NOTE This is an unedited archive post. Links, images and opinions may be broken.

Is Twitter worth our time?


For a week I tweeted a ton more than I normally do to see what would happen. Here are the results.

Success is pretty simple, really. Someone once summarized it like this:

  1. Do things.
  2. Tell people.

I’ve never been great at the second. Too modest, perhaps.

For example, I write these posts every week. The hardcores get all of them in their inbox because they subscribed on the left there (thanks for caring!) If I think a post is interesting or helpful, I’ll share it on Facebook and Twitter. If I get a good response, I may repost it an extra time or two on Twitter b/c a post can so easily get lost in the stream.

I don’t want to be annoying.

(I also rarely share things about our company because everyone who knows me has probably heard about Crew and Unsplash 1000x over by now. If not, go to Crew if you need a website made, go to Unsplash if you need or want to look at pretty photos.)

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the next level of success means finding a happy medium somewhere between where I am now and the total-brutal-full-on spam.

Numbers are like my friends - there are only 9 of them

For reasons not relevant here today, I’ve had my nose buried in financials and data and analytics for the past few weeks. And a very very small part of that had me looking into Twitter.

My instinct has always been that no one reads other peoples’ tweets unless you’re famous. Or unless you tweet ALL THE TIME. I tweet a couple times a day at most. Sometimes, once a week.

Some people see them, but it's more for me than them. I love reading backwards through my Twitter feed.

And it's great to get a thought out of your head or craft a joke but I'm so often disappointed by the small amount of feedback. Even if I don't expect it, I have no way to tell what's well-received and what's confusing so I can't hone my tone.

Perfect example, I loved this one:

But did any one else besides that one lonely guy?

Regardless, a quick look into this blog's numbers confirmed Twitter is not a great promotion tool if you're casual about it. You've gotta get on there and SHOUT.

For example, I have just over 300 friends / followers on Facebook, and about 1100 (mostly real people) followers on Twitter. Yet the same post in both places gets about 5x the traffic when I post it on Facebook vs. Twitter.

Interesting. Maybe most of those 1100 don't even open Twitter most days, but even it's 300-300, that's still a lot more look-see happening on Facebook.

Posts that people share / RT usually get done equally and just up the numbers keeping the ratio roughly the same.

Normally, I'd put graphs and shit in here to make my point, but I've got an experiment to set up.

What happens when you get shouty on Twitter? An experiment

I've decided to do a little experiment on Twitter for this upcoming week. I'll forget about being modest. I'll shout, which is to say I’ll tweet with a much higher frequency:

  1. To see how people react. Will I lose followers? Will I gain them? Will I get lots of likes and RTs? Or will I be - like I predict - shouting into the wind with only a few scattered people hearing each howl.

  2. To get used to being a bit more shout-y about the things I do. I’ll queue up lots of dumb jokes but also plenty of links to things I’ve done and things I like that other people have done.

Right now I have 1167 followers.

I'm also going to track some search terms and some other-account mentions and gather some datasets that I may mess with towards the end of the week.

If there’s anything interesting I’ll post an update to this post (rather than waste your time with a whole new one on this same relatively-unimportant topic because, again, I don’t want to waste your time and I’m probably too nice.)

Let’s see how this goes!

If you don’t follow me on Twitter (or aren’t on Twitter) you can find me here.

If you haven’t read my post about retirement savings, you should do that now.

If you’re not a regular reader, check out the most popular posts on the left. They’re overflowing with my signature blend of wisdom and stupidity.