Posted by Elena del Valle on May 15, 2009
Following up on the first About Twitter article, the question is whether the popular social networking site serves a business purpose. According to Steve Alfavo, digital director of Voto Latino Online, who has been a Twitter user since March 2009 it does:
HispanicMPR: What do you like, not like, etc. about Twitter?
SA: Twitter is not like other social networking sites, its a whole new experience. Twitter is like the Wii you can’t compare it to the other gaming systems like Playstation or Xbox because its just a whole different experience. What I Iike about Twitter is the power it has to spread information and connect with people, for example I run the Voto Latino Twitter account and I been trying to build our following, so I recently sent out a tweet to our network asking them to ReTweet it, well Craig Newmark the founder of Craigs List saw my tweet and re-tweeted our message to his own network and a couple minutes later from 950 I was finally up to 1000 followers.
I think its was really cool that he did that and that just shows the power of twitter, his following is huge 11,152 people so with one tweet he was able to help us out. Its a great tool to use if you learn how to use it. What I don’t like about Twitter is the way your twitter friends our displayed, its really hard to find people, sometimes its hard to write long messages because your only allowed 140 and even though that bugs me when I have long message I hope they keep it that way, the point of twitter is to send short messages. Marketing companies are starting to join twitter and spamming the twitter universe, it can get annoying.
HispanicMPR: In other words, why do you Twitter?
SA: I started because of work and because its easy to let others know about important information but I also also have a personal account that I use and with that I just use it to inform people about personal projects that I am working on, my personal twitter network is different from the Voto Latino network so my tweets are very different and since I run two accounts that probably makes me an twitter addict.
HispanicMPR: How often do you Twitter?
SA: I tweet for Voto Latino everyday, I try to tweet as many messages as possible, I feel in order for Twitter to work for you, you must be an active user which requires lots time but it definitely works.
A Twitter tool, Twitalyzer, identifies the most influential users according to their average influence, signal-to-noise ratio, generosity, velocity, and clout. Being influential relates to the number of people that follow a user, the number of times a user’s posts are referred to by others or “retweeted,” the number of times they refer to other people’s posts, and how often they publish updates each week.
Twitter defines its signal-to-noise ratio as people’s postings of information rather than anecdotes. A signal includes one or more of the following elements: references to other people (this is done with the @ preceding text), links to URL pages, hashtags visitors can explore (this is done with a # preceding text), and Retweets where a user passes to others information someone else shared (this is done with “retweet,” via, “rt” or “r/t/” in the post). The software adds these four elements and divides them by the number of updates to identify a signal to noise ratio.
Twitter defines velocity as a user’s rate of posts each week. For example, six updates in a week is considered very, very low by Twitter. The system is limited to searches of 1,500 records so users are judged against a theoretical maximum of 1,500 weekly updates. Clout is the likelihood that other people will reference someone in Twitter. The more that people reference someone the higher that user’s clout in the system. Clout is calculated by estimating a user’s number of references divided by the total number of possible references (as estimated by the Twitter Search APIs).
The top rated Twitter at the time of this writing was Zaibatsu (Reg Saddler) who is listed as a technology podcast co-host. However, the top 10 Twitter pages at the time of this writing linked to company pages or websites rather than the pages of individual bloggers. In other words, people or companies were driving traffic to their pages and content through Twitter posts. Zaibatsu had 80,269 followers and was following 81,541 people. That user had an influence ratio of 84.5 percent, a signal ratio of 88.2 percent, a generosity rating of 47.8 percent as well as clout and velocity of 100 percent.
The second listing was for BNO News, a news wire service with an influence of 83.4 percent, signal of 8.4 percent, no generosity, a clout of 100 percent and velocity of 77.5 percent; followed by 329,649 and followed 5. Others on the list were guykawasaki followed by 115,034 and following 116.782, nytimes with 785,257 followers and following 130, TechCrunch with 518,036 and following 687, Mashable with 573,852 followers and following 1,878, The Onion with 671,545 followers and following 321,245, Pogue with 265,315 followers and following 919, iamdiddy with 805,398 followers and following 122, and Twitter_Tips with 84,088 followers and following 78,931.
Guykawasaki’s Twitter page led to an Alltop, an “online magazine rack;” likewise the Twitter nytimes page led to the New York newspaper’s online portal; TechCrunch led to a blog about Internet products and companies by the same name; Mashable led to the social media blog’s homepage; The Onion led to an online news portal; Pogue led to Pogue’s Pages, a portal for David Pogue a technology columnist and writer; iamdiddy led to LastTraintoParis, a commercial entertainment page; and Twitter_Tips led to TweetSmarter.com, a portal with pages on how to produce better Tweets.
HispanicMPR has a Twitter account. According to the Twitalyzer our newly established account is just emerging and has an influence and clout of .1 percent, no generosity and a velocity of .8 percent; it was puzzling that the analysis revealed a signal of 83.3 percent. Since all the posts were informational shouldn’t the signal score, by Twitter’s own definition, have been 100 percent?
“Moving Beyond Traditional Media Measurement: measuring conversations and social media” audio recording
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