Wednesday, 18 August 2010

"Twitterati" and #Duncansfriggindream

Much has been said of late about the so-called "Twitterati".. I believe the term relates to people who have large followings and hence influence on Twitter.. They are usually celebrities or mini-celebrities, or in the case of @fiatpanda, fake celebrities.. They are adored and hated in equal measures..  The adoration is easy to explain, the hating not so easy.. I think it stems from how they do or dont "engage ".  Many of them tweet and never respond to anybody with a low following, they often only tweet back to people they know. Some of them like @SarahBrownUK  follow thousands of people back which on the face of it is lovely.. "Ooh, Im being followed by Sarah Brown"..  but will she ever read your tweets?  Doubtful. That is not because she doesnt want to, it simply isnt practical. 

My recent birthday gave me an insight into the world of the Twitterati... in the half an hour before my birthday began, so did the count-down.. my lovely friends @Ivan_Jelical and @hannmrfitz tweeted how many minutes to go.. then the "Happy Birthday's" began. Oh, it was lovely.. Ive not had so many good wishes sent my way since my wedding. I went to bed having thanked about 20 or so people, big smile on my face.  The next morning I opened Tweetdeck to several more greetings.. I tweeted "out loud".. then it began, I estimated about 50  "Happy Birthday" messages, each of which I answered personally.. we're now on about 80 thank you's.. through the day there were twitpics with Happy Birthday and Audioboos.. along with lots more tweets.. Every time I sent out a tweet, I got about 8 or 9 replies.... It was a fabulous day and Twitter made me feel really special.  It did however, open my eyes as to what the "Twitterati" deal with every day, every time they tweet... no wonder they dont answer everyone personally!  They would literally be there responding all day..

Duncan Bannatyne recently started a silly new hashtag #DuncansDream ,the idea being if you tweet with that hashtag, everyone who sees it will follow you and you follow them back.. Wow, sounds great.. only what have you in common with all these new followers? And why would you want to read their tweets anyway? How on earth anybody can keep up with truly following more than 300 people is beyond me.  I used to religiously read every tweet in my timeline until recently, I simply cannot keep up with it. It is not so much the volume of "out loud" tweets (the ones you send out as a status update), its all the conversations.. People replying to other people who you follow, it takes up at least half of my "all friends" stream. Well, until recently.. I am trying an experiment, I truly hope it works, so far its been great although I have upset a few people. This is what I do now...

I make lists.. all my new followers and new people that interest me are put straight onto a list.. I have lots of lists including :"the quiet lot".. the people who rarely tweet or dont introduce themselves to me, "smut and filth". . ahem... "PNB" potential new boyfriends (well, a girl's got to try) "lovely labourites" and "chatterboxes", the people who talk to me the most.  By splitting people into groups, I ve cut down on a lot of conversations.. so I am now able to scroll through my list views on Tweetdeck and mostly just see the "out loud" tweets again..  I know people are upset that I dont follow them back, but I think this may be the new way forward for me, I am far more likely to notice you and respond now than when my timeline was crammed full of conversations, retweets and hashtag games. 

Following back is lovely, but surely we should just follow people who interest us?  I was amazed to check one of my new followers' profiles the other day, he has 150 followers and has yet to make a single tweet.. people are being polite by following him back but its a bit daft really...


  1. BTW, I hold Duncan Bannatyne personally responsible for the "fail whale".. since thousands began following thousands of other "Duncans Dreamers", so there timelines magnified, putting huge pressure on Twitter to keep up.. thats my theory anyway..

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  3. i can't stand Duncan Bannatyne, my first thought at seeing him on twitter was it's a desperate attempt to show people he's not a complete and utter ruthless bastard.......i only use twitter for news, celebrities are general self centered boring b*st*rds, with a few exceptions, i wouldn't waste my energy stroking their already enormous egos....

  4. Brilliant blog, and if I was anywhere near as popular as humphrey I now know how to manage things. *I wish* I do something similar on a smaller scale, and it lets me keep track of people who genuinely interest me or make me laugh.

    And humph of course, but that's just unrequited love.

    I've also sometimes got into conversations where we can help each other out, sometimes with practical advice and other times just by being there, on the timeline or through direct messages. Just recently I got some fantastic tweets when I felt really down, for no apparent reason.

    I have had a couple of tweets direct from well-known people, @MrEdByrne and @SarahMillican75, when I asked or told them something.

    It was nice and unexpected to get the reply, because I completely understand why they can't keep up with everything.

    The other "big" follow I like is something like @McIntweets which keeps me up to date on Michael McIntyre's gigs. I've got really good tickets early for gigs and TV recordings because of that, but I don't pretend I have any kind of relationship with the guy.

  5. Great piece, it is I believe quality that counts. The nice thing about lots of followers is that you can get your thoughts over to a wide audience. Even with many fewer followers you do need a list for your *faves* so you can keep the people you interact with close by