(image) The way some folks’ numbers are blowing up on Twitter, it seems to me perhaps we might create two types of Twitterati – those who have purely “earned” audience base, and those whose base has been wildly inflated due to their inclusion in Twitter’s suggested users feature, which I wrote about earlier last week.
I’m not usually one to talk about this stuff, but for whatever reason, it’s been bugging me. I remember when I started this site, and it started to get noticed by people whose opinion I respected. Then concentric circles of folks found out about it, and it built organically, to the point of being one of the largest blog sites focused on tech and media (that was 04-05, before I abandoned covering news and started pointing folks to Danny and Mike). That felt good – I had earned the respect of an important audience, and my numbers showed it. The same is true of Fred at A/VC, Mike at TC, and many, many others.
But that’s not how it’s playing out on Twitter lately. I’ve spoken to a number of folks whose Twitter numbers have recently skyrocketed, and they all have said the same thing – followers may have increased dramatically, but engagement – folks who reply, or click on a link in your tweet, or Direct Message you – increased only marginally. In other words, the system is creating what we used to call, in the magazine business, “junk circulation” – numbers for numbers sake, without a lot of value.
That’s a game many have played, and continue to play, in our Comscore obsessed Internet world, but it never ends well. Ever.
And I don’t think that is in any way good for the Twitter ecosystem.
Just my two cents.