Category Archives: microblogging

Twitter Marketing, or Spamming ?

Twitter being spreading like wild fire is under a lot of experimentation for marketing and since there isn’t a way to advertise or sponsor stuff “Mentions in Tweets” is the way to get eyeballs along with “Treding Topics” and a few other things. Also, since the trending topics started appearing on every user’s home page, the desire to find a spot among top 10 has soared.

Want to get visibility on Twitter ? Get trending, and the way to be trending is by having enough mentions in tweets.

Add this desire to be mentioned in as many tweets(interesting or boring, happy or sad, sensible or nonsense, related /unrelated to the product or company) to the fact that most people will do just about anything to win something for free (especially if it doesn’t ask them to get up from their chairs) and you get a viral campaign like moonfruit‘s.

moonfruit_spam

Apparently there was a similar campaign by SquareSpace a month back but it failed to make it big because it wasn’t offering the phone but a $199 worth gift certificate but I am not complaining as atleast with SquareSpace’s campaign I got saved from the heavy spam attack that Moonfruit campaign led to.  For me the moonfruit campaign is no different from one of those spam attacks in which people randomly started adding some keyword in every tweet, which eventually led to those topics/keywords being in the trending list.

It’s not that I hate all twitter campaigns, for ex: I appreciate Tweetboard’s campaign, asking people to request for Alpha accounts for their service by tweeting(just once) in a given format instead of submiting their email id’s

TweetBoard

TweetBoard

Now that’s a creative and non spammy way to market using Twitter.

Getting back to #SquareSpace and #MoonFruit campaigns, I’d say this isn’t a particularly good way to market because

1) It’s spammy and so all over the place. More than liking I’d hate if everyone in my stream started putting a random keyword in their tweets. There chances of winning something are a lot less than chances of loosing a few followers/friends. I certainly wouldn’t appreciate my company name in tweets like this

moonfruit_sex

2) It’s not a scalable model:  While SqureSpace, MoonFruit and a few more might be able to get some eyeballs because of these campaigns I strongly believe this won’t be a scalable/easily followable model as if more companies start doing this then we’ll  have  a spoiled twittering experince and almost all the trending topics would be full of these promotional keywords which certainly won’t be liked by Twitter and it’s users and would invite some fixes to avoid such things, which’ll in effect led to a reduction in such campaigns.

3) I doubt if there’ll be significant value addition due to such campaigns: Though some of the statistics could look great after such a campaign I doubt if there’ll be a real value add for most companies that do such campaigns. For ex: I doubt if there’ll be a significant increase in moonfruit’s business or more people will start interacting with @moonfruit etc. Most probably the gift hungry crowd that gathered at their doorsteps  would move to a new free gift location in no time, shattering their false hopes.

That’s how I feel about various marketing campaigns on Twitter, what do you think about them ?

Twitter upgrades follower, following pages

A random click on the my follower count link revealed that there has been a nice upgrade on the follower list page, a quick look around shows that following list page too have been similarly upgraded.

Here’s what the new follower and following pages look like

List View

list_view_followerspage1

Expanded View

expanded_view_followingpage

As you  can see, the expanded option is full of details about the person and also has a lot more actionable options. Previously there just used be two buttons follow/unfollow and block.

last_tweet_following

This section can be divided into two parts, the one on the left(shown above) now has the following details

1) Full Name
2) Location
3) Last Tweet(with Tweet Stamp)

The option to see persons last tweet is definitely a great add and is a bit helpful in deciding if the person is interesting or worth following(or blocking for that matter). A quick look at your followers page(for their last tweets) can sorta help you decide which one’s are worth following back.

The second part(on the right) looks like

not_following_me

These details are for a person who is not following me and I am not following them either. Therefore the options are limited to send him a reply(or mention as Twitter now calls it), start following them or block them.

While these are the options I get for someone who is following me but whom I am not following

following_me

Did you notice the extra option here to “Direct Message” the person ?

A neatly designed feature pack, lets to take a lot of action calls  from right there. This should definitely increase the usage for newly added features(here) i.e mention and direct message.

