It was about a month ago and I was sitting here in my home office reading some Twitter tweets and catching up on some blog reading and a series of tweets came by the screen from one of the .NET folks with the loudest mouth and the least to say with just another gripefest about Microsoft and other .NET developers not as bright as he. I bet if you think not-so-hard you can figure out who this person is and I won’t have to tell you.
It was at that very moment that I had a vision or you could say a defining moment in the pattern of blogs and people I follow on Twitter. I figured it was time to weed out the “dead wood” in my blog roll, the people I follow on Twitter and the podcasts I listen to in order to stop the white noise of my day and become more focused and more productive.
So, my three step process to kill the noise:
- The process I started with was to go through all the people I follow on Twitter and unfollowed anyone who basically has very little to say that is not worth my time even to give a quick glance. If I followed you before there is a good chance I don’t follow you now, no offense but there wasn’t much worth reading so I had to bid farewell. Robert Scoble was one such person who thought they had something to say but in reality they just blew hot air.
- I then viewed my blog roll to see how many people I subscribed to that I more often than not marked their posts as read when realizing it was a post about nothing. This takes time to do and is a distraction in my day, so unsubscribing I did and removed over 100 blogs that offered very little.
- The third thing to remove any podcast that was just rehash of something I could hear about somewhere else and just keep building up in iTunes, making me feel like I was not keeping up. Actually I am keeping up better without this junk which filled iTunes. DotNetRocks was one of these such podcasts which used to add to me commute with banter but now, working from home, I don’t need it.
After a month of much reduced noise I feel better about the time I have to work and more time I have due to removing those things most distracting. Once I stood back and looked at the changes I made I found something interesting, probably 90% of those people I removed from the list I was following on Twitter or in my blog roll were .NET-related people. What does this say, .NET people either all say the same things, have very little of value to say or maybe both. I am not sure but thinking about those removed and what they talked about, it was mostly uninteresting and redundant.
The folks I continue to follow are mostly Ruby folks or those talking about software engineering related topics which don’t have a focus on a particular platform or are related to running a uISV. The majority of those removed spewed uninteresting banter about .NET and added little to the MSDN archives on the Microsoft web site.
I have to say I feel great, I feel liberated and I feel like I made some good decisions for my personal well-being. Sorry to those I don’t follow any longer, nothing personal, but you need to say some more interesting things and make it worth my time.