How I make Twitter work for me

by Volker Weber


I am running a tight Twitter ship with following only 120something accounts. Lots of bots, lots of smart people. It takes some efforts to keep my stream clean, so here are some of my ground rules.

  1. Some people write interesting tweets, but they also retweet lots of other tweets, for purposes that may serve them, but not me. Simple remedy: go to their profile, hit the gear button, disable retweets.
  2. In order to make money, Twitter uses native advertising. Ads that look like native tweets, followed by a 'sponsored by tagline'. If the ad is from an account I follow, it was a waste of money. If I do not follow the particular account, I block and mark it as a spam account.
  3. Now Twitter has started to fill my feed with tweets they find interesting but I don't. For each of those tweets I block the account the tweet was originating from.

As Twitter dials up their abuse, one day I will stop using it. Like I did with Google+ and Facebook. How could this be solved? Freemium. Let me pay for a clean experience. As it stands today, the business works like prostitution. You get fcuked, somebody else gets the money.


I am not sure if rule #3 would work for me. By this I would block accounts that might be very relevant for me, based on one (uninteresting) tweet. And as far as I understand the new mechanics it would be very likely that i block potentially relevant accounts, because these unsoliticed tweets in my timeline are based on retweets of my peer group.

Not that I like the whole idea of twitter messing with my timeline, but this blocking strategy seems not to address the underlying problem and only locks me out of ever more (potentially relevant) accounts. And I assume Twitter will always find new accounts to push to my timeline, regardless of how many I block.

Andreas Eldrich, 2014-08-22 15:27

Twitter had a tab for interesting stuff for a while. Since nobody seemed to care, they force-feed you now.

Volker Weber, 2014-08-22 15:36

How much would you pay for twitter?

Tobias Müller, 2014-08-23 12:14

How much would you pay for twitter?

Tobias Müller, 2014-08-23 12:15

My fair share. Revenue divided by active users.

Volker Weber, 2014-08-23 19:04

I'm using a third-party-client. An so I didn't see any of the above mentioned issues.

Karl Heindel, 2014-08-24 09:21

I have been waiting for that remark. Can you see your future?

Volker Weber, 2014-08-24 09:30

That sounds like a lot of work. You must get a good use out of it.

Matthias Welling, 2014-08-25 10:29

Yes, I do get good use of it. And no, it isn't a lot of work. Blocking somebody as a spammer takes about a second.

Somehow Twitter went from opt-in to opt-out.

Volker Weber, 2014-08-25 10:39

Ich habe insbesondere Tipp Nr. 2 mal ausprobiert gerade, weil mir Werbung eines Sportartikelherstellers in die Timeline gespült wird. Account geblockt und als SPAM markiert, aber der Tweet wird mir immer weiter angezeigt. Da scheint Twitter also schon vorgebeugt zu haben.

Nils Michael Becker, 2014-08-25 10:59

When I get annoyed enough, I do the following in the case of #2:
I reply to the sponsored tweet with my own ad (i.e. a political statement, like "vote pirate!" or something), so everyone who is clicking on the original ad will get to see my as well. Just a small trolling.

Gregory Engels, 2014-09-02 18:08

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Ceci n'est pas un blog is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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