Fallacy of Twitter Authority Based on Followers

14 thoughts on “Fallacy of Twitter Authority Based on Followers”

  1. Take Guy Kawaski: by all measures he is a very influential person, and has 30K+ followers. Yet, in my Twitter stream, he is one of the least read … his constant posting of AllTop topics is too time consuming for me to engage. I'll glance at his tweets, as he still has a lot of great things to say, but he is far less influential in my day-to-day conversations than the Ux professional with 100 followers.I think a slightly better measure would be the number of @replies received. When people are very specifically seeking out your advice, it shows greater influence than simply listening to you talk.

  2. Good point on Guy. I didn't think about it when writing this post, but Arrington's tweets were of such low value (since they are just links back to each TC post and I have an RSS reader for that), I unfollowed. Same with Guy, etc. Not sure about @replies, either. Everytime Kevin Rose tweets that he's having pizza, I'm sure he gets 1,000 @ replies. However, that's of considerably less “value” (to most of us at least) than someone posting about something relevant or interesting with much less in the follower column.Gaurav suggests here (http://bit.ly/26ejwv) that perhaps retweets are the answer. I think not (http://bit.ly/PGqr)Basically, I don't think you can apply these sorts of quantitative metrics to Twitter. The model just doesn't support the “more is better” mentality as with in-bound links. I think the right approach is to leave value or worth or authority judgements up to the discernment of individuals.

  3. Yep, this hits the nail on the head Intuition and discernment are the best metrics – plus actual recommendations. I like the idea of niche Top 10s on specific topics such as the one I made here http://theparallaxview.com/twitter-top-10/ However, what would be good too though, is being also able to grade in some way. Combining in with Twitter Grader could add numbers to the personal selection to good effect. http://twitter.grader.com/

  4. I agree; the original purpose of Twitter was to create “digital intimacy” with the people you know or the online acquaintances you can trust. Doing this would be akin to limiting yourself on Facebook or LinkedIn to the people with the most “friends”, which not only is completely arbitrary, but would do more harm than good as the intimacy is replaced by anonymity.

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