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 🙂