Derek Powazek’s post, Twitter for Adults, is a nice summary of how to use Twitter well. Reading it, I realized what my single best Twitter survival technique is: a private VIP list. It looks like I’m following 551 people in total on Twitter, but in practice, that is just not possible. So, I put people whose tweets I don’t want to miss on the VIP list, which appears as my first column in TweetDeck. Right now there are only 51 people on that list, well below Dunbar’s number, and I intend to keep it that way. On busy days (and let’s face it, most are), I read only that list of tweets, my mentions and direct messages. When I have more time, I scan over to my All Friends list. Sometimes I promote people from All Friends to VIP if their stuff is really interesting; other times I demote folks from my VIP list if they’re driving me crazy. The fact that the list is private means no one’s feelings are hurt if they’re not on it, and this setup means I can follow people liberally without worrying about them cluttering up my primary timeline. I use a similar technique with my RSS reader subscriptions, and it’s one of the best ways I’ve found to focus my attention on the good stuff, while auditioning more potential good stuff in my All Friends/Subscriptions list, too.