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Study: 10pct Twitter Users Generate More Than 90pct Twitter Content
engine




msg:3928624
 2:02 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Study: 10pct Twitter Users Generate More Than 90pct Twitter Content [reuters.com]
A tiny fraction of those who use the fast-growing social network phenomenon Twitter generate nearly all the content, a Harvard study shows.

That makes it hard for companies to use the micro-blogging site as an accurate gauge of public opinion, the Harvard Business School study showed. The Harvard study examined public entries of a randomly selected group of 300,000 Twitter users. The researchers studied in May the content created in the lifetime of the users' Twitter accounts.

It found that 10 percent of Twitter users generated more than 90 percent of the content, said Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, who led the research. More than half of all Twitter users post messages on the site less than once every 74 days.


 

trinorthlighting




msg:3928684
 3:20 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Guess Twitter is not as popular as the way Twitter was "hyped" out to be.

aleksl




msg:3928688
 3:30 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ant in related news, did they release % of their users who are bots? :)

Here goes a billion $ valuation down the toilet.

johnnie




msg:3928695
 3:42 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Move along people...

Kufu




msg:3928732
 4:32 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Big shock, Twitter is mostly spam. Just follow Guy Kawasaki for two hours and see how much garbage you get from him. In fact in a webcast he described how he uses Twitter to promote his site. It's basically spam. Of course if you are stupid enough to keep following him (or any other similar account) on there then perhaps you deserve the get spam.

[edited by: Kufu at 4:40 pm (utc) on June 8, 2009]

Hugene




msg:3928753
 5:02 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why is this news? I thought it was pretty clear to all.

Regardless, can't we say the same for a lot of online communities though? Where a small group of devotees create most of the content.

I guess the difference is that these communities don't get hypped out to be the next big thing, whereas as Twitter did.

It's like these guys that tried to sell flowers online before the .com bust.

Kufu




msg:3928776
 5:27 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

...can't we say the same for a lot of online communities though? Where a small group of devotees create most of the content.

There is a massive difference. The majority of 'content' generated on Twitter is spam, where as the other communities you referred to have legitimate content created by that small group.

AjiNIMC




msg:3928880
 6:58 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

It is no different with wikipedia. Over 50% of all the edits are done by just .7% of the users 524 people. And in fact the most active 2%, which is 1400 people, have done 73.4% of all the edits. The remaining 25% of edits, are from "people who [are] contributing a minor change of a fact or a minor spelling fix or something like that."

So far it is just a communication model and I keep deleting people who shout too much on twitter. Twitter is supposed to be used by closed friends not marketers.

I am more interested in my friends updates than the marketing messages (that I can get anywhere and everywhere)

rmay




msg:3928920
 7:31 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised it's 10%... figured it'd be more like 5%.

ish




msg:3929046
 8:34 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

In case anybody hasn't come across this:
[en.wikipedia.org...]

rogerd




msg:3929064
 9:00 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't think that kind of use is exceptional, I think many online communities would stack up that way.

This paper is a bit heavy going, but this paper from Carnegie Mellon delves into different roles:

Visualizing the Signatures of Social Roles in Online Discussion Groups [cmu.edu]

weeks




msg:3929113
 10:07 pm on Jun 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

SocialMarketingExpert.org puts the number of Twitter accounts at 14,590,000, most of which may well be "inactive.," but around 3 million active accounts. If only 90 percent are really active, that's only 300,000 active users of Twitter. In the entire world.

This jives with the world I live in.

gpilling




msg:3929238
 4:48 am on Jun 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does this count the autofeeds that turn people's blog posts into twits, or the services like ping.fm that make the same short message appear everywhere at the same time like facebook, myspace, blogger et al?

wyweb




msg:3929241
 5:06 am on Jun 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does this count the wannabees like me who register their nick just to be doing it, quickly determine it's just more internet noise and then never look back?

tangor




msg:3929270
 6:21 am on Jun 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is not news. A look at human history reveals the same (nearly exactly same) percentages. Those who do and those who do not (as much). That's the same rate of return we all like to see in old time snail mail marketing, radio/tv ads, the once lucrative print ad market, and (whoops!) the internet.

sign me @notwit which you can split two different ways. :)

pageoneresults




msg:3930005
 11:19 pm on Jun 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm an avid Twitter user and definitely fall in that 10%.

I've been doing quite a bit of research on the Twitter platform and it's users. I track about 10 high volume users via various methods to see what is happening. The automation on Twitter is where the inflation of statistics comes from. Once you reach a certain level of Followers on Twitter, it goes into auto-pilot. You can set up a script to auto-follow everyone who follows you and even refine it to avoid some of the crap that plagues Twitter. Once those auto-follow routines take place within high volume user accounts, what do you think happens? It becomes one big auto-follow cluster you know what!

I've been reading all the recent Harvard studies in addition to others that have spawned. Twitter Press has turned around recently and is now leaning towards the negative side. These past two weeks have been extremely challenging for them as they are battling spam to the nth degree. I see Twitter FAIL throughout prime time hours which tells me they don't have the resources available to handle the load at peak times. Fail Whale is still seen at intervals throughout the day. In 2009 May, according to Pingdom, Twitter had an Average Response Time of 1025.41 ms which of course translates into latency across a variety of functions. It can be a bear sometimes. I just sign off at those times and find something more constructive to do.

How do I feel about Twitter today? I still enjoy it immensely since I probably have many of those 10%'s in my Timeline. You get out of it what you put into it. Really. And, only 1 out of 10 people are going to get it right now. I like those kind of numbers. Now, if Twitter can get a handle on the spam and implement a few more restrictions, they may be able to sustain. If I were them, I'd surely take the next large $$$ offer and run. Before Google Wave launches. Same goes for FB and all the others. Take whatever large $$$ offers come your way before the Wave hits. After the Wave, you WILL become deprecated. Federation Protocol says so. :)

ronin




msg:3930830
 10:33 pm on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Dear me. Can anyone say "Normal Distribution" ?

In a normal distribution (it's a bell-curve) 80% of output tends to come from about 20% of inputs - actually ish mentioned this above, referencing the Pareto Principle.

(And, for that matter, 64% of output tends to come from about 4% of input).

So, if right now, 90% of tweets come from 10% of tweeters, that's not far above what anyone would normally expect. And the figure will probably tend towards the norm over the next 24 months.

It amazes me that stats like this still surprise anyone - they don't just apply to Twitter - they apply to everything (TV viewing figures, university graduate earners, sports(wo)men and their achievements in a given sport etc.).

annej




msg:3930885
 1:24 am on Jun 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

What I want to know is how many "followers" really read any of the tweets. Most have just followed people in hopes that they will follow back and read their spam.

Meanwhile there are things like tweet deck that let you follow the the few people you really want to follow and ignore the rest. By the rest I mean all the people who are following so you will follow them and you are following them so they will follow you. All the get rich quick on the web scammers have their wanna get rich buyers getting on twitter to make money.

So again I ask. Who is reading those tweets? Is anyone out there?

This is not to criticize the people who really do use twitter to connect with a few friends or follow some top tweeters who are really offering information.

gpilling




msg:3931212
 2:01 pm on Jun 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

It amazes me that stats like this still surprise anyone - they don't just apply to Twitter - they apply to everything (TV viewing figures, university graduate earners, sports(wo)men and their achievements in a given sport etc.).

Maybe there should be a statistics forum at WebmasterWorld

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