… I choose to pay less attention to those who get noisier and add less value to my day.
In the past, I’ve said that the thing I love most about the internet is the ability to create my own experience, like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. I can follow those I want to keep up with on Twitter, I can create my own daily paper of blogposts with feedly, I can hide the game playing updates from certain applications on Facebook… my experience online really is a direct result of the effort I put into personalizing it and creating value for myself from the content produced by others.
With Twitter specifically, tools like Tweetdeck allow me to further segment the people I follow and weed out tweets I’m not particularly fond of hearing much about. I use the Groups feature to segment those I’m following into topics. For example, I’ve got a group for “core” which are those I correspond with regularly, “social media” for users who typically talk about social media, a couple of search columns to keep tabs on specific hashtags and topics, and then the usual @replies and DMs columns.
Customizing the users in each of these columns is an ongoing task to keep them relevant. I’m always adding and subtracting people from these without turning them off completely. So when all of their recent tweets are updates from FourSquare… well, that’s not really why I’m on Twitter. That adds no value to me. And so I change the direction of my adventure… actually I keep it more on track to the information I want to know about, but tuning such users out of my main view.
There are so many different ways to use such tools, and so many different goals that people have. So with that, I think in order to get the most out of any of these platforms, it’s important that we each define how it is we want to use them, what we expect to gain from them and how much effort we’re each willing to put in to get the outcome we want.
What do you think? Have you attempted to customize your online experience? What rules do you participate by?