For the past few days, I’ve been following five people I consider influential on Twitter,
how often did they Tweet?
what times of the day?
what sort of things were they saying?
. . . things like that.
Well, one of the people I chose to follow was Roger Ebert of theChicago Sun-Times, partly because I am a huge fan of his movie reviews, but also because I remembered a column he had written in 2009 in which he explained why he had hitherto been skeptical of the platform, but was finally willing to give it a try.. Like me, he was a late adopter and—also like me—he was a little dubious over what nuggets could be conveyed in a mere 140 characters.
In that particular October 2009 column, “This just in: I am a Twit“, Mr. Ebert explains that he had realized his Twitteristance was futile, and that he was finally willing to try it—at least as an experiment.
Well, it’s now a year and a half later and . . . well, all I can say is, “Tweet, tweet, tweet . . . that man’s got the beat!”
Mr. Ebert has become a Tweet machine! No kidding!
Here are just today’s (Sunday’s) stats—times are Central:
6:00 AM – 10:00 AM: 8 Tweets
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM: 7 Tweets
2:00 PM – 7:00 PM 7 Tweets (as I type this)
That’s 22 Tweets over 14 hours (somebody check my math, please. I’m challenged); and it’s all original material! Of course, that shouldn’t have come as a surprise, as Mr. Ebert gave as his reason for finally giving in was:
my realization that I have a very special gift for writing messages of 144 characters, including spaces. Why should I selfishly hide this from the world?
Indeed, Mr. Ebert. Indeed!
Of course, that doesn’t beat Guy Kawasaki, who Tweeted 30 times between 8:00 AM and 4:40 (Pacific Time). But Mr. Kawasaki’s Tweets consisted exclusively of links to other sites.
Plus, unlike Mr. Ebert, who spread his Tweets out over the course of the day, Mr. Kawasaki seemed to clump his together beginning with 5 Tweets at 9:00 AM and reaching his apex at around the 1:00 mark, with a burst of 10. Maybe he had an appointment and wanted to get his quota out. Or maybe he just wanted to take a nap.
My other three choices were pretty much no-shows: Jon Stewart, Howard Kurtz, and Joss Whedon. I’d expected more from them, but belatedly recognized the hope that they might—just might—be hard at work . . . instead of trying to fit 15,000 word inspirations into 140 character slivers. One can only hope.
By the way: Pardon the mixed metaphor at the end, but this is social media, after all. And social media—as has been explained to me time and time again—means never never to have to say you’re sorry. Oops! I just said it.