Pointful babble

Christopher Musico, writing in the Destination CRM Blog: “According to a new study by research firm Pear Analytics, less than one in ten tweets have any real ‘pass-along value’,as more than 40 percent of tweets are ‘pointless babble.’”

I look forward to seeing more when the whole study is published (here, Christopher says). Meanwhile it’s important to point out that nobody follows everybody (which I assume is what Pear Analytics did). Nor does everybody write for everybody. Or even anybody.

Most of the people I follow write stuff that has pass-along value. And I don’t post anything unless I think it has pass-along value as well.

What I’d like to see is a study probing that value. How many followers blog rather than re-tweet, for example? That’s what I’m doing here. So, rather than just re-tweeting thisGoodCRMQuality or Quantity: Twitter Edition, Part 2 | CRM Magazine Blog: New research finds pointless babble makes up t.. http://bit.ly/1gO6Y — I’m blogging about it.

Think of blogging vs. re-tweeting as digestion vs. bulemia. And I say that as a guy who tosses up plenty of chunks myself. :-)

11 comments

  1. John Button’s avatar

    I’ve only been using twitter & facebook for a few months and have noticed a change in my behavior from retweeting & sharing on FB lots of stuff to less … I find I ask myself, “Am I doing this to be first … to pump myself up or will the folks that follow/friend me really find this interesting or helpful to them?” … not that I always make the right choice.

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    From the start I’ve seen Twitter as a place to pass along interesting information. Maybe that’s my Quaker training: “Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.” Or, in Twitter’s case, rise above the noise.

    Facebook is such an enormous and annoying walled garden that it drives me crazy to go there, so I don’t have much good to say about it.

  3. rjh’s avatar

    Danah Boyd’s comment at http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2009/08/16/twitter_pointle.html is also very relevant.

    I’ve found twitter to be suitable for public tidbits and quick notes among friends. Blogging is for more serious thought.

  4. Flip’s avatar

    More like 80+% is pointless.

    How many of you Twitter fans actually review your followers? How many are actually porn spam? (I keep a blank twitter account that gets “followers” daily and they are all porn spam.)

  5. John Button’s avatar

    This has been a very interesting experience …. engaging in a larger public space beyond my local community & circle of friends has helped me become more discriminating about how I break the silence. I’m also finding FB more of a superficial space … too much like early the aol world.

    I do review my followers … my first spam bot followers surprised me … had to be automated, I’d been pretty quiet … and I drop folks right off the bat unless they seem real and are not just trying to push something.

  6. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Flip, I consider Twitter an interesting experiment. I’ll keep using it as long as it does a good-enough job. Right now I have more than 8000 followers. There is no good way to make full sense of that number. I’m sure some of them are porny. I don’t have any interest in weeding them. I care much more about who I chose to follow. For now.

  7. Flip’s avatar

    Doc, my comments weren’t about the value of your usage… Just about Twitter as a whole. I also forgot to mention that I was including the “crisis news” that Twitter is hyped for that in reality contains posts of 99% speculation and non-information.

  8. Ric’s avatar

    Doc – This occasioned some discussion on Twitter here in Australia (the researcher is actually Australian, living in US) – she apparently watched the public timeline – which certainly gave statistical volume, but is so different to most people’s use case that it has very little statistical validity. Is there a lot of meaningless drivel on Twitter? – probably a lot that I might find so, but I don’t follow it, and those that do follow presumably don’t find it meaningless.

  9. Annabel’s avatar

    I have to say I am a huge fan of Twitter…also having found other peripheral programes such as Twellow useful for adding chosen, quality, targeted followers. For building relationships in the early stages of my business it has become very useful but like most things takes time to understand, to build value and trust in order to see a return on your investment.
    (BTW – lovely photos on the front page!)

  10. M Barlow’s avatar

    I’ve been able to use facebook effectively for business and personal use. Twitter, not so much. 40% seems low to me.

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