Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Great Twitter Babble Experiment

I knew there was a lot of pointless babble on Twitter long before the news broke about it last week. It's just that Pearanalytics put a percentage on it (40% of tweets are "pointless babble").

I began my Great Twitter Babble Experiment at the end of June when it dawned upon me that people seemed to follow other people for no particular reason. I saw a few of these mystery travelers following me on Twitter, so I went to check their feeds and it was a mixture of spam and stream of conscious gobbledygook.

Combining that examination with the herd mentality that follows Ashton Kutcher and others, an idea formed: I would create three feeds devoted to utter nonsense, and see who would take the time to follow them.

I would use no hash marks on my tweets or bookmarks to the feeds.

Here were my three new Twitter accounts: badacne, noanchovies, and itchingpowder. I started each one with a complete no-brainer line about the title topic, cast my lines into the big Twitter ocean and we'd see who would bite. Every few weeks, I'd put up another vacuous tweet.

The hands down winner was badacne, which roped in 16 followers, most of which were hawking beauty and skin products, with a few offering me riches working from home.

I am sad to report that both noanchovies and itchingpowder lured a mere three each.

Perhaps when they say "the great unwashed masses," they were referring to a much larger population trolling through the Twitter landscape.

I guess preventing fish on your pizza is a pretty simple request, and itching powder is out of the Twitter age range. Even the spammers who followed both of those accounts were unrelated to fish, pizza, or practical jokes.

As they require in school, what were the conclusions I drew from my experiment?

1) No matter what you name your Twitter feed, no matter how obscure the reference, if you have not been spammed at least once, you're not official.

2) Anybody can follow anybody, no matter what silliness they write.

3) There's a huge market for skin care solutions on the Internet.

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