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Lots Of Blather On Twitter

Posted by on Aug 17, 2009

I know what some of you are thinking; another post on Twitter!

Well, I can’t help it. Twitter is growing fast, and it keeps popping up in the news. Last week there was an attack on Twitter and Facebook aimed at one individual in particular, and I didn’t write about that. This one, though, needs some conversation.

Tweet tweet!
id-iom via Compfight

There was a study done stating that over 40% of all Twitter statements are “pointless babble;” their words, not mine. What the study did was examine 2,000 tweets over a two week period for these categories: News, Spam, Self-Promotion, Conversational, Pass-Along Value, Pointless Babble. Babble won, shockingly, because I’d have thought spam would have been the big winner here.

What’s also weird to think about is how they were able to select only 2,000 tweets out of a two-week period when there are probably tens of thousands of tweets every minute of the day. No, they don’t tell us this, which, along with the number that were examined, makes the study kind of suspect. Yeah, I know that’s how science supposedly does stuff, but that doesn’t mean these particular numbers are all that valid.

Since I’m on Twitter a lot, and see way more than 2,000 tweets a day (man, I feel silly writing that, but so be it), is following more than 1,300 people, and has almost 2,000 people following me, let me give my opinion on the topics above.

The majority of Twitter messages are spam. Everyone is selling something, or so it seems. Many of them are selling ways of making money on Twitter, which includes getting more followers on Twitter. That’s the biggest message that keeps going by, how to get more followers on Twitter.

Next is self promotion, and I’m a part of that one. Many people with blogs have links to their most recent blog posts showing up on Twitter. Many people also advertise their businesses or services in some fashion. Some overdo it; I’m not one of those.

Conversational and Pass-Along on Twitter value are pretty equal. Whereas there are many messages that get multiple retweets, conversations have to take place first. Probably every 10th message gets retweeted at least 5 to 10 times; there’s your equality.

Twitter Babble comes in fifth, but it’s odd. This is that 94% of people who join Twitter, talk a little bit, can’t figure out what to do, then leave. By sheer numbers I could see how the poll would think these people would put out more posts, but the average number of posts for this 94% is only 10 posts, ever. So, the overall numbers don’t quite fit.

News is last, but with a caveat. When there’s something breaking, news is everywhere. Otherwise, it’s almost nonexistent. I tend to post a lot of news stories because, well, stuff is out there that I want to share, but not as many other people do it.

Percentages? My best guess would be:

* Spam, 30%;
* Self Promotion 25%;
* Conversational 15%;
* Pass-Along 15%;
* Babble 10%;
* News 5%.

Anyway, that’s how I see it; how are you seeing it?
 

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15 Comments »

I don’t know for sure, but sometimes I find myself reading lots of babble…which is why I don’t stay on long…Although I am guilty of babbling at times too.

August 17th, 2009 | 12:06 PM
Mitch:

First, hi Nikki; long time no see.

Second, I think you see blather if you follow blather, if you know what I’m saying. Most of the people I follow don’t blather all that much; some, but not much. Some people I follow put out lots of good information, which I love. But there are those people who spam and spam and spam, and those are the ones I usually end up dropping after awhile because they’re not offering anything constructive for me.

You do have a point, though; there is still a lot of blather out there. 😉

August 17th, 2009 | 12:59 PM
Tim:

Personally, I would estimate that “pointless babble” is less than their est. 40% but perhaps more than your est. 10%. However, I may not be the best person to estimate — all of my twittering is business related in a specific field. Personally, I don’t tweet (outside of work) b/c I can’t stand reading the aforementioned babble.

Interesting stuff Mitch,
Tim

August 17th, 2009 | 1:03 PM
Mitch:

My figures might not be perfect either, Tim, but I think when you look at just the percentage of people who decide not to stick around, and it’s around 94%, that that remaining 6% can’t just be blathering along as if nothing’s happening. Well, maybe there needs to be more of a definition of what blather is; I’m betting it’s something different for each of us.

