Strong opinions, weakly held

Raw follower counts on Twitter

Anil Dash has been presenting some really interesting information about the results of being on Twitter’s infamous suggested user list. He’s found that while it does drive up your follower count very rapidly, those followers don’t seem to be active in any way, in terms of responding, retweeting, or otherwise interacting with you. And other accounts on the list are confirming his experience. Today he follows up with the logical conclusion, which is that large follower counts are meaningless.

Why is this important? There are around 16,000 people on Twitter claiming to be social media experts, and I doubt that many of them are telling their clients that being on the suggested user list is not an easy route to Twitter success, and that raw follower counts don’t really matter, unless you just want to flex your e-peen.

All that said, you should of course be following rc3dotorg on Twitter.


  1. I would like to purchase products that reference the flexing of my e-peen. Please send me all available information.

  2. Re subscribing to rc3dotorg, I far prefer your RSS feed.

  3. I agree, RSS is preferable.

  4. I sorta lost interest in twitter when I realized I was mostly just reading what my friends had to say, and skipping everything by anyone I didn’t know. Most of what my friends were saying was also on Facebook in a place where I could reply privately. Plus the 140 character limit makes me crazy because I really like to express things in the most verbose way possible by adding in lots of extra explanatory clauses to sentences and generally just running on and on and on until I’m finally compelled to insert a period by sheer force of syntax.

    And I’m just not into “what celebrities think”. I care about what other people think but generally not when it can be compressed into 140 characters.

    (This isn’t a “twitter sucks” comment. It’s just not my thing, I think.)

    The large majority of the followers I got were pure spam, presumably following a random selection of people either to promote their own crap or to look like more plausible sockpuppets on someone else’s list of followers. So I’d guess most of those phantom followers who never comment are just more spam.

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