I’m tired of the noise

I took a break from Twitter over the past four days, on purpose. I felt no compunction to check what was going on, and honestly, I didn’t miss it for a minute. That was a surprise.

Part of the reason I took that time-out is I’ve noticed a big change in the content running through my twitter timeline over the past month or so.  I have seen the same content broadcasted, over and over. The original content was probably good, but with repeat broadcasting it became noise. The same group of people with the same content. Noise.

I ran Twitcleaner last week (I clean up my Twitter follows/followers regularly), and was surprised to see that a good number of the “people” I follow are broadcasters. For the most part, they don’t engage that often with others (links and retweets, not alot of 2-way conversation). That’s a lot of noise being broadcasted. I’m tired of the noise. I am slowly starting to unfollow some folks and expect they will unfollow in return. I’m ok with that.

All of this got me to thinking about my content – am I contributing to the noise?  Yes, I am.

Out of curiosity (and suggested by a friend), I ran Tweetcloud and was surprised at what my “content” has been about. My cloud showed I am talking, just not the content that I thought. Talking about the “weather” is fine, but when it comes to meaningful content, those “words” are not showing up in my cloud. Alot of fluff and more noise.

I don’t want to change the world, or what the world is saying, I just want to change what I’m saying.

As a new business owner that plans on using social media, I feel my content should be more meaningful. Sure, I can talk about non-work related or non-social media related things – we all do, but to be taken seriously in this world of open media and business, I need to cut out the amount of noise coming from me. I am taking my cue from the folks who get this. They put out real content…they just don’t tweet it every five minutes. On occasion, they even talk about the “weather.”

To cut some of my noise, I probably won’t be tweeting as much. I plan to use my blogs more and concentrate more on what I say – not in a contrived way, but more real, less fluff.

I have also decided to take part in a limited number of twitter chats (and not the voluminous amount I try to take part in) – those that I feel give me the opportunity to continue to learn and hopefully, contribute something meaningful. I’m not checking out, just checking in less often.

Less noise, more content. That’s my goal.

  10 comments for “I’m tired of the noise

  1. May 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    LOVE

  2. April 29, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Hi Sherree,

    There does seem to be a lot of noise and it does seem very difficult to find that balance. My time on usually ebbs and flows depending on what is going on IRL. I mostly stop in on chats that I am interested in when I can, because I have found that is where I meet some great people, learn some different insights and hopefully share some of mine that may or may not be helpful to some.

    As Kenny said, it really boils down to effective time management and as a business owner that is a key to success. You don’t have an unlimited amount of time or resources so you need to use what you do have in the most effective ways possible.

    Thanks for the post as it is a good reminder to stay focused and committed.

    Cinzia

  3. April 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    No Sherree

    No not directed at you at all. Social Media is a sharing platform, it is is open innovation at its best. Ideas are no good if they are not or cannot be implemented.

    My point was about the lack of acknowledgement and gleaning of ideas for personal benefit. That is fine it is what Twitter is all about as long as you are giving something back. However if all your doing is jumping in to the stream not engaging except on subjects that contribute to your agenda and tweeting out your content. I would say your not giving anything back and as result other people can;t benefit or grow in the same way.

    For me I love the engagement and the opportunity to join communities whilst building my own community. I always try to give something that may be of value. If individuals benefit as whole within that community that can only be a good thing.

    I know I have been guilty of making noise. I genuine respect everybody in my stream and the communities I engage with regularly. The important thing for me is to be honest and genuine and tell it how I see it.

    All the best.

    • April 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      With regards to your second paragraph (…gleaning ideas for personal benefit), I’ve been seeing that alot in one of the “chats” we both participate in. I am backing out of that one totally. It seems to have evolved into a more “self promoting” type of thing and no longer provides the value (content) it once did. My opinion anyway and I agree wholeheartedly to that.

      I always appreciate your honesty…

      Cheers.

  4. April 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Noticed you were gone glad you are ok. I understand what you mean by noise. I contribute to it, more than i would like. My reasons for cutting back had more to do with time and IRL or lack thereof.

    I look forward to seeing you though realize it may be less frequent. Perhaps this will inspire improved content for both of us.

    Best
    Joe

    • April 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      Joe – I’m sorry I missed you the past few days. I’m getting busier (IRL) and finding balance is my top priority.

      You and I will still see each other (I’m hoping for a chat IRL soon). Here’s to inspired content for all of us.

      ~s.

  5. April 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    A brave post Sherree.

    And a view I fully support. I am going to be brutal. I don’t want to offend you and it is not my intention. I just want to be honest. I noticed your “noise” . I think there is a valid reason. We both engage in the in similar chats and one in particular more than others. However it also creates a tendency to lead us into making noise. We want to engage and feel part of a community. It is a natural part of being social and only polite to reciprocate when someone talks to us on twitter. But it can also be annoying for some people who follow us based on providing relevant, timely, information and content.

    People do that for a number of reasons some people are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Others are just simply mining insight and seeking benefit for themselves in the form of ideas and inspiration they can use to advance their own agenda. And in a way it is kind of sad because I engage for free. I like to contribute ideas, and thoughts and give value. Since I started using Twitter the amount of times people have taken ideas and then used them with no acknowledgment where they got the inspiration is mind boggling and also frustrating to an extent because for me it shows a lack of respect in my opinion.

    This is a problem in the real world but online it seems to be a bigger problem. It would be different if those same people actually visited our blogs and contributed something back but on the whole that is not the case. I just wanted to let you know that I have taken a similar approach recently and started to step back to an extent and tried to balance my noise with providing something of value hopefully in the form of better content. I think the best approach is to keep the idea of balance at all times and use your blog and social media accounts to engage in appropriate ways. Ultimately if you are building a business it is critical to be focused on using time effectively and focused on the key tasks that help you meet your goals. Very brave and honest. Well done.

    All the best Sherree

    • April 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you Kenny for the comment.

      I wasn’t offended at all. It brings home the point I was making. Everyone makes noise – some more than others. I was contributing greatly to that noise and I had to figure out why. One of those reasons was the amount of chats I participated in. Effective communication happens when you have something real to say and others can glean something from it. If all you’re doing is RT’g a comment or a question, you’re just making noise and irritating your followers to no end.

      Another reason for my noise is that I have been home for the past month. I’ve never had this amount of time before to be on Twitter. I admit it, I was on too much. I’m learning balance…

      I hope your comment about others taking your ideas or comments without acknowledgement was not directed at me. I’d like to think I’m not “what of those” people and always try to give credit, where it is due.

      I respect you and appreciate the honesty in your comment. I’ll see you in a couple of chats and will be mindful of what I say from now on. I won’t however, be totally quiet…you can count on that!

  6. Karl Kovacs
    April 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I too feel the same way and as of March, have started down this same path. Focus and attention to what we say on the SM channels is becoming more and more important as the content and chats clutter up what could otherwise be meaningful content feeds.

    • April 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      Thank you Karl. I seem to have touched a nerve today. Quite a few folks are thinking the same thing. I agree, we have to pay attention to what we are saying, there is just too much going on and the good stuff is getting swallowed up in the noise.

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