There’s another small update(if I am not mistaken) the URL for following page is now /following, it was /friends earlier.

Also, these changes are not just limited to your pages, these changes are for any/all list pages you view.

A few things that these changes imply

1) Neat and more usable design
2) Easy call for actions(@, dm etc)
3) Better spam detection(last tweet)

So, how do you find these new changes ?

Follow Friday ke peeche kya hai ?

Ok, before I start. I am not sure about you but I love the title of this post 🙂

Despite beind sold err reminded weekly by @Mashable

Here's how Follow Friday works

Here's how Follow Friday works

and re-reminded

Reminder: Here's how Follow Friday works

I never really got FollowFriday and I don’t think I will.  As Damien Basile puts it nicely

Let’s relate follow friday into offline terms. You’re at a party (I know, because social media is one big party) and someone walks in saying that everyone there MUST know Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane. Now that’s not exactly social is it? The person literally just disrupted the party to tell everyone who they SHOULD know. It doesn’t matter if you know the disrupter or not. What matters is that the disrupter decided that their opinion was worth more than yours. They didn’t think of you first.

this is, what it is. A real life equivalent of #FollowFriday and what follows would be(in a party)

1) Person ‘A’ announces/broadcasts to their set of friends to know a guy(actually a bunch of guys). Mind you it’s a generic broadcast message thrown out blindly and you can’t avoid it.

2) Person ‘B’ (who has a seperate set of friends) broadcasts to their set of friends to know a guy(actually a bunch of guys). Mind you it’s a generic broadcast message thrown out blindly and you can’t avoid it.

3) Person ‘C’ on receiving the broadcast from Person ‘A’ makes another broadcast to his/her set of friends to know a guy(actually a bunch of guys). Mind you it’s a generic broadcast message thrown out blindly to everyone and you can’t avoid it.

A ripple effect sets in where everyone in party forgets what they were talking and start making these broadcasts but that’s not it

4) Person ‘D’ thinks of this as a nice way to gain attention from someone they’ve been following(a bit better than @repling) so they make a generic broadcast to their set of friends to know this guy.

5) Person ‘E’  feels they need to return favor to Person ‘B’ who recommended them so he/she makes a obligatory broadcast to his/her set of friends to know Person ‘E’.

6) Person ‘F’ starts feeling leftout as everyone else is busy recommending people but nobody is recommending him so he makes a couple broadcasts to know x,y,z hoping to catch someone’s attention and get a ego massage err recommendation in return.

These are some of the things that happen when everyone in  party starts recommending everyone else and in no time the party is a mess with loads of noisy reommendations doing rounds.

Coming back to the T-World, not everyone is happy with #followfriday

suck up saturday ?

followfriday_spam

follow_friday_bs

fb_ff

some people start taking #followfriday too seriously

twusbands

and for some it’s added pressure/responsibility/obligation

intrepid

A few questions for #FollowFriday junkies

1) Aren’t you following people you are for a reason? Aren’t they all interesting, useful or helpful ?

followeveryday

2) Why wait for a day to recommend people ?

3) Why recommend even a day after ? Or is there a deadline for recommendations ?

belated_followfriday

ff_nexttime

Love #FollowFriday or Hate it ?  Tell us why

How is Social Software changing us

The invention of a tool doesn’t create change; it has to have been around long enough that most society is using it. It’s when a technology becomes normal, then ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that the really profound changes happen.

Social Software has been around for quite a long time for us to ask the question “how has its use changed us” or rather “how is excessive use of social software changing us”. To crowdsource views , I asked this question on the social networks I use i.e LinkedIn,Kwippy, Twitter and Facebook. While a lot of people took the question in a different light and shared how is social media helping them etc,  here are some of the interesting replies(network wise)

LinkedIn:

“While I was a very private and secretive person before, I’ve found that opening up on social media via non-threatening means has given me the ability to be more open in my real world relationships”  – Shamoz Shah

” With increasing interaction over social media my faculty for thinking and rationalizing has increased. Because of my writings, discussions, posts I have a ready audience who interact. As a result of it I get motivated and write/discuss/post more and it’s a cycle. It has definitely improved my writing skills, thinking skills, rationalizing faculty (being open to various thought processes).

