Scrolling down the list of my new followers on twitter *waves hi to you all*, I clicked to follow one of them and got an error that I was no longer allowed to follow any more people.

Seems I had hit the magical threshold of 2001 people being followed, and now must wait until I gain more followers of my own.

Back when I joined twitter, I heard grumblings about this mysterious follow ceiling, but honestly never paid it any mind because I was still hanging on every word tweeted by the 100 I was following.  And so here I am wondering how in the world I am going to move on in Twitterland.

Enter google, to whom I posed the question about how best to cull the list of people I am following. I was pleased to find a bevy of tools to help me do just that.

There are oodles, but I decided upon: ManageFlitter because it was listed on several “best of” lists and it seems to be intuitive to a new user and most importantly, it was FREE.

In a few short minutes I was looking at a matrix showing a detailed analysis of my twitter makeup. Who was I following, who was most active, who was not following me back, etc.  I don’t really subscribe to the school of “follow me or I will unfollow you”. It is counter to my purpose for using twitter.  I’m not in a race to gain followers, I am trying to stay connected to people that interest me in the publishing world.

A few minutes more and I was able to zero in on people I was following who hadn’t tweeted in months and years.  Those are the ones I decided to cull. Now I am back down to 1800 or so, and able to continue hooking up with the people who are active and sharing things of interest to me.

Short of an explosion in my own meager following, I will be returning to ManageFlitter in the future when I hit that ceiling again.

By the way, did you know that once you hit 2001 people being followed, you’re then held to a formula keeping your limit at the number of your following plus 10%.  Thereby protecting us all from the robot twitter flood.  Who knew?

About the Author Corinne

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  1. Ah, the infamous 2001 on Twitter. I hit that a while back and had to unfollow various people, so I can start adding people I wanted to follow. It’s so frustrating, even though it makes sense.

  2. On the bright side, I found exactly 200 people that I was following who hadn’t tweeted in months, some more than a year. Feels good to know I didn’t cut someone by accident that I have been in contact with more recently.

  3. I usually cull about once a month; and before following someone, I always look at their website/blog (if they have one) and their twitter stream for the last week or so, to get an idea of who they are and what they are about. This eliminates some people right away. Others tweet very infrequently but I love what they have to say; some post links which I enjoy, so they get a follow. Then there are those…well, let’s just say that if their stream is nothing but self-promo (buy my book! 1000 times) or obnoxious rants, they’re not getting a follow!

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