who’s who and what’s what

This fine article from University of Maryland creates three groups of twitter user, based on the user intention: the information sharer, the information seeker, and the friendship-wise user.

These groups boil down to twitter’s brand of social linkage: following. 

The information sharer is followed by more users (oftentimes a significant amount) than he follows.  The information seeker follows more users than he has following him.  The friendship type has an approximately similar amount of followers and users he follows.

Your information sharers are the ones disseminating technological, cultural, newsworthy, et al tweets that folks deem worthy of attention and screen space.  Within twitter there’s a good amount of following-this-person-because-others-are-following-them social linkage taking place.  (Me, I am now following @Scobleizer because others follow him and bloggers mention him and I want to see what all the fuss is about.  That type of human behavior will follow us into any new medium forever ever.)  And there’s also genuine rarity, a chance to gain intimacy with a source of info that I have long enjoyed but never before had a way to gain off the cuff access to(this is why I follow @laughingsquid).  Other info sharers include CNN Breaking News @cnnbrk, Evan Williams @ev, the crushworthy Veronica Belmont @Veronica.  I see a brand manager’s primary problem to solve on twitter being: how do I create a username for my company or brand and develop a base of followers?

Information seekers are a different critter.  I am still trying to figure this group out, because there’s infinite reasons to seek information.  Two of the top five followers (@MyUFO and @LouiZoot) seem to be affiliated, and neither have accessed twitter in half a year.  Also @Webtickle – following thousands but hasn’t updated in months.  Did they overcommit?  With a smaller number of follows, being an information seeker makes sense, especially if one is using one username to follow users and another to send information.  There are fan apps one could use to view all your ‘following’ tweets in a digest format, so as a information seeker one could feasibly follow a cross section of tweets (say, of @jetBlue, @DellOutlet, and other companies in order to follow their promotions) and use them to shape your own strategies.

Friendship-wise users are those with truly social contacts in mind.  Tweets very high on the humor, the present tense, the inside joke.  This group will spread the word-of-mouth the information sharers hope to generate.

An ongoing goal of this blog will be to pinpoint ideas and innovations that create methods for company x, starting from scratch on twitter, to spread like the dirty little virus you are. 

One Response to “who’s who and what’s what”

  1. […] post by After Dark, My Tweet and software by Elliott Back This entry is filed under Latest news update. You can follow any […]

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