More About Twitter

twitter communities/the living dead

For those of you who don’t know the Smashing Magazine Twitter, it’s pretty much set up like a direct feed of interesting links on web development. Because of that it garnered a pretty extensive base of followers. Current numbers are flirting with the 400.000 mark, so when they present a question on Twitter it reaches 400.000 people without any form of further social intervention. That’s a lot of possible replies, right?

I did my reply count a couple of days later, by then not many new replies where added to the list. Since it was the first time I was trying out filtering on hash tags, I really had no idea what the multitude of replies would be, but even then I couldn’t have imagined how poor the actual results looked. From a potential audience of roughly 400.000 people, came … 50 replies.

Emphasis in the original.

Some people think their Follower counts mean something.

They mean nothing.

Twitter has positioned itself for ephemerality. So why should this be a surprise?

Twitter is so unfocused, so just about fundamentally useless for lasting things, I marvel that anyone remains there at all and puts up with all the frustrations.

For the past several days, I’ve tweeted a few links to new blog posts. I think I’m going to stop that now.

Previously here:

Facebook Wakes Up While Twitter Snores
Twitter’s New Sign-Out Page
Bailing On Twitter: Timing!
Another Lost Opportunity For Twitter
Now Only Here

15 Comments

Filed under Digital Overthrow

15 responses to “More About Twitter

  1. I’m still there but I agree. Follower counts are utter bullshit. I have no idea how many real people are following me.

  2. Keishon

    I’m more disenchanted with all of it at present. Some days I just want to hit the delete button and disappear into obscurity from whence I came. Sorry for this tangent. I really came here to say:

    As for your posts, you do realize that you can auto-tweet those straight from WordPress, right?

    • mikecane

      Yes, but I find such auto-tweeting intrusive and robotic and not what Twitter is supposed to be about. When I tweet a post, it’s from *me*, not software.

      • Keishon

        Well that settles it then. Carry on.

      • I went to the Smashing Magazine’s twitterstream. They look mechanized and unengaged. No wonder they don’t have any replies. It looks like nobody’s manning the store.

      • mikecane

        And yet it was a question they asked. And with that many followers … if that had been direct mail, the campaign would have been a disaster. Not even a 1% response rate!

      • If you have conditioned your follower list that your stream is auto-tweeted and detached, why in hell would you expect anyone to continue to pay attention to you?

        Followers aren’t listed in any logical order and can’t be sorted. I only follow 1700 people (and I’m capping it at 2000) and I sure as hell am not a) paying attention to every single tweet b) going to go back into my following list to prune it unless a tweet catches my attention and I think, “Why am I following that person again?”

        Nobody was paying attention because of the way they’d trained their followers. THAT is why they got no response to a specific question. Nobody knew they’d asked it.

      • mikecane

        Well, you wind up making my point again: Follower counts are useless because no one is reading.

  3. Where you gonna go? Any plans?

    I agree, though, you do a Tweet and it mentions say “burgers” you’ll get a fast food chain following you, follow on autopilot. That would be fine if you were a burger maker or fan of burgers.

    The other thing is I NEVER liked the name Twitter and Tweeting. Look for something with a good name.

    That Status.net might be worth a look.

  4. Well, WordPress or any blogs … your OWN site … is best. I concluded I don’t want people hitting Facebook or Twitter, only my site, like it was back in the day – 2001, or whatever.

    And you can guarantee if people comment, like I am now, they are reading you, which is what it is about.

    Like you say, Twitter has no power, no intensity. And Facebook is a dead dog with a lot of money.

  5. Keishon

    Shit, I missed the entire relevancy of this post, suggesting you do auto-tweets on top of that. Mea culpa. *slinking away now*

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