April 29, 2008

More Noise About Twitter Noise

My Friday post on trying to determine a way to measure Twitter users, by using available metrics, including total updates and total followers, turned out to be a more visible and conversational than I had anticipated. While some objected to the ratio, and others objected to the analysis, it has been interesting to watch the continued discussion in recent days, as additional metrics for measurement have debuted, with the same objective in mind, essentially trying to find if you're using Twitter in the way your audience wants you to.

Some highlights from around the Web, which I tracked on Del.icio.us:

BroadStuff: Aspects of Ratios - Noises, Signals and Friendliness
"...I'm not sure it measures signal to noise per se as it has no time basis inbuilt, and looks at relatives output rather than the relative input I experience..."

Sweet!: Talking loudly on Twitter
"...I guess I take offense (in a very lightly term) to the statement that there are more “noisy” people who have “… a lot more ‘updates’ than actual ‘followers."

Stowe Boyd: The Twitter Conversational Index And The Twitter Noise Ratio
"Boyd's Twitter Conversational Index = (number of tweets / number of replies made by followers)"

Dave Winer: Twitter Spewage among Dave Winer's contacts
"... these numbers give me new respect for Twitter. Each twit you post has to be delivered in some fashion to everyone who follows you. That's a lot of delivering!"

Stephanie Booth: Twitter Metrics: Let’s Remain Scientific, Please!

DCortesi: Twitter Reputation Statistics
"... people are trying to figure out how best to use Twitter given its recent surge in popularity and accompanying spaminess."

Commetrics: SocioTwitting - developing metrics for Twitter volume vs. Twitter influence
"... what is needed is a set of statistical indicators that give us a better approximation of reality."

Sarah In Tampa: Another Way to Classify Twitter Users
"... this represents a completely different way to categorize users - some of our megaphones become healthy and some of our listeners become twittercasters."

Interestingly enough, as casually as I put together the "Twitter Noise" ratio, many people on Twitter went out and measured their number, even if they felt the methodology was flawed. And amazingly to me, Twitter Portugal, a Twitter-related site for Portuguese users, even embedded both the "Twitter Noise" ratio and Dave Winer's "Spewage" ratio into user profiles, to give potential followers an expectation for what they were getting into. You can see some of those profiles here: BrunoFigueiredo, Publico, and Phantas. I don't know if that's a statistic I would want sitting on my profile, but the site's already jumped ahead and done it.

Also very interesting is a site called Twitter Quotient, which has multiple measurements, with even harsher descriptions than I had intended. Pretty wild. Who knew the landmine I was stepping on Friday?

And in case you were curious, my Twitter Noise ratio dropped from .49 on Friday to .45 today. Sounds like I need to Tweet more!