Sunday, November 02, 2008

Effective Twitter usage... some insights

I found myself cogitating. Happens often really. While getting a grip on Yahoo! Pipes, I wondered what one could derive from Twitter time lines (feed from a Twitter account). Trying various options of ingesting RSS feeds, processing them and forwarding them again, I found myself on the Twitter track. Twitter is used both by people to stay in touch with their network of friends, and by commercial bloggers to announce new write-ups on their blog. Elaborate insights about Twitter usage were posted by Jeremiah Owyang, web strategist.
Twitterazzi with hundreds of followers are hardly able to know who is who among the crowd following them. Right? Or the one's following hundreds of others? Some balance between followed and following might be a measure for twitter usage. Mashable Let's consider the Twitterazzi sending shed loads of messages, are they merely garrulous or do they have a mission? Are they narrow casting? Might they be deity prophets? What if the balance between outbound and inbound traffic is 100:1? Last but not least, messages versus replies counting 1:100 might be interesting, 1 message out and a 100 replies to others, this might be a sign of a new Apollo at Delphi? Three measures found so far:

  • Following : Followers
  • Inbound : Outbound
  • Messages : Replies
  • Inner-circle : Outer-circle
In the meanwhile I managed to get Yahoo! Pipes working for me and even got Google Charts' API geared towards my needs of displaying numerical feeds. Visualising Twitter usage was just too far fetched in the time at hand. Guess what? managed to build the thing! Using Twitter timelines, Yahoo! Pipes and Google charts API. I must admit they even paid a lot of attention to the visualisation of data (Edward Tufte would probably approve of it).
Interpreting the charts leads to some understanding of the type of Twitterazzo you are looking at. Is it someone rambling all day long, hardly ever replying to others? Might it be someone knowledgeable answering questions? Someone getting messages from others within his own circle, or even from an outer-circle? I'm not finished analysing yet, but for now it's up to you!
Try the tool on your own Twitter profile and tell me what you think!

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