Top tweeters list based on number of tweets? This is so 2009…

I grew up in Adelaide and my family still live there. I left for Sydney in 1995 and in 2006 moved to London.

I keep resisting the calls from my family to move back to Australia, and one of my main defences is that where I’m playing (the UK and US) we are well advanced in terms of digital marketing and social media and that I’d be twiddling my thumbs for a couple of years if we moved back.

This is probably a bit harsh, and it keeps my family at bay however my eyebrows were raised when I was reading the Sunday Mail (Sunday version of the Advertiser, Adelaide’s only newspaper) on my iPad and came across a story about “SA’s top 100 twitter users”.

You can see the 2 page article below – click for a larger view

(oh and by the way, what is a “twit”? – don’t they mean tweets…)

This piece helps fuel my belief that some organisations are stuck in 2009 when it comes to social media.

Influencer analysis (something I know something about due to my day job running Kred) has evolved rapidly – namely

2009 – number of followers
2010 – followers and engagement (RTs, @replies)
2011 – number of friends talking about the topic
2012 – who is the most influential and generous in my community in my city?

The Sunday Mail piece awards the “top tweeter” status based on the “number of tweets“??

Also a quick glance at their #1, #2 and #3 places shows that:

1. Jenno Von Mars comes from Mars and has protected her tweets (so how do they know anything about her?)

2. Bekk Diviney comes from “Bat County” and also protects her tweets

3. Ginger Origliasso lists New York City as her location
…all pretty scientific – and they apparently used a couple of free tools to come up with these gems!

If only Michelle Prak @prakky (#20 on the list, Kred score of 828/9 top communities recruitment/sailing/advertising) had consulted them this would never have happened.

Thankfully Steve Davis, Marketing Director at Baker Marketing in Adelaide also called out this article as not only wrong but unhelpful titled:

The Sunday Mail Top 100 Adelaide Twits List: The Danger of a Twitter Fluff Piece

The Sunday Mail article shows where social media is in some parts of the world and what qualifies as “mainstream” journalism. I’m still shaking my head about this.

If this is where Adelaide is at in terms of social media understanding, then I’m staying put.

Update – just found out that the author of this piece is Petra Starke @petstarrKred score 763/7 communities reporters/celebrity news/news) and she actually lives in New York – and writes about Adelaide. She should therefore know better from a New York perspective that no-one talks in terms of “top tweeters” based on the number of tweets from a protected account.

PS – After posting this, I received a cryptic tweet from Petra..

@AndrewGrill @prakky I could tell you that I wrote the article I was asked to write, but instead I’ll just tell you to write a letter to Ed.

So this is the Adelaide media mentality if they commission stories like this **sigh**

PPS – if I “write a letter to the Editor” and respond in the way that old-school newspapers want me to, then no-one would have heard about it.

Instead, I tweeted you, and you responded instantly and already hundreds of people (500 at last count) have clicked on the link I shared on Twitter and are ready my response to the editor. This is the new world (and the new world for brands also).

For a very reasoned view on this whole issue – head over to Michelle Prak’s blog and read what she thinks.

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Based in London, Andrew is an internationally renowned thought leader in the field of social business and social media networks. Andrew is a Global Partner with IBM, with a focus on Social Business.



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  • http://twitter.com/marketingblogs/status/181717674898882561/ (@marketingblogs) (@marketingblogs)

    Top tweeters list based on number of tweets? This is so 2009… http://t.co/N9MHtxFL

  • http://adelaidetweet.com Mark Gamtcheff

    What a pity a double page spread was wasted on a list, instead of more insightful piece to help Twitter’s non-users understand the full potential of the medium. A more apt title for the article like “Adelaide’s most prolific tweeters” would have helped. Hopefully the Sunday Mail will follow this up with social media stories that don’t treat their readers and Twitter users like idiots.

  • http://twitter.com/CarolynLake/status/181737133151760384/ Carolyn (@CarolynLake)

    @melanie_hocking http://t.co/HOL0ELOC

  • http://londoncalling.co Andrew Grill

    I’d love to arrange a @kred powered “Top SA Influencer” list – ranked properly by influence and outreach – that would be a much more interesting list to read.

  • http://londoncalling.co Andrew Grill

    Mark – you’re so right. Looks like this article was commissioned to appeal to a Sunday audience about “what is twitter” – and even after reading it I’m still not sure what they achieved.

  • http://twitter.com/maximillian_/status/181758925182480384/ maxim illian (@maximillian_)

    (you get a mention @GraceBellavue…sort of) MT @AndrewGrill “SA’s top 100 tweeters” article so wrong for so many reasons http://t.co/igPbENxj

  • http://twitter.com/JeremyJacobs/status/181826852376158208/ (@JeremyJacobs) (@JeremyJacobs)

    RT @AndrewGrill: lots of the traffic from Australia on my blog today – this may be the reason why http://t.co/Y57m3kqi

  • http://twitter.com/JeremyJacobs/status/181826852376158208/ Jeremy Jacobs (@JeremyJacobs)

    RT @AndrewGrill: lots of the traffic from Australia on my blog today – this may be the reason why http://lc.tl/sm100

  • http://twitter.com/NickWAllen/status/181841833750560768/ (@NickWAllen) (@NickWAllen)

    People, please learn! It’s Value of network not size! 2 bad examples today http://t.co/U32mCNcq http://t.co/9OPaXy4Z HT @AndrewGrill

  • http://twitter.com/zurichfive/status/181841985001365504/ Joe (@zurichfive)

    RT @AndrewGrill: lots of the traffic from Australia on my blog today – this may be the reason why http://t.co/Y57m3kqi

  • Adam

    Also consider the fact that I know of 2 Adelaide tweeters who were left off the list for no apparent reason, despite “qualifying” by having over 25,000 tweets, leads me to assume that Petra Stark really put very little thought into it. Not that I expected anything else from the Sunday Mail.

