We have some interesting mailing lists internally at Google and one of the great temptations when starting is to sign up for too many of them. Over the years I've learned my lesson and whittled that list down, but one of them stuck; I had gleaned some interesting nuggets from that list when I first started and was loathe to unsubscribe.
I recently looked at that list again and began to question my committment and so performed an experiment, I created a log file, and whenever I learned something new or useful from that list that I hadn't heard from another source, I would jot it down in the log file.
At the end of two weeks the log was empty.
I promptly unsubscribed.
The experiment got me thinking about all my other sources of information and the real utility that they bring me. Twitter, Buzz and Reader went under the same scope.
Reader and Buzz did well, providing me with meaty content that I care about, and good coversations. I'm not sure if it is the 140 character limit, or the enforced tiny-url-ization, or the lack of threaded commenting, or any of the other technical constraints of Twitter, but in the end I found it to be largely content-free.
Today I took my Twitter profile private.
I haven't deleted the account yet, as there are some people that seem to only communicate with me via twitter DM, and I want to get a chance to redirect them personally to a new communication medium, but besides that I will no longer be using or montoring Twitter. At the same time I'm moving my focus back to blogging, and the output of my blog will be fed into Buzz, but no where else.
It turns out, for me, 140 characters isn't enough.