Tweet overflow. Manage tweets and disable @replies

It’s official. I’ve reached the limit on my ability to process unfiltered tweets from those I’m following on Twitter. I’m coining a new term: Tweet Overflow. I did a search on this term among all tweets and only found four ocurrences of it in normal conversation. Programmers will appreciate a like reference to stack overflow for memory usage.  Tweet overflow is when the rate of incoming tweets exceeds your ability to read and process those tweets in a meaningful way. Unread tweets then become unheard noise.

As if by some strange coincidence ( I had this post in draft before finding out), Twitter announced yesterday they were modifying the default behaviors of @replies.  Now, they will assume that you don’t want to see all of the @replies from those you follow intended for those you don’t follow.  This is good for me, because its the setting that I tried to update yesterday in my profile only to discover it was missing. Now I know why.

While this will works for me, I wonder about taking this selection ability away from Twitter users. Some of us want that type of vision for research and discovery purposes. I expect to see alot of chatter about this in the blogosphere.

I had been using TwitterFox as my primary source of reading and writing tweets. Recently I installed TweetDeck and then started to customize it. TweetDeck is for the message junky and provides a good way to start segmenting messages into groups for easier reading. This however, doesn’t stop the shear volume of @messages or @replies that come in from those you are following. What a strange world we live in now. A twitter @message is like walking into a party or other public area and beginning to shout your message intended for one individual so that everyone can hear it. Think about that. If everyone started doing that, pretty soon you’d have chaos in the room and effective communication would be very difficult.

Up until yesterday, Twitter provided a way to manage the delivery of @replies to your message stream through a selection in your profile. It’ll be interesting to see how long that help page stays active.

How do you manage @replies?  Are you happy with this new release from Twitter where they assume your preference? Are you suffering from tweet overflow??

One Reply to “Tweet overflow. Manage tweets and disable @replies”

  1. Hey Bob,

    I have been using Tweetdeck for a while now.

    Once I exceeded 100 or so followers, I was totally unable to keep up with it. Tweetdeck doesn’t help you keep up with 2700+ followers, what it does is help you dive in and out of conversations you are interested in. I have been at several conferences this year where attendees were tweeting with hashtags. Doing a search on a hashtag let’s you track a particular thread. I also have favorite Twitter’er list and follow several keywords of particular interest.

    I always reply to directs and @messages. I push good content in. I reply to conversations that are of interest to me. Just those things have a lot of value. BTW – I am having the same problem with Facebook at only 250 or so real friends. Can’t keep up with everything so I don’t try.

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