June 02, 2009

Harvard Business: "New Twitter Research: Men Follow Men and Nobody Tweets"

"New Twitter Research: Men Follow Men and Nobody Tweets", a blog post at Harvard Business, has some results which are sweet vindication of my recent _Guardian_ Twitter column.

They said it, not me:

"This implies that Twitter's resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network."

The article in parts says (my very loose paraphrase) that Twitter is used by BigHeads to pontificate - they write and the audience reads. The authors seem somewhat surprised at a gender imbalance, but I suspect that's an artifact from most of the BigHeads being male.

My column brought me a lot of grief, and I see some of the same reactions starting in to this piece. Most notably, the you-can-CHAT! chorus. And one answer to that is perhaps in this column by Bobbie Johnson: How much is it worth to be one of Twitter's suggested users?

Plus, some of the resentment is driven - even if they don't admit it - by the fact that a lot of people really consider Twitter as a competition to gain the biggest audience. It's professionally useful to them to have more followers than other people - and, in many cases, they believe that they are being cheated out of their rightful position inside the social network. ... [snip]

And some have too much of their personal or professional reputation staked on being successful in these sorts of arenas. Hard to sell yourself as a social media guru if any old celebrity can get more Twitter followers than you without even trying.

A few days ago, I did a brief appearance on a talk-radio program (the Angie Coiro show), being critical of Twitter. She wondered if I'd feel the same way about Twitter in a year. I replied approximately that I almost certainly would, as I'd gone though the delusions of blogging, and I wasn't going to get fooled again.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on June 02, 2009 06:27 AM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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My favorite thing about all this is that TechCrunch always reports the most vapid, trivial non-stories about anything tangentially related to Twitter.

Well, until this article showing that there really aren't that many people actually using Twitter. TechCrunch doesn't seem to want to touch this one with a ten foot pole.

Posted by: schram at June 2, 2009 02:11 PM

Interesting that you're putting the likelyhood that men will follow men down to Bigheadness specifically rather than sexism in general. That men, when provided with an open platform, still ignore women's voices isn't surprising, merely depressing.

(also, I've a feeling the blogosphere's female Bigheads might find Twitter less appealing than the male Bigheads do, as the female Bigheads don't want to have the attention of a large and worshipful audience so much as to have a mass conversation which they dominate, I think).

Posted by: Thene at June 2, 2009 02:20 PM

what the last guy said.
(2 spam comments posted by "Kazelkek")

See also from today's time:
When the Thrill of Blogging Is Gone...

Posted by: Jon Garfunkel at June 7, 2009 08:57 PM


As usual, I think an honest non-profit could and should bury them! People wouldn't put up with all the non-sense (ego stroking and more or less obvious commercial efforts), waste of time and resources if a true neutral grounds platform for conversation existed.


Posted by: Delia at June 10, 2009 11:56 PM