Monday, 1 December 2008

The Mysteries of Twitsburg

After a while you kind of get pulled under by Twitter and before long there's a form of acceptance about what you experience. However, when you take a step back, there remain a number of oddities and unanswered questions about the Twitterverse and what goes on in there.

Whilst there are number of over-riding similarities in Twitter behaviour, there are just as many, if not more, huge differences.

Why We Tweet?

  • Some Twitterers seem to be set almost exclusively on Output mode. 'It's all about ME!!' I guess they see this as an opportunity to sell themselves without opening up any meaningful dialogue with an audience. Replies seem to go unread. They are certainly unacknowledged. Odd. (I suppose for some of the really popular Twitterers, a self-imposed 'no-reply' policy might be the only way to handle volume, but if @stephenfry can manage the odd reply...)

  • Others are obviously set to Input and whilst they seem to follow others, sometimes many others, they rarely tweet themselves. It's hard to tell whether they are lurking, or whether thay have simply left the building.

  • Then there's The Conversationalist with Nothing to Say'. These Twitterers only tend to communicate in reply to someone else. Every single tweet is usually prefixed with an @twitterer and they are happy to offer views or add value to someone else's tweet without ever kicking off a conversation themselves.

  • Then there are those textbook Twitterers who will ask sensible questions, often in the form of 'Pointed statement or question. Discuss!' in order to invite replies or attract people to their blogs. Quite often though, these Twitterers don't acknowledge their Twitter replies or the comments received on their blogs, so it all breaks down.
A Certain Ratio

Some Twitterers seem to be an a race to gain as many followers as they can and do this by following as many others as possible in the hope that most of them will follow back, which they often do. This can lead to a quantity over quality problem, however, as these Twitterers may never hit a point where thay have more Followers than people they are Following.

On the other hand, some Twitterers seem to have vast numbers of followers whilst they themselves seem to follow very few. This seems unfathomable at first, as the Tweet content of these ostensibly popular Twitterers is often patchy and banal. Then it dawns on you that, these ratios can also be because you are:
  1. famous,
  2. pretending to be famous.
  3. a very pretty lady* with your picture on your avatar, or
  4. someone pretending to be a very pretty lady with a picture of a very pretty lady on your avatar.
So that seems to be the key to successful Twittering. If you've nothing much to say, get a picture of a sexy lady or Stephen Fry on your avatar and you'll never be short of friends.

[*Sorry guys, not being sexist here, but, @stephenfry aside, blokes looking straight into the camera for their avatar picture don't look sexy. They look like serial killers.]


Adam Varga said...

You can also get a of of followers if a very pretty lady with a very pretty avatar tells her followers to follow you.

Anonymous said...

You forgot the people who offer nothing but quotes from some famous person.