On Twitter and Tweeting

Everyone seems to be writing about Twitter, so after a few months on the service myself, I thought I’d do the same.

Two articles released within the past twenty-four hours prompted this post, the first was by Joel Cere on Beyond PR titled, “Only 10% of Twitter Users Account for 90% of All Tweets“, which references an article in the Telegraph reporting on a Harvard Business School report, and the other by Doug Coleman on ReadWriteWeb titled, “Is Twitter that Big?

Coleman cites information from Purewire which released Tweet Grade.  Purewire evaluated 7 million Twitter accounts and had some interesting findings including:

  • Nearly 80% of users have less than 10 tweets
  • One-third of users have not made a single tweet
  • Two-thirds are following less than 10 people
  • 25% are not following anyone

As the title of Cere’s post notes, the Harvard Study found that 10% of Twitter users are responsible for 90% of the content.

This is inline with Wikipedia, according to the article, but significantly different from Facebook, which has 10% of users accounting for 30% of content.

What it implies is that Twitter is not as much of a social networking site as it appears to be.  Large numbers have signed up, but they have not tweeted, followed, or been followed.

My Twitter account is branded for my community web site, NewsOverCoffee, and the intent was to Tweet local news and information or send reminders about events and activities.

Based on this, my followers should be geographically local, or the tweets will be mostly worthless to them.

Yet, they are not.  As of this post I have 23 followers and four are regular readers of my site (accounting for roughly 1% of my daily readership).  Seven are regionally relevant.  The remaining dozen have no connection I can fathom.  Therefore, I must assume they are following me in order for me to reciprocate and increase their followers.

My experience, coupled with these reports, appear to indicate that on a local level, Twitter is not a very practical or useful tool.  Almost like the start of Web 1.0, which was great for a big company to tell its story world-wide, but not so good for a small business to attract new customers locally.


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