I view gardening as something different than landscaping.
- For gardening, I tend to use a trowel. I get down on my hands and knees, dig a small hole, plant a plant, and water it. It has a very individual feel to it.
- For landscaping, I use a power tool. I ride a riding mower and mow large sections of grass. I use a weed whacker to get a nice clean edge along the length of my lot. I trim rows of hedges with an electric trimmer. It has a very large-volume feel to it.
The way Twitter is designed, Twitter wants you to be a gardener.
- I post a Tweet. People follow me.
- I can see who follows me. I may choose to follow them back. I get to add followers one at a time.
- I can see who follows my friends. I can also choose to follow them too. I get to follow these people one at a time.
I want to be a Twitter landscaper. If you just use Twitter and follow many people, you get a page that looks like:
All of the tweets are jumbled together in one endless stream.
Luckily there is a large-volume oriented tool called TweetDeck.
I can break the Tweets into columns where I have the full stream, any interactions, anything related to #autodesklabs, and any Tweets from people I know personally. It makes it all easier to digest. TweetDeck is the right idea.
I want to be able to do the same thing with following people. For example:
- I would like to be able to follow all of the people who follow Autodesk Technologist, Shaan Hurley. People who pay attention to Shaan's blog probably have something related to Design that they will Tweet. Since Autodesk is a company about Design software, I'd like to see what they have to say.
Now if only there was a large-volume tool that allowed me to follow all of those users at once. Right now I have to follow them individually. It's like gardening, I want to landscape.
Twitter limits the number of people that I can follow.
- I would like to unfollow anyone who hasn't tweeted in 3 months. If you're not going to say anything, then why should I follow you? I need my available slots for people who actually tweet.
I'd like a tool that has a button I can push that says unfollow anyone who hasn't tweeted in N days. There could be exceptions, called whitelisting, for people I still want to follow anyway.
There used to be a tool that would do this, but I believe Twitter changed its Application Program Interface (API) rules so that this type of functionality is no longer allowed. Twitter wants gardeners — not landscapers.
A desire to think bigger is alive in the lab.