For a related article you may read: Uncouth but practical way to get Twitter followers.

In this article you will learn that:

  1. You don’t have to follow someone to receive their tweets
  2. You don’t have to follow very few people to maintain relevant tweets on your TL or to avoid missing out on important tweets
  3. You can turn off retweets from tweeps who over use rweet button.

We’ll come to these later but let’s first introduce the article.

It was until Friday that I realized that Twitter has taken a grip on Kenyans. I tried to keenly follow the number of tweets that were coming in under the trending topic #theTrend and I approximated about 30 tweets per minute. I thought that given the *few number of Kenyans on Twitter, #theTrend should trend locally in no time. Alas, it never did.

How many Kenyans are on Twitter? That’s not important. How many tweets do we as Kenyans send per minute? I won’t go there yet but there must be a huge increase this year alone. I have also realized that most trending topics are determined by tweeps who follow or are followed by less than 500 tweeps. Mostly, tweeps tend to have many followers than they themselves follow.

Why do people prefer to have more followers than they follow back? One of the reasons could be that following so many people has the effect of flooding one’s TL with irrelevant tweets especially now that Kenyans have gone over drive on Twitter. There is also another set back that if you are an ordinary guy (not a celeb), then not following back those who follow you is likely to end in a scenario where most of your followers unfollow you. So I thought that there must be away to never miss out on relevant tweets from your favorite tweeps but still maintain a rate of following tweeps. And yes, there is.

There are two thing that you can do to have relevant tweets even as you maintain the high number of tweeps you follow. The first one is to take care of your TL while the second has to do with ignoring anything (or most things) that happen in your TL without losing out on the relevant tweets.

To take care of TL, Twitter has allowed you to turn off retweets. Yes, there are tweeps who are very annoying by retweeting every single tweet that come to their TL. You can turn off retweets from them by clicking on their handle and once in their profile you simply click on the button just beside “Following” button but on the left. You click on the downward arrow and select turn off retweet as shown in the image below.

lists feature

The second but apparently the most important tool that Twitter has provided us with and probably you must have over looked is the Lists feature. Now listen carefully.

The lists feature enables one to receive tweets from anyone without having to 1. visit their profiles 2. follow them. If you create a list and add members to a list, you will be able to receive tweets on this list from the listed members without having to follow them. The beauty of the lists feature is that you will hardly miss out on important tweets from the members you have selected as you will only put members to a list according to a criteria that you have chosen thereby limiting the number of members who can be in this list.

For instance if you are like me, you can have the following lists:

  1. Tech News List.
  2. Break News List
  3. Interesting People List

And if you are not like me you can create:

  1. Favorite Tweeps List
  2. Crushes List
  3. Secret Admirers List
  4. Etc List

In the Interesting People List I have people like Robert Alai, Philip Ochieng, William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta, etc. Since I know they won’t follow me back and I don’t want to follow those who won’t follow me back, but I want to always receive their tweets, I have put them in the Interesting People List. Whenever I open this list, I see their tweets only; that is lists allows me to filter out tweets that I don’t want to see. By the way you can also include tweeps you follow into specific lists. Tweeps can also be in more than one list.

To create a list, you have two choices:

1. When at your Twitter home page, go to settings button just next to the button of Compose new Tweet. Click on the downward arrow and choose lists.

2. Alternatively go to your profile by clicking on your Twitter name. Once in your profile page, check at the top left pane where you have links like Following, Followers, and Favorites. The last item in that list is Lists.

3. From either of the two you will be able to create lists.

To add members to a list, go to their Twitter profile, click on the same button you were to click on if turning off tweets (see image above), and now choose Add or Remove from lists. You will see your lists listed so you will only need to to select the list you want to add the handle to by clicking on the small box at the left of the List’s name.

Basically, Lists feature allows you to:

  1. Receive relevant tweets from anyone on Twitter (unless they have blocked you).
  2. Ignore your TL and concentrate on Lists.

What Twitter should do is to enable accessing lists to be one click. They should list the Lists at the bottom of trending topics or somewhere near there.


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