Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Conversation of Numbers...

I’ve noticed something on Twitter recently; people seem desperate to remove the ‘conversation’ from the conversation! Every other 'person' that has added me of late seems to be a spam account, and even a number of the 'human' users seem to be introducing themselves with a standardized tweet inviting me to read their blog. The engagement with these people clearly isn’t a conversation...

A Place to Converse, Not to Count
Steps to automate the conversation are surely reminiscent of the more traditional media; less of a conversation, more of a broadcast. Why are such elements being introduced? Personally, I believe that the reasons for reengaging automation boil down to simple numbers; a fact addressed by both Chris Brogan and Shannon Ritter just this morning. As the prevalence of conversation concerning ‘followers’, ‘friends’ and ‘subscribers’ continues to rise, shifting attention to the impact which these figures represent has occurred. Recent discussions concerning subjects as diverse as the authority of a tweet and the creation of relationships have identified numbers as a key influencing factor. Has the social media really come down to little more figures?

Shannon Ritter suggests that the social media is not a junior high school popularity contest; and she is absolutely right. As the proliferation of auto follow software continues to rise, it is becoming increasingly easy for large ‘networks’ of followers to be recognised. By simply following everyone that follows you, your figures will skyrocket. Interestingly enough, people still post tweets on Twitter exclaiming that they possess the secret to large follower networks. It’s not difficult to create massive lists of followers; it’s convincing these folks on an ongoing basis that you bring value to the table that’s the challenge.

The Futility of 'Numbers'
Whilst 'futility' may be a little harsh, we must not overlook that it is the power of our relationships, and not the number of our followers that truly illustrates the degree of our achievement within the social media. It’s a conversation, and whilst high numbers do not necessarily result in negative repercussions, figures alone count for very little.

Show the Rogue some Stumble love

1 comment:

  1. Can you just imagine what would happen on Twitter if Spammers start to just follow themselves? We'd have many Twitter accounts eligible of "authority" and that would be an absolutely JOKE for the ones so focused on numbers.

    Having a Spammer to get more attention because of a number of followers than, let's say, a serious CEO of a Startup, a just got into business PR or anyone else...

    Yeah... Amazing!