Tinkering Hand of the Researcher

So, I'm getting everything set up to begin an observation of the activity on the ETT twitter account. However, when I checked in on the account earlier this month, I saw that ETT was following about 1,500 out of the 4,300 or so followers. Assuming that no one had taken the time to troll through the followers to follow those with a like interest in edtech, I went seeking a tool to more quickly breeze through profiles and click "follow" for those where there is an edtech "match". This process is still quite painful on twitter.com, so I was happy to stumble upon refollow.com, a site that allows you to filter your follow and followed by lists based on key words and other criteria, such as those who have posted in the last 1/15/30/90 days or those who lock / unlock their tweets, etc. I now have the following list to 3,100 based primarily reciprocated following relationships with those who chose to follow ETT ... which is the pool of folks I wanted to target. I filtered out those who lock their tweets as I can't use them in the study without getting informed consent from each one (an interesting group to study, but beyond the scope of what I can do in a short time frame). Also, I targeted those who have posted in the past 90 days as I am not going to do anything with those who don't post (such as try to understand why they don't post ... another question for another day).

I struggled a bit wondering whether I (as the researcher) should leave things as they were at following 1,500. However, I had a sense that was a fairly stale list or at least primarily early adopters of Twitter. While there are a million ways to cut this pie, I am most interested in studying the tweets of a group of people who sought out others with a common interest. Given the ETT following list is drawn from the followers list, I think I'm on solid ground by tinkering with the list as I had originally found it.