I decided to follow up my Twitter ratios’ table from May with a revised one. A few politicians have been taken out, a few non-Americans have been put in, and I inserted one friend (who is famous anyway) as someone told her that her Twitter ratio wasn’t very good. (I beg to differ, after feeding her following–follower ratio in to the Quattro Pro spreadsheet, and knowing how she uses Twitter.) I also added new-tech guru Loïc Le Meur in there just to see where people in his industry might be.
Interestingly, some following numbers went down for a few celebs. This could be due to Twitter ﬁxing up its count: as of today, there were some bugs on Twitter leading to these numbers being inaccurate. The biggest drop in ratio was with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, who experienced a huge jump in follower numbers (they increased eightfold). A similar thing had happened to English actor Stephen Fry earlier this year, which forced his ratio down, too.
As before, Karl Rove, California First Lady Maria Shriver, President Obama and Britney Spears maintained respectable ratios, and are in the top part of the table. Obviously, a higher ratio suggests (assuming the Tweeter has interaction) that the person embraces two-way communication. However, a poor ratio is not a reﬂection of the person’s grasp of the service: it could mean anything from someone who is careful about whom they followed back (initially, I only followed people I knew in real life), or someone who has not been able to keep up with the inﬂux of followers.
I expect politicians to have better ratios given that they are meant to be representative of the people, and falls in ratios for some high-proﬁle names—who do not have Gov. Schwarzenegger’s excuse of an eightfold increase—are disappointing.
Those at the bottom of the table perhaps see Twitter as a top–down broadcast medium for themselves, rather than one where they can interact with their audiences, or are simply very inactive on the service. I have already said my piece on how I feel about that.
For average Joes like me, I would be rather be in the middle of the table or above; for celebrities, 2 to 20 per cent indicates some acknowledgement that Twitter is not a one-way medium for them.
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