Breaking Through The Tweet Barrier

TweetStats analysis for @ketan

A statistical analysis of engagement with the Twitter Community

A statistical analysis of engagement with the Twitter Community

Twitter is usually a fascination, addiction, or a complete enigma to many. Unlike Facebook whose growth and popularity seems to boil down to virtual farms, quizzes and questionnaires, the twitter model is more based around direct communication with chosen group of individual streams that you subscribe to.

On the most basic level you follow people that interest you, and their updates show in your stream, the secondary aspect is that individuals in the twitterverse can choose to follow your updates.

These 2 channels of information flow are what make up the basic use of twitter, and for many, it seems pointless. I must admit I first dipped my toe into the twitter pools after the SXSW presentation that really brought twitter to a wider audience, and I really didn’t have a clue what to do (how to make use of it)

It seemed an almost alien form of communication, my inability to grasp the simple concept behind its usage and the uphill struggle a newcomer faces, that is no-one knows you’re there. There are Twitter Directories and using search is a good way to find people to follow.

I began using SMS to send updates to my twitter account which was the first liberating aspect of using the service, something that is not easily achieved¬† on other systems. This freedom to send a status update anywhere with a mobile signal would form the seed of my transformation to that of a “twitter user“.

As you can see by the chart, my use of twitter fluctuated in a very constant pattern for over 16months – I had linked my twitter updates directly to my Facebook updates, which allowed me to consolidate my updates into one action, and this was the only Social Network Updates I would use. My dependency and use of Facebook had been waning for many, many months and then all of a sudden as you can see in March 2009 My updates exploded and went through what I am calling the Tweet Barrier.

What I find interesting about this is my understanding and usage of twitter exploded at this time, now there can be a number of explanations, changes in personal circumstances, major events, conferences etc .. Whatever the catalyst is, I believe there is an assimilation of knowledge and discovery associated with using twitter and this includes using the facilities that it has to offer including Hash Tags, Search, Retweeting, building a following and communicating about what you’re passionate about with others that share the same interests.

I feel that this only happens when you’ve grasped the nature of twitter and there is a roughly equal ratio of give / take which I also think is proportionate to a balanced Followers / Following Ratio.

When this happens, the benefits of Twitter are unlocked like a special bonus screen in a coin-op game (showing my age !) – and it allows you to refine your involvement and allows you to make a decision on How you want to use Twitter, rather than constantly scratching your head or immediately thinking Twitter is just there to announce your performing some daily personal routine .. thats not what Twitter is about, and if you can break through the Tweet Barrier you will find all the fruit, bonus points, extra lives and multipliers your digital avatar will ever need.

I’m fascinated with these Statistics and intend to write a more personal analysis once I can get further detailed data out from my Twitter archive. I think there are other factors that contribute to my findings, so I’d like to thank @dacort and his online http://tweetstats.com/ Web Application which is where I created the chart above and inspired me to write this post, I also used the Skitch appliction on Mac OSX to enhance and annotate the chart.

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