Very Unscientific Study in Repetitive Tweeting


This is what my Twitter feed looked like while everyone's at the World Wide Developers conference Monday.

"Jobs says it's easy to put iAds on your app."

"iAds now on demo"

"pitching iAds to developers"

Being a tech reporter, many of my friends and associates are tech reporters.  So the people I follow on Twitter were all at WWDC. And God help me, they were all tweeting.  The problem is they're all tweeting the same thing.

"Steve Jobs has taken the stage" "Steve's here" "Jobs gets big applause as he takes stage".  I got it.  Steve Jobs is there.  As the morning progressed, I got dozens of tweets mimicking each other.

There are Twitter clients that allow you to temporarily ignore someone as they live-Tweet from a conference, but I was using the website itself, which doesn't provide the feature without an "unfollow."

So it got me thinking - does live Tweeting increase your follow count?  I decided to jot down the numbers for my Press:Here co-horts BBC tech reporter Maggie Shiels (@maggieshiels), NPR technology and culture reporter Laura Sydell (@sydell) and my TechNow partner Scott Budman (@scottbudman).

  • Shiels started the morning with 2,202 followers. 
  • Sydell 424 (give her a break, she's new).
  • Budman weighed in with 1520. 
  • I'm the control group (@scottmcgrew) - I have 1,122 and am not live Tweeting.

By noon, after Jobs left the stage, Maggie Shiels picked up +99 new followers.  Scott Budman now picked up four. Sydell remained unchanged at 424.   I'm unchanged as well.

Conclusions?  The repetition didn't cause the tweeters to lose followers.  And in Maggie's case, she gained nearly a hundred.
So maybe I'm the only cremugen on line.

My statistics professor would say my sample size is downright terrible; you can't determine anything with four people.  Then again, I damn near failed statistics.

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