Two-and-a-half weeks after announcing I quit Twitter, I returned to learn and share on January 22. Between then and now, I’ve tweeted about a dozen times with a schedule I am appreciating more than in the past. Before I announced my sabbatical, my tweeting schedule was whenever I felt like it — typically, 20 to 30 times a day, replying to someone here, retweeting someone there. But since my return five days ago, I’ve kept a regimen of only tweeting one to five times a day.
I spent the last two weeks traveling internationally and had twenty minutes of internet during half the trip. It helped tremendously. At the beginning of 2010 I decided to pull back on my number of tweets per day. I imposed an arbitrary limit of max of 5 public tweets per day. It has made the difference… Sometimes the best solution to what ails us is restraint/elimination.
Perusing through my January 2010 tweets to date, I notice 590 times I hit a submit button, including 244 times on January 2 alone — when I spent most of the day sending direct @ messages replying to people or asking them questions, as this snippet indicates:
You can see how my tweeting schedule has flatlined since the first week of the month ended:
I imagine that line will remain on par through the immediate future, as I also change the people and organizations I follow — away from folks I’ve historically followed who lead with social media best practices, and closer to people who I can learn from at the crossroads of social media and government. I am also changing how I follow blogs, not just Twitter users; if I am learning from someone’s blog and commenting on that person’s posts, I am not necessarily following that person across the social web.
I’ve stated in the past that I experimented with many social tactics in 2009, and that 2010 is geared away from tactics and more toward strategies and measurable outcomes of using social media. Taking a Twitter break was a strategy and it has paid off — so far — with a new restraint on Twitter frequency, increased engagement with specific bloggers I am commenting with more often, and forthcoming ways of photo and video sharing that I’ve never done before.
For a fun amendment to the above, and sparked by a wordle Joshua Peters shared yesterday, here’s a visual representation of the Twitter lists that people currently include me within, indicative of the subject matter or geography I influence. If you’d like to create a similar Wordle.net graphic, the comment section on Josh’s blog has instructions.