22 October 2009

Unsure about Twitter? Tweet or Delete

man looking unsure

I was a bit horrid to @carolmarlow last night on Twitter. I quoted her latest tweet and added "#twitterusefail" as a hash tag.

In Twitter-speak that means "Lame tweet".

In truth, it was. But my reaction was more out of disappointment than irritation.

Carol (who I've met once) is an extremely capable MD of a huge cruise company, which is probably why she doesn't have much time to tweet more than once every 20 days, and when she does, she clearly doesn't have anything much to say. Correct me if I'm wrong Carol, but it feels like one of your bright young things in marketing has told you you need to tweet, and you've been trying to but your heart is not really in it....?

T'was ever thus.

The point about Twitter is the same one that teachers and parents told you about life: the more you put into it, the more you get out. Or put another way: unless you fully engage, you're wasting your time.

... and ours.

Here are some stats from Purewire (now those of you who follow me will know how I stumbled across Tweetgrade last night!)...


  • 40% of Twitter users have not tweeted since their first day on Twitter.

  • Almost 80% of the users have less than 10 tweets.

  • Approx 30% of Twitter users do not have any followers, and 80% of Twitter users have less than 10 followers.

That's an awful lot of people using Twitter resources but not using Twitter.

It's a bit like the global email system - 90% of the traffic is spam. Just imagine how wizzy it would be if there weren't any spam.

These days Twitter has been really flaky at around 5.00pm BST when California starts coming online. It is straining at the seams and posting "Too many tweets. Try again in a moment" notices every few clicks.

So my, harsh, message to part-time Twitterers is: If you're not really using it - and like Bovril, Twitter is not to everyone's taste - there's no shame in deleting your account and leaving. Try Facebook, or Linked In. Or just stick to emails and newsreaders.

Tweet or Delete!

Am I being too arsey?

2 comments:

Lina Zaproudi said...

Amazing statistics you dug out Alastair!
I wonder if the people who put a value on Twitter take the inactive account into consideration...

Anyway, I agree with you that people should not feel compelled to do it if their heart is not in it (or if they are the CEO of a large/interesting company but all the tweet about is what their cat is doing).

From the perspective of boring us, of course we can always unfollow, but the advice to get out rather than embarrass themselves and their company is good.

When I first started tweeting I was also tempted to tweet very often. But I have since relaxed and cut back to tweeting whn=en I have something to communicate or really feel like exclaiming about something.
@LinaZaproudi

onliner said...

Thanks for your comment Lina. The general view, expressed on twitter, when I posted this, was that I was just being horrible to Carol, though some people, like you, saw the point I'm using Carol's example to make.

Yes, there is always the option to un-follow (which I used) but that doesn't change the impact of dormant and semi-dormant accounts of Twitter's resources.