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Before you ask I have to tell you, yes, Mr Tweet is an actual owl. A 6 foot owl with a very smart shirt and tie. I had the pleasure of interviewing the legendary recommender in all his feathery glory. Here’s what he had to say about Twitter!
1) Essentially, we look at what you are tweeting, following to “guess” what your personal interests are.
2) Then we look at what everyone else is tweeting, following to assess who are the great people who are either reputable or sharing good content.
The most mainstream example I can think of is Amazon recommendations. As a side note, recommendations consists of a very significant driver of revenue for them. The vast majority of systems today drive people towards the “popular”, whether it is in terms of content (digg, tweetmeme) or people (check out Twitter’s suggested users feature).
We believe less in popularity, but much much more in personalized relevance. You can see more examples in Influence is in the eye of the audience, (not the beholder) and my Interview with Leo Laporte on MrTweet.
You have the average moms who are absolutely addicted to Twitter. You have social media folks who sign up, but do not use it ever again. You have the actors who use their “followers” to broadcast, and keep their “following’ list relatively clean.
The traditional definition of “mainstream’” users is already completely undermined. Twitter will be around forever, but it is impossible to predict in what form or shape.
Haha, depends on who is tweeting and using social media, and how much power they get. Right now, some brands are on Twitter mainly to do damage control (if someone big complains, better respond. If someone small complains, who the $%^& cares). Some are on Twitter to really identify and solve problems for all users.
It is very early, and hence hard to tell who belongs where, but I think it will soon become more clear.
Very interesting, but vastly misjudged in the way people are looking at it now. A simplistic measure of “how many retweets @ABC gets” is completely wrong. For example, someone who built a big network regardless of tactics, post sensationalist postings (”McCain found with male hooker”) regardless of substance, and posts a lot will make it up the list, and fast
Internally, we are very careful to use this as a measure. It is much more important who RTs something.
Not at all. I still have coffee with real friends. Social media facilitates the ability to create and maintain weak ties, which means you are not very close, but does not necessarily mean that there is no value in there. In fact, if you look at this classic 1973 sociology paper by Mark Granovetter, most value is being driven by weak ties.
On a purely personal basis, i think @andrew_chen has the best tweets on web apps and entrepreneurship. But once again, it is all about personal relevance. =).
Mr Tweet! It was an absolute pleasure to chat to you. I personally have found so many brilliant twitterers through following you. If you want to have some [amazingly relevant] recommendations then follow MrTweet.
I’ve interviewed a whole host of other Internet gurus over the past few weeks including Guy Kawasaki, Tim O’Reilly, ProBlogger, Smashing Magazine and Chris Coyier so don’t forget to check them out.
Be sure and follow me at @paddydonnelly if you want to find out first about the next exciting Twitter interview.