As someone who does almost 100% of my business online, a need to filter the bombardment of info ranks highly when it comes to paying the bills.
“Unless you can concentrate on what you want to do and suppress distractions, it’s hard to accomplish anything, period.”
— WINIFRED GALLAGHER
Since creating a profile in 2008, one of my distractions has been Twitter. I’ve used it for three things:
- To share articles of interest (mainly design-related) and personal thoughts
- To answer questions or reply to “@ mentions” from other Twitter users
- To search for up-to-date info on a specific topic
What I found myself doing in addition, however, and every time I logged-in, was reading a back-catalogue of tweets from the 100 or so accounts I had time to follow until I’d “caught-up,” just in case I missed something juicy related to the design profession.
I kept the follower-count to 100 or less for exactly the same reason Don Dodge talks about in his post: Twitter litter — do followers really follow you?
But the tweets included more than snippets about design — I’d be absorbing anything from foreign weather reports to chat about what’s on the lunch menu 5,000 miles away. Lyndon described this as a “natural urge to sit on your arse and be spoon-fed information.” I can understand the sentiment.
Is that the best use of my time? There’s already a ton of non-stop design news coming from my feed reader and my daily visits to other blogs. I’ll often find it hard enough keeping-up even without the added Twitter stream.
So to decrease distraction and (hopefully) work more efficiently, I’ve stopped following others on Twitter.
It’s not that there aren’t advantages to following other designers. But for me, with client projects, the non-stop email influx, maintaining three fairly regularly-updated blogs, and making sure I have time away from design, I’m trying this as a way to streamline my working day.
For the amazing people I was following (and those I never did) I hope you don’t take it personally. There’ll be a psychology behind Twitter that’s similar to Facebook: “You unfriended me. I’m not your friend.” (Not that you’re as fickle.) With never-ending days I’d follow hundreds. Thousands. And hey, my email address is always open.
Those three main Twitter uses won’t change — sharing resources, thoughts, replies, research — I’ll just be saving some time and focusing more on bill-paying projects.
If you want to follow/unfollow me, catch me here on Twitter.
Update: 01 July 2011
Twitter lists. The way forward: @DavidAirey/lists