Modern Software Experience
XXXXX

2009-03-26

Twitter

profile

Each twitter profile shows some basic information. There’s a Name, a location, a web site, a bio and some statistics. Those base statistics includes the number of following (also known as friends), the number of followers and the number of tweets (also known as updates).

more stats

With just these three numbers you can already calculate some other values, such as the following / follower ratio or a follower / tweet ratio ratio, and that is only the start of the fun.
Throw in your start date and you can calculate the average number of tweets per day and the average number of followers per day.

Various tools exists that simply display basic stats or track and calculate additional statistics.

TwitterCounter

site

TwitterCounter simply tracks the number of followers you have. Their website will display a graph, and makes predictions for tomorrow and thirty days from now.

TwitterCounter badge

TwitterCounter’s most popular feature is probably the TwitterCounter Badge, available in several styles, which you can put or your own site to boast about how popular you are, but be warned that it demands JavaScript, so safe surfers will not see it.

get more followers?

TwitterCounter promotes its badge with the text Get more followers: Add TwitterCounter to your site, blog or social network. Their suggestion is that if I were to display this counter to oh-so subtlety inform you, my visitors about tall the followers I have already, you will be so impressed that you will immediately decide to follow me. Nonsense of course, you are following me already.

Joking aside, to get followers from you blog, a simple Twitter button should do, the TwitterCounter badge is not really about promoting you, but about promoting TwitterCounter.

TwitterMosaic

Now, if you really want to show off how popular you are, you are not going to settle for a mere counter, you will want to show off a twitter mosaic that displays the avatar for each and every one of your followers. And if displaying all of them on your blog is not good enough, you can buy cards, T-shirts. mouse pads, mugs and bags with your twitter mosaic on it, to impress your boss and colleagues with your twittastic popularity.

Tweet140

If you follow tweet140, the Tweet140 will tracks the length of your tweets, count the number of perfect tweets, tweets with exactly 140 characters, to rank you on its twooshboard.

follow cost

Follow cost calculates your average number of tweets per day, naturally expressed in milliscobles, the universally accepted measure of twitterosity (one scoble is approximately 21,21 tweets per day, see their site for full explanation).
The follow cost site calculates both your all-time average and the average for your last hundreds tweets.

Below the two boxes that prominently display these two numbers are a political index and reply index. The political index is the percentage of tweets that mention politics, and the reply index is the number of tweets that are @replies (tweets directed at someone).

Twitter Grader

Twitter rank

Twitter Grader calculates a so-called twitter rank and grade. Your twitter rank is your place in the twitterverse as Twitter Grader sees it; the highest possible rank is 1, the lowest possible rank is whatever the current number of twitterers (using Twitter Grader) is.
How Twitter Grader calculates it rank exactly is not known, but the formula most definitely involves the number of friends, the number of followers and the number of tweets.

Twitter grade calculation

From your rank and the total number of twitterers, it calculates your twitter grade as a percentage; if your rank is 150.000 and there are 1.000.000 twitterers, your twitter grade is 100%-15%=85%.

quality

It is important to understand that the twitter grade does not reflect the quality of the tweets, merely the twitterers rank as calculated by their formulas. When I asked Twitter Grader to grade an account that is just a link-spamming twitterfeed bot, it told me that the account is has a twitter grade of 95 %. It has a fairly high Twitter Grade, but it remains a lousy bot.

Twitter Elite

Twitter Grader displays the highest ranking users as the Twitter Elite. There is a global top 100, and there are many local top 50s; per country, per province and per place.

twitterholic

Twitterholic calculates both your global twitter rank, and a local ranking for your town. It displays a table of historical and a graph of your followers over time. Its ranking is based on the number of followers, the number of friends and the number of tweets. The twitterholic home page shows the twitterholic top 100.

twInfluence

twInfluence analyses your tweets, friend and followers to calculate various scores. twInfluence calculates Velocity, Social Capital and Centralisation - and an overall Rank.
To calculate all these statistics, it first calculates reach, which it defines as all your followers plus all their followers.

The web site explains these concepts without any mathematics:

conceptbrief description
Velocityaverage increase in reach since you joined twitter
Social Capitalwhether your followers have many followers themselves
Centralisationhow much your reach depends on just a few twitterers

After calculating these number, twInfluence somehow combines all those numbers into an overall twInfluence rank.

All this is rather mystifying. To help you make sense of the Social Capital and Centralisation numbers, twInfluence shows a text such as Average behind it. Further context is provided by the top fifty lists on the site.

Twitalyzer

numbers

The Twitalyzer (yes, that is a z instead of an s) analyses your data to present five numbers:

valuebrief description
Influencenumber of followers and how often you are retweeted
Signaltweets that includes links, references to others, hashtags, retweets
Velocityhow often you tweet
Generosityhow often you retweet others
Clouthow often you are mentioned by others (retweets)

number sense

Right now, Twitalyzer says my signal-to-noise ratio is astonishingly high, which makes sense to me, as I try to tweet interesting links, and often take the time to add a hashtag.

Not all numbers make as much sense to me. I get the impression that they are comparing to some of the Twitter rock stars, on the assumption that we should all be like that.

increase your influence

Twitalyzer has an Increase Your Influence in Twitter link on the results page. When you follow that link, Twitalyzer shows a report that compares your values to the averages for some group of 240 people who have about 25% more influence.

