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What's Twitter good for?
Over 40% of tweets are "pointless babble", says study
Syzygy




msg:3973573
 5:49 pm on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

From the BBC [news.bbc.co.uk]...

When Pear Analytics started its short-term study, it assumed that most of the tweets would be either spam or self-promotion. This belief, it said, was driven by the growing number of firms starting to use Twitter as a tool to drum up sales.

Instead, it found that 40.5% could be classified as pointless babble, 37.5% as conversational and 8.7% as having pass-along value. Self promotion and spam stood at 5.85% and 3.75% respectively.

Interesting that the figures for self promotion and particularly spam are so low. Mind you, it was a small sample.

 

StoutFiles




msg:3973626
 7:37 pm on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

More like 90% is pointless babble. Twitter conversations, like Facebook wall conversations, are pointless babble.

tangor




msg:3973694
 9:12 pm on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I imagine the spam and self-promotion numbers are low because it is difficult to really "sell" something in 140 characters!

rogerd




msg:3973704
 9:40 pm on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Actually, the spam is user-controlled. You only view posts from those whom you follow. You would block, rather than follow, an obvious spammer.

Aggressive promoters are more common, but they get dropped or blocked too.

Twitter is used in vastly different ways by different people. I've found some networks of friends who use it primarily as a sort of group SMS. Others focus on very specific technical or business topics for their posts and follows. It's hard to generalize.

JS_Harris




msg:3976284
 9:53 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

@StoutFiles lol but true, @tangor make the landing page jump out, they won't see it coming through a shortened URL. @Syzygy, mine is closer to 98% spam and at least 80% have links.

That's more than 140, i'm twitter fail.

Syzygy




msg:3976305
 11:14 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Actually, the spam is user-controlled. You only view posts from those whom you follow. You would block, rather than follow, an obvious spammer.

I've also seen the clever spammers, the ones who tweet frequently around that moments hot topics. They stay unnoticed for a while by using a cloak of respectability; they follow others tweeting on the same hot topics; they build up followers with the same interests - hey, it's flattering to have followers, right? Then they drop spam links in about 1 in 10 tweets.

I keep the spam followers - I like to see what they're doing; how they work. Every few days my small band of followers disappear - undoubtedly detected and disabled (or they're just not very loyal followers ;-)). Two spam followers have been with me for a good few weeks - they've remained undetected...

sonjay




msg:3976314
 11:59 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

The few times I've popped into Twitter, I found 100% of what was there to be pointless babble. But I just recently experienced a great use of Twitter:

I was among a bunch of people on another forum who were following a trial that was taking place in California. Two reporters were twittering direct from the courtroom in real time. It allowed all of us to keep up with the trial's progress as it happened. Wow, Twitter was great!

Now the trial's over, it's back to the regularly scheduled pointless babble.

Leosghost




msg:3976321
 12:20 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Two reporters were twittering direct from the courtroom in real time. It allowed all of us to keep up with the trial's progress as it happened.

Wouldn't that place them in "contempt" ?

sonjay




msg:3976342
 1:12 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wouldn't that place them in "contempt" ?

Apparently not. I'm not familiar with California's legal code on Courtroom Twittering. Maybe it's up to the judge whether to allow it. But I personally found it to be an excellent use of Twitter.

wyweb




msg:3976356
 1:50 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Where I live you can't even have a cell phone turned on inside a courtroom. Individual Judges can override that rule but here in the Bible belt they're not inclined to do that very often.

In the US a Judge basically owns the courtroom he presides in and has an almost unlimited reach with regard to saying what goes on in there. If it's a high profile case with extensive press coverage, the press is bound by whatever that particular Judge deems is appropriate. It's his courtroom. He decides. Cross him and you can find your ass in jail just that fast.

Hell, we've got Court TV now, an obscure, yet persistent little cable channel that televises actual trials in progress. OJ's trial was televised. The Anna Nicole thing comes to mind.

And then there's the Judge Judy's et al who clog up daytime televisions airwaves for no other purpose than Hollywood effect. I don't really count them but they're there anyway.

But I agree sonjay.. good use of twitter. I can see some Civil defense applications as well.

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