In negatives, I have become more reclusive because I am glued to my computer for more number of hours. Impacted on eye-sights (natural I suppose).

Thirdly, the anonymity provided by cyber-media and through certain Social Media sites, such as ‘fropper’ you tend to fantasies or possibility of personality distortion.” –Devasis Chattopadhyay

I communicate more. Like now. It is good that this communication is non-intrusive and you have more choices to connect personally or professionally.” – Bama Ramesh

“The thing I noticed I started doing more and more, is to double check if I am not offending anyone with my replies / posts. I’ve learned that there are some quite sensitive topics, where it is not appreciated if you express yourself in a frank way, even if there is no purpose in attacking a certain group” – Ives De Busser

Sushaantu Mathur repeated the same thing  – “Living an online life just makes you more accountable in public eyes”.

Shawn is right when he says “Social networks have lessened my patience a bit . Think about how fast information flies around the web and the speed at which we receive breaking news. When we’re plugged in, we’re able to get what we want almost instantaneously. I have to sit back at times and remind myself that many things in life don’t work that way”

“Bigger bags under my eyes!” – Mark Porter

“The evidence we do have from reliable studies is that social networking software is helping people become more social. The most active people on Facebook, for instance, are the most active socially in the “real world”. And as some of the answers on this page suggest, people who have social fears or difficulties are finding that online social networking is helping them overcome such issues.

Overall, it is clear to me that social networking software is a substantial help to people. It deepens existing relationships, makes people more social (not less) and helps individuals with social anxiety come to terms with their condition.

So, I’d encourage people to use it even more.” – Graham Jones

Kwippy

“My friends don’t tell me anything directly anymore. I constantly hear “Oh, you didn’t see my post about it on myspace?” and “Well, I invited you on facebook!” I can’t keep up, frankly.” – Tarasa

Facebook:

It definitely has. Soon there will be internet/social media rehabs! – Riputapan Singh

The virtual world has made me more real. I was in an island before, now i know of the ocean. – Harish Iyer

Twitter:

“Its ensured my ‘breaking news’ sources are not the newspapers or the websites anymore.  Also, I am more clued into ur life” – Asfaq

To each according to their own,  while for someone it’s about opening up more, for someone it’s about being more visible and ultimately more accountable. Here are a few inter related ways in which I think Excessive/Continued use of social software is changing us.

1) Increased thirst for knowledge:
The use of social software has not just helped us meet new people easily and regularly or stay in touch with old friends. It has made us more hungry for knowledge/information. Thanks to the exposure(over ?) of  information on most social sites(think no of hyperlinks/update in your twitter/friendfeed stream) and various social pressures of sorts, most of us have become addicted to know more and more.

2) Increased Voyeurism:
Facebook Feeds and Twitter Streams are best examples of the increasing levels of voyeurism as a side effect of our increased usage of Social Software. People who replied to my question on various social networks, directly or indirectly touched upon this facet. It’s a lot easier to keep an eye on what’s going not just in one’s personal life but in their overall/complete life. The underlying principle of social networks is to keep people in your network updated about what you are doing. So not only your actions but those of your friends that invole you(for ex: you being tagged by someone) will be broadcasted to your entire network. Such things further fuel people’s voyeuristic tendencies. Whose single or whose relationship status just went to “It’s complicated” was never more visible or sought after.

3) Increased Sharing:
We might not realize this but due to easy of sharing and the culture(s) of most social sites, we are  increasingly sharing more stuff with people in our online circles. Hyperlinks, songs, videos, pictures,news we now share pretty much everything that we get our hands on and like(dislike too in some cases). “Sharing anchors community”, while most of us don’t realize this consciously, we have a sense that sharing adds value(or gets you attention) and thus you’ll find more people over sharing than under.