When I followed, it showed that these have more updates and yet more signal. Apparently that is what I should be striving for, and it is very easy to do: just keep tweeting all day.

TwitterFriends

TwitterFriends performs some analyses and then shows your numbers compared to its average. That’s not all though. There are multiple tabs for you to explore. For example the @From and @To tab shows name clouds of the people you conversed with.

TwitterFriends calculates and then graphs various numbers. The visualisation tab has a very cool visualising of whom you conversed with and how much. The Net tab shows the people you replied to most often.

conversation piece

Some of the tabs only work if you logon to twitter. The Statistics tabs is available without logging in. It shows various basic statistics, such as average number of tweets per day, and your follow cost in milliscobles, but the focus of this application is on the Conversation Quotient (CQ); how many of your tweets are @replies, expressed as percentage. In my case, about one in three. It also shows Link Quotient (how often do you include links) and Retweet Quotient (how often do you retweet).
When you visit this site, do take some time to look beyond the Statistics tab. The Visualisation tab is particularly nice.

retweetist

If you retweet someone else’s tweet, you are a retweetist. It is fairly easy to track how often you retweet, but it is more interesting to track how often you are retweeted. The retweetist web site shows just that; which tweets are being retweeted and by whom.

free stuff

A tweet highlighting a site with free web templates was retweeted within minutes, as was a tweet about free family tree templates, confirming that free stuff is always popular.

opinions

Clearly articulated strong opinions seem popular as well. My remark about Internet Explorer needing to support web standards, as well as my remark (with link to article) about twitter being for microblogging were both retweeted more than once.

2009-03-05 14:38TamuraJones#internet Web browsers do not need to support Internet Explorer pages. Internet Explorer must support web pages.

2009-03-10 00:07TamuraJonesArticle: Twitter is for microblogging, not for link-spamming your macroblog. http://tinyurl.com/twitisblog.

retweetrank

The retweetrank home page invites you to enter your Twitter username and then calculates your retweetrank for you. Your retweetrank is of course some rank based on how often you are retweeted - and then calculates a percentile score from that.

number

The retweetrank seems based on the absolute number of retweets, so until you have a few hundred thousand followers that might decide retweet your wit and wisdom, you are unlikely to show up on its leader board.

number 1

Number one on the leader board is not any of the oft-retweeted users, butgarymccaffrey, whose tweetergetter pyramid scheme makes participants send out twitter spam that deliberately starts with RT @garymccaffrey. It is doubtful that this spammeteer ever had a single thought worth retweeting, but the constant stream of spam from his pyramid participants gets him retweetrank 1.

TwitRank

TwitRank is very simple; you enter your username, and are awarded a number on a scale from 1 through 10. That’s it. There is no explanation on how the number is calculated.

TunkRank

TunkRank is another extremely simple ranking site: enter a Twitter name, get a percentile score.

TunkRank uses the TunkRank algorithm created by Daniel Tunkelang. The central idea of that algorithm that being followed by someone who follows a lot of others isn’t worth much, as they are unlikely to actually read your tweet, whereas as much as being followed by someone who follows only a few others is likely to read your every tweet.

Twitterank

login

The twitterank home page has boxes to enter your Twitter username and password in, but there is no need to do so. Just fill in the username of any twitterer in the other box to see their twitterank.

twitterank

Twitterank shows a page with a number, your twitterank, and a percentile score. The twitterank number is just that, a number, but the site has a Top50 that can help you put the twitterank into some context. A nice touch that it shows a confidence level for that percentile score with a WTF link next to it that leads to an explanation of confidence level.

The twitterank FAQ does not explain the algorithm for calculating the rank, but links to a blog post that explains twitterank is very much like the basic Google Rank idea; Google PageRank looks at web links to your site, twitterank looks at @replies to you.

Twick Size

Twick Size is, ahem, not entire suitable for work. Twick Size bills itself as the ultimate measure of twitter power. Just enter your username (or someone else's) to get an answer to the question How big is your twick?, as measured in inches.

Twitemperature

Twitemperature does not give you a Twitter rank, but a hotness rank; your rank depends on whether you are tweeting about today’s hot topic. Generally, you won’t be more than ice cold or frigid.

informational

Many of these services either provide a badge for your blog or have a button to send a ready-made tweet to boast about your ranking. It is all fun and games, it is all merely informational. Some services use the numbers they collect and statistics they calculate recommend which tweeple you should follow.

updates

2009-04-08 TunkRank

Added TunkRank.

2011-04-23 Twitterank

Twitterank ceased operation. Removed broken links.

2011-04-23 sxoop

The Sxoop TwitterMosaic service seems to be gone. Removed the broken link.

links

general

twitteristics

twitterweb site
thecounterTwitterCounter

TwitterMosaic (defunct)
Tweet140Tweet140 (defunct)
followcostfollow cost
graderTwitter Grader

twitaholic (was twitterholic)
twinfluencetwInfluence (defunct)
twitalyzerTwitalyzer

TwitterFriends (defunct)
retweetistretweetist
retweetrankretweetrank

TwitRank
tunkrankTunkRank
twitemperatureTwitemperature