googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: Are YOU one of the 0.5% Tweet Elite? If not, how do you become one?

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Are YOU one of the 0.5% Tweet Elite? If not, how do you become one?

It turns out that it is not the famous 80/20 principle that governs the Twitter Kingdom, but a much smaller group of Tweet Elites that people tune into on a regular basis. A VERY small elite, in fact.

Like half of one percent! A mere 20,000 out of the millions:

A tiny proportion of Twitter users generate the bulk of new content, and users tend to ignore most tweets that fall outside their field of interest, a new study has found.

In fact, “20,000 elite users, comprising less than 0.05 per cent of the user population, attract almost 50 per cent of all attention within Twitter,” the study released Tuesday by a team of New York State-based researchers from Cornell University and Yahoo! Research reads.

How's that grab you? All those tens of millions of users and only half a percent are big time Tweeters!

But it seems that birds of a twitter feather flock together, as well:

Dividing tweeters into four categories – celebrities, media, organizations and bloggers – the research team followed the cascade of information and realized that the majority of re-tweets remain within the same category.
“Celebrities overwhelmingly pay attention to other celebrities,” the report states.

Bloggers, however, are unique: they pore through tweets from many sources.

And if you want your tweets to gather no dust but to be read by more twitterers, then you should link to pictures and videos.

But just how many people tweet? About 50 million or so:

Twitter has claimed as many as 175 million registered users, but numbers leaked to the online news site Business Insider in March put the number of actual people using it closer to 50 million, correcting for dead and duplicate accounts, automated “bots” and spam.

“There’s this big gap, no doubt about it, between awareness of Twitter and engaged on Twitter,” says Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, a former improv comedian whose bald head and square-framed glasses give him the look of a walking exclamation point.

Why only 50 million? Because of the big empty box that confronts the twitterer (I remember being confused when I first signed on to Twitter by The Box!):

The problem starts, he says, with an empty box. The box is on a user’s Twitter home page, where the company’s signature timeline is supposed to crawl down, overflowing with 140-character bon mots, witty and interesting and profound. But when you sign up, there’s nothing in it. It’s like turning on the TV and being confronted with a test signal.

“You sign up for Twitter, you see the empty timeline and a big ‘What’s happening?’ at the top,” Costolo tells me. “We need to bridge that gap between you sign up for Twitter and you’re staring at the white space and what do I do now?”

And here's one reason why 0.5% get 50% of the views:

Add a quantum leap in loquacious tweeters, and what you have is an unmanageable flow of tweets, only a few of which are of any interest—the rest of them so much cultural detritus floating by in the flood.

And Twitter information is simply a flow of data, without much structure to it.
Loraine, Glenn & horses in San Francisco

Twitter, having survived fights from its founders, is aware of the problem and working on it:

And Twitter is still recovering from self-inflicted wounds: The founders and early funders fought a pitched battle for months over what the company should be and who should run it. As one venture capitalist in Silicon Valley observes, it looked like the founders “drove their clown car into a gold mine and fell in.”

So 200 million tweets a day continue ... and you help swell their ranks!

Thanks for doing that!

Oh, and why not buy one of my eBooks for only 99 cents? Click here to check them out ...

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