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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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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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9 years ago

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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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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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9 years ago

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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9 years ago

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

Joseph
9 years ago

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

Charles H. Green
9 years ago

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 »

Charles H. Green
9 years ago

Thanks Eric, that’s pretty much where I’m coming out too. The issue is also raising itself on LinkedIn; what do you say when someone who’s 2 degrees away wants to link, and the first link was pretty tentative itself. Unfortunately LinkedIn doesn’t give you a way to explain to the person why you’re not linking, which is what I’d prefer. Instead, you have to just ignore them. I don’t like it, but that’s what I do, because the alternative is you end up with more and more people wanting to link to you because, after all, you both know someone… Read more »

Richard Harbridge
9 years ago

I understand where you are coming from Charles as well as the points Eric is making. I think there is a difference between volume and selectivity that is extremely important to highlight. Just because one might have a large volume of connections does not mean they haven’t been selective. 🙂 When I use twitter I have found having 1000+ people that I follow has had absolutely NO negative impact in terms of my ability to ‘cut through noise’. Using tools like tweet deck or hoot suite I am able to carefully manage the lists I want to and do selective… Read more »

Richard Harbridge
9 years ago

P.S – To clarify what I am really getting at with LinkedIn is that even if I don’t really know a person fully before I link with them it still has value to me to be linked with them. As an example it might give me an opportunity to get to know them better through various actions that are based on information LinkedIn shares about that person. It also gives them a way to share/connect with me (another channel) which they might feel more comfortable with. Weak ties are proven to be where most opportunities come from. It’s the unexpected… Read more »

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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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

Shim Marom
9 years ago

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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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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

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9 years ago

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

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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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9 years ago

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

BrianBlogberg
BrianBlogberg
8 years ago

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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8 years ago

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

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