4) Increased Transparency:
It is one of the interesting ways in which social software is transforming us. What started of as a small change with people starting to share more about themselves and other people, things they know has gradually raised our expectations to the level that we now demand more and more transparency/openness from our friends and others on the network as if it’s our right to know what they are upto. Not only this we now expect much more transparency from public organizations and governments.

5) Compulsive Broadcasting/Life Streaming: Everyone’s an exhibitionist
If you are active user of facebook, kwippy and twitter like me chances are you too might have those moments when you are out somewhere doing something and you think in terms of what should be a relevant status update for it. For ex: While watching a movie, I tend to think and come up with the most relevant update for this experience, which in a sense distracts me(as I divert my attention from the movie to say updating my Facebook Status that my friends can see) from the experience. That’s not it, this habbit of continously throwing up on the web what ever comes to your mind is a really addictive habit but not without any side effects.

6) More Social:
If man was a social animal before than he’s now become a social beast. There will be very few people who would feel/say that they’ve become less social after using social software because the whole set up is geared to make you socialize. You get social objects which act as ice breakers, you get automated updates on people’s activites and a lot more. It is really difficult for someone to not make new friends or to not get more involved with one’s existing friends.Friends of Friends are now a lot more discoverable and accessible thus adding more links to your network.

7) Bloated Egos:
“Social Media is all about your ego” casually remarks a friend and I won’t say he’s completely wrong. Being in the space for about four years now and you sorta know what works for Social Software and what doesn’t. It’s not just Twitter or Facebook ,every social site that you use or have used has some inbuilt features to let the system massage your ego(think featured users) or let other members of the system massage you(think testimonials by friends). Be it the follower count, number of retweets, number of comments and likes your posted items receive, it’s all a big boost to one’s ego. It’s human, whether you like it or not most people prefer sites/networks/people/lifestlye(online or offline) that massage their egos to those who don’t. I believe if there’s something called a threshold or default level for bloated ego then we’ve left it miles away as a result of excessive usage of social software.

8.) Rise of the Marketers:
You are a marketer deal with it. That’s indeed the case, with the tools we use and how we use them we all are much better positioned to spread the word about ourselves or our products. Though the scale at which we all do things may vary we all atleast are better equipped than what we were before social software.

These are some of the ways  in which social software has changed us. How do you think has social software changed you ?


Twitter and Activism

One early use of Twitter had El Fattah and a dozen or so of his collegues coordinating movements to surround a car in which their friend Malek was being held by the police, to prevent it and him from being towed away. Knowing they were being monitored, they then sent messages suggesting that many more of them were coming. The police sent reinforcements, surrounding and thus immobilizing the car themselves. This kept Malek in place until the press and the members of parliament arrived. The threat of bad publicity led to Malek’s release, an outcome that would have been hard to coordinate without Twitter – Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky

James Karl Buck, a graduate journalism student from the University of California-Berkeley was in Mahalla, Egypt, covering an anti-government protest when he and his translator, Mohammed Maree, were arrested. On his way to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and sent a single word message, “Arrested”, to his friends and contacts using the micro-blogging site Twitter. This alerted them and helped secure his release(details not known)
cnn.com

Mortin Pain Reliever in an effort to pitch to mom who wear their babies released a print and video ad campaign.The campaign didn’t go down well with moms and they started fighting back on their blogs and Twitter. As the campaign picked momentum, the company officials realised their mistake and in order to pacify irrate customers, removed the ad from their website and apologised on their site.
parentinghelpme.com

A few weeks back amazon users realized that many books about gays, lesbians, bisexual and transsexual issues stopped appearing in relevant searches. Enraged users and authors swung into action and started posting updates on Twitter about this with adding a hashtag #amazonfail. It wasn’t long enough that Twitterverse was abuzz with #amazonfail, this led to a public communication by the company that this incident was inadvertant and soon things were fixed and back to normal.
bbc.com

Twitter is increasingly being used for activism of sorts. Be it customers protesting against a product/company, or citizens campaigning against their government officials/policies, Twitter is the platform of choice when it comes to raising your voice against an issue or coordinating a protest(online and offline both).

