Twitter really is all about the numbers

If you've ever used Twitter, by now you would have heard people tell you that the number of followers you have is not important, and that it's about quality and quantity. That's not actually true.

Well it is, but it's only applicable to brand accounts, or rather for any account that isn't for a specific individual. Let me tell you why.

Brands accounts, or accounts set up around a specific topic are exactly that, accounts set up around a specific topic for a specific purpose. Personal accounts are not usually limited to one specific thing. Personal accounts belong to individuals, and last time I checked, individuals have free thought. I like to quote Walt Whitman when he said "Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes." - that last part being especially pertinent. People contain multitudes, nobody bases their life on one thing and one thing only. Even those that do focus acutely on one specific thing in their life also need to do other things, like drive to work, bitch about traffic, and make a joke or two to stay sane.

For instance, I may primarily be a miserable grouch that is unhappy with everything in this world, and complain about almost every person I ever encounter, and for some reason people want to follow me and hear about this, but I like other things to. I, like everyone else, have opinions about a wide range of topics, like Google being in trouble for the Kenyan chapter debacle, or scientific breakthroughs that allow new skin to grow on burn victims, or trying to make a horrible pun here and there ... and the occasional current affairs. Twitter is all about communication, and that's why people use it. They desperately want to connect with other people, meet like-minded people, and share a laugh every so often.

The problem with Twitter, and the Internet in general is that there is this thing called the 1% rule. This basically states that for any online community, 1% of people are creators, 9% are moderators or contributors, and the rest are lurkers. Mashable reported last year that 50% of all tweets consumed are created by 0.05% of Twitter users. That means that roughly, for every 100 people that follow you, no more than 10 will respond to you when you tweet something interesting. They definitely won't reply to you if you tweet something uninteresting because of reply-fatigue, and it's really hard to be interesting all the time, even when you try. Another problem is that, assuming that the last 10 people that have followed you did so because you tweeted about Reddit's SOPA blackout, they may not be interested when you tweet about the IPL cricket league. You'll need more new followers that are interested in cricket to reply to those specific tweets.

So the more followers you get, the more people might be interested in the many topics you might tweet about, and the more you mitigate that 1% rule. Some might argue that you don't need people replying to your every tweet, and that makes sense, but if you don't want people replying to at least some of your tweets, then why the fuck are you on Twitter? You may as well write messages on paper and drop them down a well.

Incidentally, if you want to follow me, I'm the guy with the fitting handle,
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