  • http://londoncalling.co Andrew Grill

    Adam, where I come from (that would be the real world) no-one but no-one values the worth of a twitter user by the number of tweets.

    This is not a metric any brand, expert, guru or normal person uses. It’s all about who’s relevant.

    Even the number of followers would be a basic, yet more meaningful measure – but followers?? Just because you tweet a lot means… well it means you have a lot of time on your hands and brands steer clear of you.

    They want to find real influencers that have disposable income and don’t spend all day tweeting.

    I have been on twitter since May 2007 and have sent “only” 18,000 tweets (around 10 per day) and that’s a lot for someone gainfully employed.

  • http://twitter.com/GabrielleNYC/status/181858235786076160/ (@GabrielleNYC) (@GabrielleNYC)

    Oops, so 2009 RT @AndrewGrill Good morning #adelaide – you are waking up to the “Sunday Mail Twitter list controversy” http://t.co/OrvAiVPm

  • http://twitter.com/GabrielleNYC/status/181858235786076160/ (@GabrielleNYC) (@GabrielleNYC)

    Oops, so 2009 RT @AndrewGrill Good morning #adelaide – you are waking up to the “Sunday Mail Twitter list controversy” http://lc.tl/sm100

  • Petra Starke

    Hi Andrew and readers, good to see my Twitter story has sparked some discussion. I’m not going to address comments on whether the piece was good or bad – you’re allowed to have your own opinions about what was published. Suffice to say we chose a metric to measure, that metric was tweet volume, and the story made it clear that’s what the “top 100″ referred to. It was a totally objective list based on numbers alone, and was not intended to reflect “quality” or “influence” of Twitter users.

    I would like to address a few points though, firstly – my name is Petra Starke, not Stark. It’s pretty clearly printed on my article.

    Secondly – I’m not sure what a “New York” perspective is, or how it should affect anything I write about Adelaide. Sounds patronising to me.

    Thirdly, to commenter Adam – as there is no exact way of pinpointing Twitter users’ location without them deliberately geotagging all their tweets, the list was restricted to people who used the keywords “Adelaide” or “South Australia” or “Radelaide” or “SA” or “ADL” in their profile description to describe their location. This was made clear in the article. If your friends were left out, perhaps that’s why?

    Fourthly – to address Andrew’s comments about the top 3 having locked profiles or listing strange place names as their location: these changes were made after the article was published, I assume because despite being contacted well in advance of publication, they were a little freaked out by the attention. Both the top 2 denied requests for interviews.

    My article set out to do nothing more than what it claimed – which is to list South Australia’s 100 most prolific Twitterers. Anything else – deducing “influence” for example, which is hardly a perfect science – would have made the list subjective and probably caused even more of a stir than it already has.

  • http://londoncalling.co Andrew Grill

    Petra – fixed the typo on your name. Apologies for that.

    The NY vs SA thing -> the whole point of my post was that the UK and US are more advanced than say Australia.

    As you will see in my comment above, nobody uses tweets as a metric for anything. For all we know you were counting Adelaide based twitter bots spamming people.

    Of greatest amusement was your tweet that suggested I complain to the editor by a letter.

    If we are to take the real learning from this exercise (and to repeat myself)

    If I “write a letter to the Editor” and respond in the way that old-school newspapers want me to, then no-one would have heard about my issue with the article.

    Instead, I tweeted you, and you responded instantly and already hundreds of people (500 at last count) have clicked on the link I shared on Twitter and are ready my response to the editor. This is the new world (and the new world for brands also).

    Glad the article has prompted some discussion!

  • Petra Starke

    “If I ‘write a letter to the Editor’ … then no-one would have heard about my issue with the article” – sure, only the 599,000 people who read the Sunday Mail every week.

    But for instant gratification, granted, you can’t beat Twitter.

  • http://londoncalling.co Andrew Grill

    Petra, this is making you look silly.

    If I do “write a letter” then I still have to :

    1. Get the Editor to approve my letter (small chance) – if that does not happen then point 2 is mute.

    2. Assume everyone will read the letters to the editor section (and who does this?)

    In 2012, I’ll stick to Twitter, it’s real-time, invites conversation and is the future of communication.

  • Pingback: adelaidetweet.com – Adelaide's Twitter Community » Blog Archive » SA’s Top 100 Twitter Users?()

  • http://horuskol.net Stuart Jones

    I find this a little condescending. I can assure you that many Adelaideans do get social media, and are as up to date as the rest of the world.

    It’s not our fault that the rather limited print media in this country hasn’t cottoned on yet.

  • http://twitter.com/horuskol/status/184125235212193792/ Stuart Jones (@horuskol)

    @AndrewGrill – just read your blog post confusing a Sunday Mail article with reality: not to worry, an easy mistake http://t.co/VBttrQdj

  • Wolfie Rankin

    Just a small comment about numbers of followers.

    There’s still a lot of people out there who love to have this massive number of followers beside their names, but on investigation many are bots, eggs and almost any other sort of flotsam that could attach itself to them.

    I could have easily had something like 7000+ followers had I not done some weeding and left myself with actual people.

    Weeding doesn’t take long, and I block about five people per day, and might leave one.

    I have about 1500 actual, living, talky, friendly followers, and what’s more, it looks better to those who might want to follow me in future.

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