Social media activism has graduated from protests in blogosphere,  groups in social networking sites to #hashmobs on Twitter. The reasons for Twitter’s success as a platform for activism are

1) Critical Mass:  Twitter has gained enormous mass since last year and is now a force to reckon with. Millions of users from all parts of the world use it to stay connected with their friends and family. It’s not just people like you and me, there are some really big brands that have presence on Twitter.

2) Dense Connectivity: Twitter is one of the most densely connected networks of all. It won’t be wrong to say “On Twitter, everyone is connected to everyone”, which means getting the word out is a lot easier. Chances of people noticing something and sharing it with others is quite high. The ease of sharing content(RT )  is another reason for word to be spread easily.

3) Search: Awesome search functionality, made further useful by trending topics make the discoverability of memes a lot easier. With  the latest changes, everyone can see the trending topics on their Twitter page. This without any effort discoverability is really helpful in getting more eyeballs.

4) High visibility outside the platform: What makes a protest on Twitter better from say one of Facebook is that Twitter updates are more shareable(via blog widgets, feeds) than Facebook messages. Also, thanks to dozens of really popular tools, Twitter updates are just not limited to the website,  you can get updates on your desktop app, mobile phone and email.

5) Hooked Traditional Media: There’s enough traditional media presence on Twitter which is eager to pick the next big story. So anything of significance in Twitterverse is quite likely to be noticed by them and spread further.

It would be interesting to see how activism on Twitter evolves from this point on. I’d like to end this post by sharing a list of Twitter Activism related protests/campaigns.

1.  James Karl Buck: Arrested
2.  #MortinMoms
3.  StopPikeHike
4. Using Twitter to coordinate war protest
5. G20 summit protestors used Twitter and Facebook
6. Protest against Section92A, New Zealand
7. Inside Maldova’s Twitter revolution
8. Coordinating Malek’s release
9.  #AmazonFail
10.  Domino’s Social Media Disaster
11.  Twittering Forest Fires
12.  Twitter Charity(Twestival) raises more than US $250,000


Lastly here’s a nicely writter guide  by digiactive to get you started with Twitter Activism

Re-Tweeting and Echo Chamber

I’ve been an avid Twitter user for more than a year and a half now and love it for various reasons. One of the coolest things or phenomenon that Twitter has ever seen is “Re-Tweeting”. What this essentially means is to re-post someone else’s update with prefixing “RT/Retweet”  and the name of the original poster, for example this: First Order Re-Tweet

Difference between posting someone’s content from your Twitter stream as it is and re-tweeting that content is akin to the difference between posting someone’s quote and posting someone’s quote with a  mention of it’s author. People re-tweet to share nice updates/links with their followers. Someone whom you follow posted something nice/useful, you like it and you think your followers will also like it, so you re-tweet it. The content of a re-tweet could pretty much be anything. From a piece of news, a url, a quote, a question to a call for help or anything else.

The core idea behind a “re-tweet” is to share something that someone else posted, with your followers, i.e to add value. There’s a bit more to it then just that, it’s the underlying assumption that people(or a majority of them) would not be getting the original content in their Twitter stream in the first place. However this isn’t always the case and thus starts the trouble. The trouble of getting the same content again and again. If there’s a huge intersection in the list of people we follow, chances are each re-tweet we do would be a repeat-tweet, which would be plain redundant. More and more instances of such repeat-tweets lead to

Echo Chamber: An echo chamber essentially means that you get to hear the echoes of voices(read content) again and again. If I keep getting more and more re-tweets/copies of something that I got directly from the source, it will spoil my experience. This problem gets really annoying for closely integrated circles. Imagine Robert Scoble tweets something say “You are defined by the people you follow” and slowly people who are following him start re-tweeting this. Even if a mere 0.1 % of his followers(which would be 76) re-tweet this and say Robert himself is following half of them(which would be 38 and is a fair possibility), he will have his time line flooded with 38 instances of something he just said. Now that’s something serious, isn’t it ?

