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I know that this is a very provocative question but it is one I looked into since a few months. If you follow my Twitter account, you will have realized that I dramatically reduced the number of Tweets. I currently only tweet, once I posted on my blog. But let’s start at the beginning:
I think I started to use Twitter a little bit more than 18 months ago. Initially I tried to understand how this works and how you gain followers. I understand that you have to tweet regularly and that you should focus on a theme. That is fairly easy for me as Information Security is my core competence and there is always something say. I learned as well that “following back” is the key activity on Twitter. If somebody follows you, you follow back. And then my first problem started. I checked my Twitter account approximately once a day and I got some many DMs saying “thank you for following” that I missed DMs really being targeted to me.
Then the swine flue broke out and I learned my next lesson: Speed is everything on Twitter – accuracy is second. There was so much nonsense on Twitter that it could not be used at all to gain information.
And finally the volume: Today I have approx. 23’000 followers. Interestingly, it seems that growth just stopped now even though I am not too active since about May/June:
However, the number of people clicking on the links I post on Twitter is around 20-30 at max. So, 23’000 followers– lets say 25 clicks on average (and this is high), means around 0.1% of my followers seem to be interested in what I tweet. Maybe that I tweet the wrong things? I do not think so as more than 23’000 people said that they like my Twitter profile and therefore they followed me – no?
I then looked at some of my followers: The first thing I realized is that everybody is in the race for as many followers as possible. As everybody is just “following back” and additionally uses tools to find the people who could be interested in the message to be spread – it is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. People focus on getting more followers and measure just that. Measure the click-through rate : I get much more from Facebook or LinkedIn than from Twitter and honestly I read the status updates on Facebook and LinkedIn much more as well.
And I understand why: Let’s say you follow 5’000 people, which is not too much. Let’s say, everybody tweets 5 times a day, which is a low figure. This means, you get 25’000 tweets a day, 1041 an hour, 17.4 a minute. This means there is a tweet every 3.5 seconds coming in. If you see 17 tweets on your screen, you would have to look at your screen the same minute I am pushing my tweet out… Otherwise the new messages will simply cover mine.
The sheer volume of information on Twitter is overwhelming. Does it still make sense? Is there value in there? Do you find the information you are looking for? Is this really a trusted source for information? Is it worth spending your time?
Let me know your view. I would be really interested to hear
To put it simply, yes, to all of the above...Secunia, MS-DCU and some others put out some excellent information on Twitter. But you have to careful who you follow or you'll get Ashton Kutcher's answer for the question of life, the universe and everything. Or you'll get $h!t my Dad says...
I pretty much agree with what you've written here. The way I see it, you're better off having 30 engaged, intelligent followers then 23000 followers who are just trying to get a high score.
Yes, there are some people saying important/interesting things (I like to believe I am one of those people on occasion) but for the most part it's like being in a packed conference with everyone shouting to be heard.
I have asked these same questions after being on Twitter for about a year.. I am off it now.. Never found the value in following or sending