>I hear it a lot. No one can follow that many people. It’s just too much to keep up with… all those posts on Twitter coming at you all at once.

I used to think that, too. When I started on Twitter in March of 2009, I figured I would just follow my “friends that were already on Twitter”… maybe 50 or so.

Then I found something out fast. They weren’t on when I was. Nothing. Blank. Last post was a few days ago. I would tweet, “Anyone out there?”. Nothing.

Great. My friends have a life. I don’t.

I wanted to engage. So I went to the Twitter Search and typed “someone tweet me”… and I began making new friends… pretty darn fast, all around the world. At that moment.

It honestly didn’t take long before I was at a few hundred people that were online when I would go online. And we had some fun exchanges of information and laughs.

When my father-in-law had his stroke in late May and my wife needed us to go up to Wisconsin, I decided to do a search for Twitters in that area and follow them. I used Grader to do that.

A few weeks later, I had a few dozen new friends on Twitter from NE Wisconsin ready to meet me at a local Tweetup (local Twitter user public gathering). And today, most of us still keep in personal contact.

By August, I had already passed the 2,000 friends [users I follow that follow back] mark on Twitter. How was I keeping up with them? Remember, all 2,000 of those followers weren’t always on when I was. And the ones that were, weren’t always wanting to engage with me, they have other friends, too. I would keep up two browser windows: One in the “home” page, and one in the “replies” page. That worked all right, but sometimes could get overwhelming.

I asked Tommy Clifford what he did to keep up with his 25 thousand or so friends, and he introduced me to Tweetminer. Now it all made sense. You really can’t realistically keep up with all those followers all at once, you need to be able to place you friends in lists that you’re interested in and monitor those tweets. And with the ease of a simple nearby click, you’re back at your @ replies column to see who’s also engaging with you.

FYI, I list my favorite users by “time of day” on private lists (you can do it in Tweetminer or on the Twitter website, too. It took a lot of time and effort, but over the months, I’ve discovered tweet patterns, not an exact science, but it helped. For instance, I list users that are on “mostly” 5am – 12noon, 11am – 2pm (lunch hours in the US), afternoons, evenings, all the time, etc. Most users DO cross over into other lists. I can’t speak for other Twitter accounts, but about 100 or so of my friends actually engage with me on a regular basis. Most Twitter users are just checkin’ in, updating their thoughts and whereabouts, perhaps sharing some info, not really looking for much conversation in the moment. And I’d bet 60% of my connections are just tossing tweets out just to see what sticks. I’m ranting.

I would rather not take up too much space here about ALL THE FEATURES available for free in Tweetminer…. and I really don’t need to. It’s easy enough to use without a lot of explanation. It’s creator @JustinVincent does a very good job with his tutorial video links that are nearby. Short, to the point, and easy to grasp.

You may already be using a Twitter tool like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, CoTweet, etc… and happy with it. Maybe you’re paying for it’s useage as well. I am urging you to also try out Tweetminer for free because you owe it to yourself to see the pros and cons of all that’s available to us.

My favorite feature of Tweetminer is that I, like some, can get writers block. I want to bring valuable, USABLE information and fun to my friends on Twitter, not just updates on my haircut or roof leaking.

Don’t kick my a$$ about that… if that’s what you want to use Twitter for – go get ’em. It’s your Twitter.

Is my goal 1 billion followers by spring? Nope. I guess it would be if I was selling something cheap and available immediately that everyone wanted, but at the moment, all I have to offer is my thoughts and some experiences. I think the only thing that billions of followers might say to a profile visitor is “who the eff is this dude? I never heard of ’em… he must be rich or famous, or both.”


Why this post then? Because I’ve lost a few FRIENDS from Twitter because they thought that I didn’t “need or noticed them anymore”. I would discover their departure and ask ’em why the unfollow? Most of em would say… “with all those followers, I don’t know how you can keep up with what I have to say”. My response is, “Maybe I can, maybe I can’t, but if you see me tweeting something and want to engage, just send me a reply or direct message.. it’s all right to interrupt!.. I certainly hope you didn’t want me to log in and say hello to each and everyone via @ reply….”

I also get annoyed if they are following someone with 1 million fans but don’t expect A REAL CELEBRITY to notice ’em. I follow @LadyGaga, too. But I’m not going to unfollow her because I feel she doesn’t need or live for my updates. I’m ranting again. A.D.D. sorry.


If I’m involved in a blog or constant local interruptions (where I’m tweeting from) and don’t respond immediately, I will eventually. Just read my profile page. I chat sometimes, joke sometimes, thank friends sometimes… a little bit of everything. I hope that what you see there shows that I’m doing a decent job of keeping up with lots of friends… but I’ll confess, there’s no way this A.D.D./O.C.D Twitterer could do it these days without Tweetminer.

And yes, I used to use Tweetdeck and Hootsuite… but the multiple columns just got too much for my eyes and brain to manage. Tweetminer’s slimline design and options were perfect for me. I decided a few months ago to go with an upgrade, paid version so I could get more API calls, I kept getting “twitterspanked“… that got old. But YOU DON’T HAVE TO pay to use it, it was a personal choice. It was also necessary because I do some social media stuff for other businesses.

Now, if this didn’t convince you and you think that everyone on Twitter should only have 30 or so friends, then there’s little more than I can do for you except recommend using MySpace… not too many people use THAT anymore. 😉

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