I've been thinking lately about our ability to filter down social media messaging, and the process of building 'A-lists'. Not a list of popular people in social media, but rather, a personal 'A-List' — your inner circle. The goal being closer tracking of the people that you get the most value from.
One of the biggest drawbacks of engaging these tools is the raw number of follow requests. It's almost impossible, for example, to keep track of hundreds (or thousands) of followers on twitter without using tweetdeck or another tool to group your contacts. Filtering follow lists like this, remains one of the better techniques available and one that most long-term users eventually employ.
Another option is to use a separate tool entirely. I've been enjoying my friendfeed account more lately, mostly because I've kept a tight filter on contacts – tracking content for those people I've worked with or have a strong history of web-interaction with.
And yet another option, is to route social media feeds into an RSS filtering tool (Pipes, feedrinse), and then into a personal feed reader. This involves a fair amount of work, but the final results are far more precise. That time invested can also save small amounts of time on a daily basis.
Now let me open the floor… Does having an inner circle hold any value to you? Do you have a preferred strategy for grouping contacts?