Twitter – Your Tweets & My Attention

Twitter is running with 100 Mn+ users… And although not all of them are particularly active, the service is experiencing a huge surge in its usage. So great, in fact, that there is this cute/annoying whale appearing one too many times per day. Anyways, the USA football team will be going home soon and so will the Japanese one. And #football, #worldcup and #enoughoffootball will be gone from the trending topics…

What stays, though, is everyone else that is trying to engage the crowd, attract attention to the brand and be noticed (understand FOLLOWED). Well, recently, this whole Twitter thing has brought me to few interesting and sometimes raising a brow moments:

  • I bump from time to time into users that go way beyond the healthy amount of followers/following. 5K, 10K, 20K +… Seriously, is there anyone that can have a meaningful dialogue with that many people or brand? Or is your day more than 24 hours, so you can devote the majority of it on reading all the tweets published by the people you follow? I leave these questions for you to answer… (if you wish so, of course)
  • There is this list of top Pharma companies that I follow. It is not that I am a weirdo or that I am working in the Pharma field (for now…), but as a user, I am always wondering what’s new in the saving lives industry. But, boy, do some of the tweets make sense to the eye of a guy that does not have any medical or science education for that matter.
    IL-6 plays a critical role in sJIA contributing to all major features: a promising target for future therapies #EULAR2010” is just an example. Yes, I know that it is difficult to fit all this info into 140 characters, but even when I follow the link, I only learn that this concerns inflammatory disease drug development. I am not satisfied and need more.
  • Yesterday, I started following the President of Russia – Dmitriy Medvedev @KremlinRussia. He had just created his account while visiting Twitter’s HQ and got 34,272 and counting followers. He also got his account verified, so please consider visiting Twitter! Obviously, this action on your part will speed the verification process. (Yes, BP, I am talking about you. Fly the damned impostor to California, so they will verify that he is not BP after all and shut him/her up). But let’s go back to the Russian president. He tweets about meeting and stuff he’s doing and then boom!!! “The leaders of the G8 member states have landed at the summit, but they aren’t the only ones http://twitpic.com/1zvzid” – a funny and casual tweet, one wouldn’t expect from the shortest most influential guy in the world. Kudos, Mr President of Russia! I know it is not you tweeting, but I love your style.
  • I have this former classmate from high school that I follow on Twitter. Honestly, I don’t know how this guy is finding the time to make a living, cause he sure spends the better part of his day tweeting, retweeting and mentioning people. It gets so brutal that filtering is in order and without question. I counted once 101 posts on Twitter in only one day…
  • Running at 131 followers and 161 following… I’ve lost a few in the past weeks. In my research online and conversations with another tweep, I have discovered that reciprocity in following is a must. WTF!!!! I refuse to be following someone just because it is the polite thing to do or because a greater number of followers will boost my long-lost ego. (Thank God, I am not applying to BestBuy. I heard those guys don’t even look at your resume if you have less than 250 followers.)

So here are my 5 simple Twitter takes based on the whole blub already typed above:

  1. Size does matter. But make sure you can handle it. The bigger is not necessarily the better.
  2. Speak human, not alien! – How am I supposed to get engaged, if I haven’t got the slightest idea what you are talking about?
  3. Be natural, earthy and genuinely yourself – just like the Russian President! 😉
  4. Don’t flood the followers’ screens with tweets, retweets and other mentions! It is annoying and sometimes repulsive.
  5. Twitter is about conversation as much as it is an information source. Be sure about who you follow and most importantly why! It helps the conversation.

Again, I would love to read your comments. But judging by the shyness you have all expressed through leaving no comments at all on my previous post, I wish to say that there is nothing to be afraid of. I eat kids only on X-mas.

UPDATE: Sunday, June 27, 2010, 3:00 am

I did some digging up on that pharma tweet posted above as an example. Apparently, the company introduced in an earlier tweet what sJIA stands for. (sJIA is a subtype of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), chronic arthritis in children http://bit.ly/dkSfQn#EULAR2010 #rheumatology ). And Il-6 is actually Iterleukin-6 – a protein that acts as a pro and anti-inflammatory cytokine.

This is indeed interesting information that gives hope to some families and their friends worldwide. In my book retweeting is in order.

Copyright © 2010 Borislav Kiprin. All Rights Reserved.