feel a tad overwhelmed, I personally want the opposite effect. I’ll explain why I think in this case, less is not more.
I’ve called this “Bring in da noise, bring in da funk” and shared a clip from the award-winning musical because I wanted to make the point that one person’s noise is another’s funk and vice versa. Some prefer much less activity and less clutter while others prefer more action and more visual stimulus. The nice thing is that we always have the option.
Anyway, to see how your twitter stream is setup, go to the the Notification setting in Twitter. Look for the “@ Replies” option and see what it’s set to. If it’s “@ replies to the people I’m following” then that means you’re using the less noise option. This option means you will stay within your own little tweet bubble and only see messages sent from people you follow to people you follow. I much rather have more funk so I select the “All @ replies” option which means I see messages sent to “everyone” from “everyone” I follow, whether or not I know the recipient.
Now why would I want more noise? Well, remember, it’s not noise to me but more funk. I want to see who my friends are communicating with and I enjoy being able to absorb full conversations whenever a subject matter seems interesting to me. I also love discovering new, interesting friends this way. For example, if I notice one of my favorites on twitter communicates a great deal with someone (and not in a negative manner) then I feel compelled to “check them out” and investigate their profile, blog, etc. I can’t tell you how many times this “virtual poaching” has lead to the discovery of some of my favorite friends on twitter. The hit ratio isn’t that high, granted, but every time I find a keeper it’s like striking it rich while drilling for oil.
Checkout the video if you haven’t done so already. Pretend each dancer is a member on twitter and each one that takes the stage is a follower of the previous dancer. Now pretend you’ve chosen the option to only see replies to people you already follow. In this example that means you would have missed out on many of the brilliant performances. It doesn’t mean you will dig everything you see, shoot I can guarantee you that you won’t, but the gold you find every once in a while will make it all worth it. Expand the twitter stage and tap into its vast cast of characters.