August 17th, 2009 | 2:20 PM
Chris Peterson:

Its scientific…….man should not be challenged……..
Crap! That’s what it is. I believe, it should be inquired enough before approving it.I cannot agree with you more.Though my estimates may not be so scientific, but more or less just around yours. Guess, we can leave it at that & focus on something important.

August 18th, 2009 | 8:27 AM

Seems like i’m always comparing my JakeCpuNut blog to my more professional niche sites…

but with the Jake Twitter account, I could care less.. I enjoy reading the junk sometimes and will follow who ever and don’t really care who follows me.

ON THE OTHER HAND! For my niche sites, I will try and use the twitter search and find people looking for my niche and do my best to have followers and follow those that are related to what I’m doing!
.-= Jake´s last blog ..Find a Great Niche – Right Under Your Nose! =-.

August 18th, 2009 | 8:38 AM
Mitch:

I think that’s really the lesson, Jake, follow people you think you care about following and just don’t get into the rest of it. Much safer that way long term.

August 18th, 2009 | 10:00 AM

Great blog Mitch! Thnak you very much for it! I bookmarked it and I will comeback soon here:)

Regards

August 18th, 2009 | 12:27 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Cary. I usually delete these posts, but you got my name right, so I’m giving it a pass,… this time. 🙂

August 18th, 2009 | 11:14 PM

I would have thought that babble was way more than 10%, but I ain’t going to argue with you because your the one that took the time to check the stats, which tells me you have way too much of it on your hands 😉
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Sedo For Buying, Selling And Parking Domains =-.

August 18th, 2009 | 6:39 PM
Mitch:

You know Sire, I just look at the numbers and, well, they just don’t add up for what that survey stated. But, as I said, it depends on what one defines as blather. For me, it’s just people talking about their day. I don’t consider blather all the people who post positive quotes and the like, whereas someone else might.

I just did the math; doesn’t mean I’m right, but I think I’m closer than a survey of 300 messages.

August 18th, 2009 | 11:13 PM

I agree that Twitter has changed into something really strange. I feel a little bit tricked by the Twitter developers. It supposed to be a social networking site, right? And what it is? Surely not a social site, it is web marketers site. Everyone tweets, follows, leave comments with links etc. I don’t mind using those tools to improve traffic on sb site, but let’s just say it out loud. Twitter is not social marketing website, and probably never will be. Maybe the intentions were good, but now I can’t even look at that page.
.-= Dziennikarstwo´s last blog ..Sushi =-.

August 19th, 2009 | 7:46 AM
Mitch:

I wonder what the original intentions really were, Dziennikarstwo. I mean, they set it up to accept links, even setting up the program to shorten links. They had to know everyone who came wouldn’t just be talking to each other. But I still enjoy Twitter, especially once I discovered TweetDeck.

August 19th, 2009 | 9:43 AM

I see it mostly as a way to spam and do self promotion. I’m following a few hundred people or so and all I see are links to their own websites or to other articles that they like.

Spam I’m not seeing from those I follow (as I’ll unfollow spammers immediately), but I have a lot of spammers following me.

I don’t know what Twitter could do to make it a better place, but I think FriendFeed is on to something. Exciting to see what will happen to FriendFeed now that Facebook bought them.

(PS: You have two “Notify me of follow up comments via e-mail” checkboxes below the comment area)
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..3 Article Headline Techniques That Will Bring A Flood Of Traffic To Your Site =-.

August 19th, 2009 | 12:01 PM
Mitch:

Hi Klaus,

First, I know I have two follow up comment boxes. One of them doesn’t work, but I’m not sure which one, and I don’t know how to get rid of one of them, so I’m kind of stuck with it. 🙂

Second, you’re right, there is a lot of self promotion, but I don’t put that in the realm of blather. I will say, though, that one hopes to see something different coming from those folks every once in awhile; I’m kind of keen on checking that out.

August 19th, 2009 | 2:06 PM