I have just taken the decision that in the next day or so I will be unfollowing every follower I have on my @ProBlogger Twitter account and starting again with following people.

I wanted to explain why I'm doing it here:

Why I followed so many people
I currently follow around 78,000 people. I initially followed people in such high numbers for two reasons:

1. to reciprocate - I've always felt strange about having people follow me and not following them back. Perhaps this is my 'people pleaser' trait in action on the web.

2. to open up DM conversations - I used to use Direct Messaging as much (if not more than) as 'Replies' on Twitter. Following people in large numbers opened up the opportunity for this.

Why I'm unfollowing everyone and starting again

In the past few months I've realised that in trying to please everyone I am ending up making Twitter less useful to anyone. While perhaps the reciprocation does please some it has made Twitter a lot more noisy for me - which means I become less and less useful to others.

Ironically following so many people so that they can DM me means my Direct Message Stream has become stuffed full of DM spam and DM phishing attempts. Many of these messages come from people whose accounts have been compromised by phishers. For a while I unfollowed them all but they keep coming in waves of up to several hundred a day. As a result genuine DMs are missed.

Lastly - my life has become so noisy... people around me (in real life) are telling me I'm distracted and I'm feeling it. I don't think that this will 'fix' that but I do need to simplify and reduce the stream of data that is coming IN every day somehow - this is the first of numerous things I'm hoping to do to help with this.

So I'm going to do a clean out in the coming days. Everyone will be unfollowed. I'm using +Jesse Stay to help me with this.

I will then begin to follow people again manually. It'll be a slow process so please hang in there with me as I do it. If you'd like to DM please let me know on Twitter.

While I'm sure unfollowing people will offend some - my hope is that in doing this my own experience of Twitter will improve and as a result others who I interact with will have a more useful experience also.
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