Twittering about Twitter and Blogging about Twitter might appear to be the sign of an empty life. But it is a real and real-time social phenomenon which deserves observation and comment in more than 140 characters.
Late night on The Now Show – “probably” (spoken in very deep voice to get “in joke” effect) the best comedy show on UK radio – Mitch Benn sang a song about Twitter. He was saying partly tongue in cheek, that famous Twitters compare their popularity. Mitch Benn had at 6.30 last night just under 1400 followers. Stephen Fry (at time of writing) has 325,000 followers. Mitch Benn’s thinking was this; there are million and a half listeners to The Now Show – if all the listeners followed him on Twitter, he’d have more than Stephen Fry.
I was in for that – I followed Mitch Benn only to discover that while he had just under 1400 followers, he only follows 42. Stephen Fry follows 55,000.
And there Mitch Benn is the nub of the problem. Twitter is not about following you or being followed, it’s about showing an interest in other people.
@pennydist posted on Twitter about 5 hours ago from sxsw: “People who say twitter is pure vanity have never had their lives enriched by it….”
Within a few hours Mitch Benn had 500 new followers, but he was still only following 42 people. The programme is repeated today. How many followers will he have by this evening? If he’s only following 42, well, he’s missed the point of Twitter. Here’s the primer; it’s about being social, not about being followed. You have already got 1.5 million listeners for that.