Over the course of this month, I have been cleaning out the clutter from my online world. Consider it a form of weeding, making room for my important relationships to grow and new relationships to take root. Here’s what I did:
1. Unfollowed most Tweeters who don’t follow me back on Twitter.
2. Used the “Hide” option on the Facebook Pages I “fan” because their message is irrelevant to me, personally and professionally. I was trying to help them get enough fans to secure their unique name but I know I will never buy their products and/or they send me too much marketing.
3. Deleted LinkedIn contacts I do not know who have only sent me invitations to social media webinars. Decided to reconsider my open invitation status on LinkedIn and ensured all my contacts there were private.
4. Checked on all the FB friends whose status I have hidden because their marketing or Farmville activities were annoying. If all they do is market, I consider “unfriending” them or kept them hidden. For Farmville fans, I unhide the friends and hide Farmville – thanks to FB for providing this ability.
5. Unsubscribed to Blogs and RSS feeds that clutter my Google Reader and Netvibes dashboard.
6. Canceled all Google email alerts except essential alerts which require immediate attention.
7. Unsubscribed to all the email newsletters I never read.
8. Withdrew from LinkedIn and Facebook groups that long lost their value.
9. Unsubscribed to paid membership forums that I never visit.
10. Deleted profiles on a few social networks I never use so I can focus on just a few communities.
I feel better already but plan to take a few more steps in the coming week:
1. Create Twitter Lists to make it easier to support and appreciate my important relationships.
2. Organize groups of friends on Facebook so I can be certain to check the status of key people in my network and engage with them.
3. Update my social marketing planning calendar to make sure I prioritize time for essential communities and people. Now that the weeding is done, my important relationships have room to grow and I have more time to nurture them.
4. Create a set of guidelines for deciding whether or not to join groups, fan pages, communities, and social networks in the future.
5. Create an email address dedicated only to web subscriptions. Many times, I give my name and email address to someone in return for a report or e-book, etc and end up on the mailing list. I will only give out my daily priority email addresses to people I meet in person or want to meet in person.
How about you? What can you do to weed out online distractions to focus on your most significant relationships and profitable activities?