Friday, August 14, 2009

Study shows Twitter is just like real life.

This recent study says most tweets are crap:

  • 37.6% -crap your friends care about (conversations);
  • 05.9% -crap only you care about (self-promotion);
  • 08.7% -crap you think the rest of us should care about (RTs);
  • 03.6% -crap we should all care about (news);
  • 40.5% -crap no one cares about (anything followed by LOL); and
  • 03.8% -spam.

What I want to see is the data on trending topic abuse. If you don't now Twitter, a "trending topic" is something the site has decided everyone is talking about. I don't know the algorithm for what classifies as trending, but it would be interesting to see a chart to see just how quickly something is trending before it's picked up by Twitter as a trend and then how much the trend is abused after. Here is what the topics look like:

Trending Topics

Marlo Thomas

I think it's trend abuse is when someone tweets two or more topics in the same post. For example, if you check a trend and see something like this, it's trend abuse:

#ilovebacon, MJ. It's #whatIdidforlove. Who is Marlo Thomas ? #boogers !

And you can see this all day long. People want to be part of the crowd. They want to be noticed.

But I think that's abuse and spam. It's just lots of idiots pointing as something because everyone else is. I remember an old MAD Magazine strip about some tourists in NYC admiring the skyscrapers, but as others wondered why they are looking up, someone says, "maybe someone is going to jump." And soon dozens of people are looking up for the jumper who isn't there. So trending topics are only valid until the moment they are discovered, then they become just a bunch of people looking up at nothing but air.

But that doesn't stop me from doing it just like everyone else. I didn't say it was wrong; I just said it was abusive.