Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter

I really enjoy twitter.  There are tons of great folks out there worth following and learning from.

But….there’s just as many (or more) not-so-great folks out there too.  You know the kind…they add tons of noise to your twitter stream.   They add tons of noise to your life.

I’ve noticed that the noise is getting worse.  Twitter has turned into not only a spamming engine but it also seems to be used much more as a non-private messaging system between folks. Don’t get me wrong…I love things like #blogchat and other stream chats on twitter but I’ve gotten real tired of the folks out there that are using twitter as a replacement to email…or…GASP…a phone call.

The signal to noise ratio (SNR) on my twitter stream is approaching zero these days.  I’m getting very little signal and a ton of noise.

In the early days of my twitter use I had an SNR close to 1…but these days the noise is overwhelming the signal.

How can I (or you) improve the signal to noise ratio?

I’ve started using hootsuite to help cut down on noise.  I’ve closed my main twitter stream and now only watch my mention stream (containing my @’s) and my created lists.

If you don’t use twitter lists today…do it now. Twitter struck gold with lists…they are the perfect way to get your SNR closer to 1.  How?

Simple…find those people that you really want to interact with, learn from and follow and add them to a list.  Then in your twitter client open up the list as on of your main streams and … voila … your SNR for twitter has begun to move closer to 1.

My SNR isn’t quite 1 yet but its getting closer. I’ve stopped reading all the inane tweets from spammers,  social media ‘gurus’ (except for those that I want to read via my lists), nimrods and idgits out there.  No longer am I reading something from kxe35TX (a name I just made up BTW) about how their dog just jumped off the couch.  Now…I’m actually able to see the great stuff from the likes of Wally Bock, Elliot Ross, Scott Brinker, Sam Palani and others.

Let me reiterate…I love twitter. I love what it is and I love the fact every person can use twitter how they want to use it.

But…I want to use twitter my way. I want my signal to noise to be as close to 1 as possible so I can see the good stuff that matters to me.  My lists are working perfectly for that…but it does mean I may miss out on some really good, quality conversations and opportunities…but right now…I’m ok with that. I’m plenty busy as it is 🙂

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BrianBlogbergEric D. BrownRichard HarbridgeShim MaromCharles H. Green Recent comment authors
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Published: Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://bit.ly/hTgFuR

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Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://restwrx.com/eCzctt via @EricDBrown

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RT @ericdbrown Published: Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://bit.ly/hTgFuR great post Eric $$

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Good post by @ericdbrown on twitter signal to noise ratio: http://bit.ly/dTiVjy Ever notice 99% of stock tweets are not actionable? $$

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RT @gtotoy: RT @ericdbrown Published: Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://bit.ly/hTgFuR great post Eric $$

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Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter: I really enjoy twitter.  There are tons of great folks out there worth followin… http://bit.ly/h0nhHx

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RT @ericdbrown Published: Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://bit.ly/hTgFuR great post Eric $$ > agreed lists are a way to go!

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RT @ericdbrown: Published: Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://bit.ly/hTgFuR

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Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://goo.gl/JE8dC

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Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://restwrx.com/eCzctt by @EricDBrown via @JeffreySummers

Joseph
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Eric: Lists are the best things in Twitter to cut noise. I limit those who I follow; but add to the lists.

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RT @ericdbrown: Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://bit.ly/hTgFuR

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RT @johnwelshtrades: Good post by @ericdbrown on twitter signal to noise ratio: http://bit.ly/dTiVjy Ever notice 99% of stock tweets a …

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Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://t.co/vsr8KSq via @ericdbrown – Thanks for the mention! #lead #pmot

Charles H. Green
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Eric, Agree completely re the SNR. I stopped doing the main feed ages ago, though I’m curious–your tweet site says you follow about 1600 people. Are you saying the SNR is unmanageable for that number? If so, I’d ask–why did you follow them in the first place? If not, isn’t that simply the aggregated form of what you’d include in a list? I too find the list tool a great one. I use it when I want to focus on a particular category; but I often enjoy diving into my own master list of those I follow, because I always… Read more »

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Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter. Good post, some dialogue. @ericdbrown http://ow.ly/3OQIp

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RT @CharlesHGreen: Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter. Good post, some dialogue. @ericdbrown http://ow.ly/3OQIp

Shim Marom
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Hey Eric, I sympathise with your predicament, as I feel the same.

Just one tiny mathematical correction. With Signal to Noise ratio (SNR) when the noise is ‘0’ the SNR will not be ‘1’ but rather something close to infinity.

Just me being smart :).

Cheers, Shim.

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So true #pmot "Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter | Eric D. Brown" ( http://bit.ly/f4JoYf )

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RT @ericdbrown: Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://bit.ly/hTgFuR #projectmanagement

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RT @shim_marom: So true #pmot "Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter | Eric D. Brown" ( http://bit.ly/f4JoYf )

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[…] TwitterFebruary 8, 2011 By Eric D. Brown Leave a Comment/**/I had quite a lot of feedback from my Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter post last week.Most of the feedback was positive and in agreement with my argument that twitter can […]

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RT @ericdbrown: Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter http://bit.ly/hTgFuR #smallbiz

BrianBlogberg
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BrianBlogberg

Someone showed me TweetDeck a while back, and I have been able to manage my twitter account much better with it. I don’t have a very large following (in fact it is quite small), so really almost everything that takes place on my twitter is just noise. But right now I am okay with the noise because I am using Twitter primarily for news updates on my favorite teams and stuff. I was wanting to suggest to you that you check out TweetDeck if you aren’t already using it. You can really cut out all that noise with it because… Read more »

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Great article about Twitter noise by @EricDBrown http://t.co/QPoRiKv Check it out!