I’ve been motivated to write an update off the back of Jason Calacanis adding me to his Twitter feed. At first, I was quite chuffed, “ooo” I thought, “Jason Calacanis wants to know what I’m up to, how exciting”. Ooooh no he doesn’t, as I realised upon clicking through to check out his Twitter page. He’s link baiting me. Hang on a minute, isn’t that a spammer tactic…?
And he’s not the only one, there’s a whole bunch of them at it. What a load of cobblers.
Surely I can’t be the only person who’s worked out that it’s not how many people follow you, but what you ratio of followers to following is that ranks you as an interesting and popular Tweeter?
If I see someone has got a 1:1 ratio, I can assume that they use Twitter with their close friends, and tend to follow people that also follow them. It’s not water tight, but it’s a fairly good hypothesis. Similarly, if I get followed by a user who follows more people than is followed by, I can assume that actually they’re probably quite interesting, but depending on how high the number differential is, they’re not as interesting as their group. Afterall, their group would follow them back otherwise, no? This extends right out to the people following thousands, and being followed by maybe 10. These people I avoid following like the plague.
So, Jason Calacanis with his 17,204 followers just doesn’t impress me. He’s following 12,302. that makes his ratio a rather limp 1:1.5 give or take. Even if I was to follow him, it’s going to be a one way relationship isn’t it. There’s no way my Tweets are going to make it through his 17,204 at least daily updates on average (I’m guessing here).
Check out someone like Mike Butcher on the other hand, with his 1,103 followers to 335 followings, and you’ve got a 1:3. I know immediately he must have some really interesting Twitter chat going on. Also, you know that at 335 people Mike is actually following people he wants to know about. Whereas what buy in would I get from a Twitter baiter? None at all.
Final thought aka Thayer Rant: When will people realise the value of social media – especially the so called experts in these fields – it is not about quantity of information or network, it’s about quality.
If you’re all about the quantity, then you’re not a social media mogul, you’re an e-marketeer at best, and a spammer at worst. Nobody cares if you’re being followed by 17,000 people if you’ve bribed them with a prize, or offered them sudo friendship. It doesn’t mean you’re popular, it just means you’re desperate, or selling something, or both.
As always, these are my views, and I know that some people won’t agree with them.