seriously shocked at how much more rational my feed is already just with this first step >.> I should have done this years ago
— Belghast 🆚 Hoping for Good Year (@belghast) January 2, 2019
On Wednesday I talked about some of my hopes for the new year, and one of them… I have already made significant strides towards. Unfortunately it is not the exercise and losing weight one… because in truth I am largely waiting until I am no longer on vacation to try that. We also have a bunch of sweets and stuff that we need to remove from the house before that can properly begin. That said, once I return to the swing of things I will begin that one in earnest. Another stupid one that came up this morning is that we are going to try our best to triage the mail every single day instead of letting it stack up for a week before looking at any of it.
The one however that I already made a big dent in is taming twitter. As of posting on Wednesday I followed just shy of 1200 people and as a result my main timeline was impossible to keep up with. In the past I had made an attempt at creating a “Timeline 2.0” list that contained the people that I did not want to miss posts from… but I was phenomenally bad at keeping it updated. Additionally there were a few cases where I unfollowed someone for a reason… and then kept seeing their post not realizing that I had them in that timeline as well. Basically it was not a great solution.
Twitter unfollows are always a fraught experience, because I am certain that I have a few mutuals that would be hurt if I unfollowed them. So instead of entering the difficult territory I decided to start with a simple change. Essentially I went through my follow list and added any “Brands” to a new list that I could assign to a column and immediately unfollowed the account. This also included anyone that I interacted with as though they were a brand or at least a brand ambassador like Deej for example from Bungie. Now this did not include anyone that I have what I would consider a personal relationship with that has been built up through interaction over the years.
I also created a “Cute Stuff” feed that has most of the various animal accounts that I follow and a few other things that I find funny… essentially to give me a concentrated column of pure enjoyment. The end result however is that I removed 166 accounts from my main feed… and it is shocking just how much of what I would consider spam to be coming from those accounts. I did not realize just how much Funko for example tweeted until I punted them off the island. Sure this means that I will no longer be eligible for the various “follow and retweet” contests… but seeing as I have been using twitter ten years and never actually won one of those… I think I will be fine without them.
Now even after this… there are a bunch of people that I enjoy as human beings but don’t necessarily want to see the constant feed of mostly political based retweets. So in those cases I have been going one step further because something I did not realize was that twitter allows you to now block retweets on a user by user basis. We will use my account that I use to get screenshots off of my PS4 and Switch as an example in the above screenshot. You have to click through to an individual users account page on Twitter and then if you expand the menu on the right side you can see the option of Turn Off Retweets. This will be specific to this one user and still let you see retweets as a whole for pretty much everyone else. After a few days of further pruning by turning off retweets for some of the highest volume accounts… my twitter is once again a happy place.
Now the only negative here is… this will not stop quote retweets. This is one of those times where I really like the fact that Mastodon and MMORPG.social for example does not have a quote retoot option. Now please don’t take my trying to make Twitter a happier place a sign that I am detaching from the Fediverse again, because that could not be further from the truth. The instance that Gazimoff is running for the community has turned out to be a hopping place, especially for those who are into FFXIV. I think this might be the year that I start giving up on some platforms… for example I cannot be arsed to care about Instagram at all so I might just stop trying. Facebook is just a place that I re-syndicate my content but no one actually reads it. I have this overwhelming desire to complete reboot this blog, but I am not sure if that will actually happen.
All of that aside… Twitter is a much better environment for me personally after making these tweaks and I thought I would post this morning talking a bit about it in case someone wants to steal some of my ideas. It is funny that Scopique was doing this exact same thing the same morning I was… so great minds think alike?