Now consider say Chris Brogan, too likes what Robert just said and re-tweets it, andddd. The same thing happens
(a) Chris’s twitter stream will have multiple copies of what he just said(plus the original copy by Robert)
(b) Some of Robert and Chris’s common followers who missed that tweet in the first round, might pick and re-tweet it. God bless Robert’s twitter stream.

This is just the first order or re-tweet, one can imagine will the inter connectedness what a second order re-tweet wave like this can do


Data duplication is a serious problem for some people and networks. The intensity of the problem is reflected in the way Friendfeed introduced hiding/grouping duplicate content.

Duplicate shares were always the most annoying aspect of FriendFeed. Whenever a story breaks, a large number of your friends are likely to share it through various services, which creates a lot of noise in your main feed. Now, FriendFeed will group these entries together. Your main feed will only show the first share, and then give you the option to click through to see who else shared the same item as well. Hopefully, this will also mean that discussions will now become less fragmented, as users will most likely gravitate towards those items that were shared first.
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/friendfeed_dupe_detection.php

While friendfeed could come up with a fix to make things better by cutting down noise clearly anything of that sort is not going to happen with Twitter. Leave alone it happening I doubt if many Twitter users realize this as a problem in first place. What do you think ?

Please ReTweet it you like it 🙂

An algo for Twitter Authority

This post from Loic Le Meur has sparked a lot of debate that Twitter should have a “search by authority” feature. Keeping the ego factors involved aside “search by authority” could indeed be useful for finding out what people who matter are saying about a particular topic. This will be particularly useful when finding what thought leaders are saying about a particular thing/topic and getting selected and relevant information during crisis times amongst others.

As mentioned here, follower count isn’t the right metric to gauge authority and while twitter ratio(followers/following) could be a better indicator of a one’s celebrity status doesn’t imply authority. Though there is almost zero possibility of Twitter implementing this but just for fun lets see what could possibly be a nice algo to determine one’s authority on Twitter.

1) Re-Tweet Ratio(RTR): RTR = Total number of re-tweets/Total number of tweets. A high Re-Tweet ratio can imply great content, large following and thus high authority. Going a step further if instead of posting something original, you re-tweeted someone’s content which one of your followers further re-tweeted then its credit should be added to the original posters authority and not the middle man i.e your authority will ony include re-tweets for your original content.

2) Tweet Favorite Ratio(TFR): TFR = Total number of favorites one’s tweets got/Total number of tweets. A high Tweet Favorite Ratio is another indicator of great content, large following and thus high authority. Since unlike kwippy where favoriting(and commenting) stats are out in open

, twitter isn’t open about favoriting information and you not even know if someone liked your tweet or favorited it.

3) Tweet Reply Ratio(TRR): TRR = Total replies one got/Total number of tweets . A high Tweet Reply Ratio might not be that clear an indicator about great content or large following it definitely indicates a high level of engagement which in turn can loosely be linked to one’s authority. For ex: this tweet by Chris Brogan
sent two days back got hundreds of replies and still continues to get replies.

4) Tweet Link Backs Ratio(TLBR): The most far fetched and away from reality measure could be TLBR. TLBR = Total number of link backs one’s tweets got/Total number of tweets. Though a link backs for one’s tweets aren’t tracked, if done we could include this data to calculate TLBR. A lot many times people’s tweet inspire blog posts and discussions on various aggregators. A high TLBR can also serve as a indicator about one’s authority.

Now we have atleast four parameters which we can use to calculate one’s twitter authority. If there’s a formula for calculating twitter authority it might look like this

Twitter Authority = 2 * RTR + TFR + TLBR + 1/2*TRT

Since Twitter Re-Tweet ratio is the highest measure of great excellent it’s given most weightage. Twitter Favorite Ratio comes next and is almost same as relevant as Twitter Link Back Ratio they have equal weightage. Twitter Reply Ratio, doesn’t imply great content necessarily but a tightly knit follower base it gets the least weightage.

