Talking loudly on Twitter

April 26, 2008

Earlier this week Louis Gray wrote about his “Tweets vs. Followers” theory. His post cane be sumarized as:

I feel there are different categories of Twitter users, from those who have a listening audience, measured by a high “followers” to “updates” ratio, those who are engaging, seen with near equal “followers” and “updates”, and those who are more noisy, with a lot more “updates” than actual “followers”.

Twittering NoiseI guess I take offense (in a very lightly term) to the statement that there are more “noisy” people who have “… a lot more ‘updates’ than actual ‘followers’…”. While those that have a lower ratio between “tweets and followers” are “engaging”.

So if I have 2500 followers and 1400 tweets than essentially I am not even saying “hello” to all of the people that I am “engaging”. I think that what Louis is saying is that there are some people out there who are just blindly talking. And I would agree.

I have been followed on Twitter by various people and since I am using Twitter as a means to meet more people I used to be in the habit of of following people back that followed me. I have seen the type of people that he is talking about. They post their every move:

I just ate my apple
Got my apple out of the fridge
I think that I would like an apple
Boy, I sure could use an apple

I think that there is an interesting discussion here and it goes beyond the numbers of “tweets and followers” but what was Twitter really designed for.

I use Twitter for a couple of reason.

Reason 1: Keeping in touch with people I meet
I travel quite a bit and I meet some interesting people whom I have a lot in common with. In most cases, these people that I meet also have something common with each other (even if they don’t even know each other). Twitter is a great medium to touch them all with thoughts and questions easily.

Reason 2: Mini-Blog
Blogs take a lot of work and there is some distance between writing for fun and getting paid. I like to write and I like to “talk”. Twitter is an awesome medium for talking (quietly =). Sometimes I will have a quick idea that maybe doesn’t require an entire blog post. You can get an amazing amount of thought into 140 words.

Reason 3: It’s fun
I love to hear what other people are doing (at least the ones that I know). So Twitter keeps me smiling when I hear a friends joke or funny event. Inside jokes on Twitter are great.

I only have 66 followers yet I have posted almost 700 times. If I look at the people that I converse with the most – many of them have the same ratios that I do:

@reneemck 280 – 27
@protoolspc 205 – 30
@gregpc 1223 – 182
@mhostad 561 – 65
@knochie 754 – 43
@georgedearing 2451 – 305
@tpryan 1234 – 95

So one could argue that if you are communicating with 20 of your 2000 followers you are probably either more noisy or more popular than someone that actually communicates with more than 1% of their followers but you are certainly not more “engaging”.


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