How to be Popular: Overheard on Twitter #5

18 minute old Twitter account – 2 updates – 400 followers. The math doesn’t add up, does it?

You know what happened? Jason Calacanis said “follow him.” (I took out my angst on the picture, can you tell?)

I really enjoyed refreshing every 3 seconds to see another dozen or so followers adding Mr. Modine, and some automatic bot adding them back (Twitter couldn’t even keep up, if you’ll note the sole icon down in the bottom).

It happens every day – but that’s how Twitter works.

Last month Alex Iskold suggested that there are 3 basic types of Twitter users.

There are listeners, who pull in a lot of information but don’t send much out. Talkers, who push information out to a lot of users, but don’t take much in. And there are hubs, people who both follow and are followed.

Think of Twitter as a large network for information dissemination,” wrote Iskold. “It typically starts with talkers, flows through the hubs and ends up at listeners.” ” – ReadWriteWeb on TwitterMeThis

And it is this flow of Twitter that sent one of my favorite follows packing. Hugh MacLeod writes “I liked Twitter. But I found it too easy” as his lame excuse for leaving all his adoring fans hanging. We’ll miss you!

gapingvoid : No, seriously. I’m leaving Twitter. Cheerio. [Big Kiss]

hugh macleod twitter twitter twitter

I guess it’s back to Google, Yahoo, TechCrunch, Flickr, Youtube, Web 2.0, and blogs for the tweeter formerly known as @gapingvoid.


#YIF: Why I Follow

So there’s this thing called hashtags for Twitter, in case you didn’t know about them. Basically people stick them in their tweets and the themes get aggregated by hashtag aggregators, like

There’s all kinds of hashtags, like for conferences (#sxsw tracked the live micro-blogging of the South by Southwest Interactive conference) and political debates. #yif is the hashtag for “why I follow,” and you can really do some data mining with the stuff people say.

jljohansen: @chrisbrogan The 3 people I talk with the most on Twitter are @ikepigott @dough and recently @swhitley Always good conversations. #

danieljohnsonjr: @scottsigler # bcuz w/ his twisted mind, better to know where he’s coming from & going to. Infected: April 1st!

BarbaraKB: @CathleenRitt # Admits to “getting nothing done,” shares hair stories, does stand-up comedy while practicing financial wizardy in NYC.

To me, this is revolutionary. What other social tools encourage people to not only publicly state why they like you, but also track those responses for all the world to analyze?

Nowhere else but Twitter do you get an open book test on being popular.

#YUT: Why You Twitter

poll for twitter adoption

Sonny Gill
@nowsourcing Never mocked, was just skeptical on its usefulness…boy was I wrong. Able to connect & converse w/industry leaders, how great. from web in reply to nowsourcing

@nowsourcing your obsessive talking about it made me follow it more, in doing so I have found it as an easy way to follow the smm industry from web in reply to nowsourcing

Katie Delahaye Paine
kdpaine @nowsourcing the iowa caucuses from web in reply to nowsourcing

@nowsourcing The people, the conversation, the humor, great questions with helpful and inspiring answers. It is like IM on speed… love it! from twhirlin reply to nowsourcing

Ben Thomas
@nowsourcing I started out loving twitter, now I mock it. Regardless, I’m still addicted. from twitterrific in reply to nowsourcing

Barbara K. Baker
@nowsourcing never knocked it. been an addict for a year now. may need to delete like @gapingvoid from web in reply to nowsourcing

SilentJay74 @nowsourcing you talking to me? from web in reply to nowsourcing

Gideon Shalwick
gideonshalwick @mayobrains – gutsy survey, but i love it! @jtunkelo and i have been talking about the virtues of twitter for the last year! 1 minute ago from im in reply to mayobrains

Melanie Phung
melaniephung @mayobrains I still have no earthly idea. There’s something about the constant updates that just sucks me in. half a minute ago from web in reply to mayobrains

Nathalie Lussier
hyperlinked @mayobrains Although I didn’t mock, I didn’t see the point. Did it: My friends joined, I met new people, got recent news updates. 3 minutes ago from twitterrific in reply to mayobrains

jordan kasteler
UtahSEOpro @mayobrains the fact that everyone else uses Twitter too. if it had a lower user-base then i couldn’t communicate as pervasively 2 minutes ago from TwitterFox in reply to mayobrains

What outrageously great things have you seen on Twitter this week?


  1. Paula Hawk

    Great post. I cannot tell you how much I love the Overheard on Twitter posts you are doing. So funny…. 🙂

    Paula Hawk’s last blog post..Monday’s Musings

  2. Bob

    Your post is a great contribution to the ongoing discussion and debate over twitter.


  3. morgan

    Great stuff covering twitter — I love hearing more about why people love and/or hate the twitter machine.


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