A Tweeting Fool or a Tweeting Genius? How Do YOU Add Value to the Tweetstream?

[Tim Walker posted the following question. Can genius and social media go together? on his What I’ve Learned So Far. And in my infinite cheekiness I could not resist an answer. And in my own self-aggrandizement I could not stop at the mere comment, I have to turn the idea into an entire post. So much for 140 characters! So here is a crosspost that might grow beyond the initial discussion with Tim’s blog.]

does twitter = RSS
does twitter = RSS?

Is posting an answer a form of braggadocio? I am no genius. I am constantly working on patience.

That said, the social media system is inherently interruptive in nature. Twitter being the most insistent model, blink and you’ll miss the entire conversation. But is that a bad thing?

So today a study revealed that 10% of Tweeters produce 90% of the Tweets. They can’t all be geniuses, and they most certainly would be doing something other than tweeting if they were geniuses. So…

Social media is wonderful within limits. It is important for your sanity to put a bounding box around the influence and interruptions you are willing to tolerate from Twitter, email, IM, blog commenting and such.

Here’s a pop quiz, gather up all of your 140 character messages for the last month and put them in a document. Delete all RT’s and conversational @ messages and ask: Now, what is the percentage of genius on the page of what YOU created? Original wisdom? Wit? Or shite?

It is increasingly important to turn off the social media interruptions when you are trying to create something of value. Unless your value is in the form of 90 second sound bites, I would suggest you focus your genius on the longer form. How about the genius of Blog commenting, or actually writing the full blog post?

Still genius is everywhere among us. Some geniuses focus their intelligence more effectively than others. And even us sub-geniuses can learn to be more efficient and effective by putting what mental resources we have on the task of posing or answering questions. And that activity leads to a better possibility of creating something of value in the dialogue between us.

[end of blog comment]

Okay Mr. Mac, good idea. So now do it, dissect your tweetstream and see what you have been doing with your allotted 14o.

First I used Tweetake to download my last 1,002 tweets into a csv.

my tweetstream in a csv

And then pulling them into Excel I deleted all blip.fms, RTs, and conversation specific @s to come up with my original content, for better or worse, it’s all I got.

my tweet to meat ratio
my tweet to meat ratio

And so, from 1002 total tweets I have 347 tweets where I actually created original content. (35% content)

The other types of content break down like this:

  • RT: 243 (24%)
  • @s: 158 (16%)
  • Blips: 223 (22%) “listening to” (I disconnected my blip.fm from my twitter stream a week ago, thinking these were not really high-value tweets, fun being a Tweet-Jay, but not really what I’m about)
  • Liked/Fav’d: 31 (0.03%)
my twitter makeup (based on 1002 tweets)
my twitter makeup (based on 1002 tweets)

And let’s see, any genius in there… uh… Well, here are my top 6, self-selected.

  1. Can we all just quit calling it SOCIAL MEDIA already. And let’s not talk about TWITTER either… Gosh, we’re boring ourselves. #gosh
  2. DEAR TWITTER, Please oh please oh please let me follow ONE MORE PERSON! Seriously if I forget them I’ll never find them again. Thank You. (responding to hitting the “you can follow no more people at this time” error)
  3. So, putting some dumb character before the @ now let’s other peeps see my @s to folks they don’t know. UG! #TwitterFail
  4. So… What if someone really were readin all this stuff we’re tweeting, I mean, really, like in the DB forever! Would I be more quiet? Nah!
  5. blip killed my browser – damn I was almost finished with a GTD post (heh heh – that’s ironic) Damn, must focus on task at hand. #gtd
  6. Amazing how some tweeps you follow, who have been silent for months, suddenly begin to Tweet their heads off. Welcome to the PARTAAAY!

Nope not anything of genius. But not ONE ADVERTISEMENT and NOT ONE GHOST TWEET. That’s right, NOT ONE!

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