It’s like an intimate chat with 1,304 of your closest friends

In the last year or so I’ve become something of a Twitter addict. While I was originally skeptical of the utility of micro-blogging, I’ve come to recognize the benefits of the service as a professional development and community building tool. By following others in my industry (and by having them follow me back), I am able to tap into an amazing wealth of experience and ideas. Some conversations are trivial, of course, but others are really interesting and though-provoking.

For quite awhile I happily sat at between 30-50 followers and followees. I would sometimes look longingly at the Twitter Rock Stars with hundreds and hundreds of people in their Twittershpere but, to be honest, I liked the close-knit feeling of my little corner of the Twitweb.┬áIf I was away from the computer for a few days it wasn’t too onerous to catch up when I got back.

Recently, though, my numbers have moved steadily upwards. I’m still not a big player, not by any means, but I am now following an even 100 people with 88 following me back. And I’m starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. I’ll come back from a meeting to find TweetDeck telling me I’ve got 82 new tweets to read. A weekend away and I’ve suddenly missed 300 tweets. It’s no longer possible to read them all.

Part of the value I get from Twitter is the feeling of community in my network. As that network grows, my community becomes harder to follow. So how do the Twitter superstars do it? Anyone want to share some tips?

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