This morning, John Reese deleted his Twitter account and sent an email saying he thinks Twitter is on its way out.

Even, though, my follower count has risen, the response to my tweets has been on a steady decline. The reason is simple… There’s just more and more noise on Twitter. People are following so many people that single tweets are easily missed in someone’s timeline.

I haven’t tracked response to my tweets…well, actually I do have some stats, but I haven’t paid enough attention to them to be able to confirm or deny whether I’m seeing the same thing. But yeah, because of overfollowing, it’s probably true.

I wonder, though, whether John is seeing a decline in total response, or just a decline in response rate as a percentage of his follower count — that’d be interesting to know.

John continues:

…no matter how little I may have used Twitter, it would still be robbing my focus. I’d still always wonder if someone had “@” messaged me to ask me something or if something else needed my attention. And THAT is what would have kept me constantly checking it multiple times a day like I had been.

That sounds like the too many in boxes problem. I subscribe to my tweet stream (including @replies) in my RSS feed reader, so I don’t have to visit Twitter or use a Twitter app separately.

Of course, if I were fauxlowing too many people, all that’d do is clog up my feed reader. But I don’t. In fact, I recently dropped several follows that weren’t delivering enough value, and now I’m down to 21 (it was 22 till John deleted his account).

I’m not saying John is wrong. Maybe Twitter isn’t right for him. And sure, response rates aren’t likely to stay as high as they used to be. But I believe Twitter will remain useful to people who use it right.

If you’re getting too much noise, unfollow the noisy people. If you’re seeing spammy tweets, unfollow the spammers (and don’t auto-follow).

I guess the one problem area is replies, because (as far as I know), if you’re watching your replies (“mentions” actually), there’s no way to block spam there — at least not without third party tools…hmm, maybe a new feature to add to