Its was a fun post written just like that and shouldn’t be taken too seriously but if you did, tell me what you think about it ?

Twitter and Ego Massage

Warning: The content below might hurt your sensibilities as a Twitter Addict.

Twitter is the most popular microblogging service out there and saying its users swear by it would be an understatement. There are undoubtedly very few services in this space(or any  other) that are this high on customer love and even fewer services which have an entire industry surrounding themselves.

There was a time when Twitter was experiencing major issues staying up/running and there was a spurt of other alternatives with some offering new features all together or some simply adding features that some Twitter users always felt should have been a part of the system, but none of them really caused a mass exodus and Twitter is now back with a bang and is growing like crazy.

Being a Twitter user myself and a passionate social media enthusiast I’ve always wondered what really makes Twitter click. Being the first kid on the block, being simple and neatly designed, getting attention from early adopters is all critical to get a service started but to keep it going is another ball game. Many other services in this space or other have most or all of these pre-requisites but Twitter offers something at which others aren’t any where close. Yes, I am talking about the “Ego-Massage”. Nothing works in web 2.0 like the Ego-Massage(EM). The more you offer(or happen to offer) it the more you’ll find your users going head over heels for your service.

While it cannot be said with certainty if the emphasis on EM was their right from the start or it picked up some time later or its all due to various 3rd party tools but its for sure one of the unconscious reasons that makes people stick to twitter, talk and care about it a lot. Lets see how it works.

1) Follow not Subscribe:

Let there be Followers

Let there be Followers

In Twitter if you have subscribed to someone’s updates you are following them and in the same way if someone has subscribed to your updates they are following you. Functionally they might mean the same but both words have way different associations, while subscriber is a neutral word a follower is certainly isn’t. 100 followers is not quite equal to 100 subscribers or 100 friends for that matter. Who cares about friends if you have followers ?

2) Follower Count does Matter:
Don’t believe anyone(leaving maybe Louis Gray) who tells you they are not bothered by their follower count or they are just interested in people they follow not the one’s who follow them.

This is the reason why there are numerous articles like this telling you how to have more followers on Twitter but hardly any on how to have more friends on Facebook or articles like this which highlight the pressure one feels to follow back their followers which basically is derived from the pressure to keep them pleased and ultimately keep them chained. While there were people loosing sleep over a drop in follower count(organic or courtesy twitter) some one saw an opportunity and thus there was  Qwitter . A service that informs you every time some one un-follows you and the last tweet you posted before they un-followed . So now you can question people who unfollow you, seek reasons, introspect your tweeting and a hell lot more. The stage is set for an endless game.

Having lots of followers is one thing but what’s the point if you cannot carry the follower count as a crown and show rest of the world ? That’s what folks at twittercounter were smart enough to realize and their usage stats confirm this (In total we generated 171,281,809 counters since we started tracking). Hundreds of thousands of blogs now sport these.

3) Tools that Further Inflate your ego:
As if having a huge(and portable) “follower” count was not sufficient for one’s ego, somebody came up with Twitter Ratio. So now its not just about how many followers you have its also about your Twitter Ratio i.e follower/following ratio. Those who need constant ego massages can be found tirelessly indulging in maintaining( or should I say increasing) their Twitter Ratio .

Then there’s Twitter Grader

Since more is always merrier especially when it comes to ego boosting we also have twitterholic . So what if you can’t be a topper when it comes to follower count or twitter ratio. You just might be a topper or a top Twitter user from your region, which most certainly adds to the ego.


Want to know you Twitter Influence ? You can apparently do that too, here

Other people’s thoughts on Twitter’s Ego Massage

I would really love to hear what works for you and to what extent are you affected by the above mentioned factors, it at all you are that is 🙂

Here’s a fun “Twitter Whore” video:

Nominate Kwippy for OWA ’08

Hi Guys,

If you like kwippy and what we are doing please nominate us for Mashable Open Web Awards. All you need to do is to just enter your email id in the form below and click the link in confirmation email that you’ll get. Come on guys show your support. Also, just drop a comment below if you vote.