Monday, June 01, 2009

Followship Diversity?

New Harvard Research suggests a Man of Twitter (MOT) is almost twice as likely to follow another MOT than a Woman of Twitter (WOT).

And in other news, Hell is still HOT.

The NEWS to me is that Harvard finds this trend stunning:
These results are stunning given what previous research has found in the context of online social networks i. On a typical online social network, most of the activity is focused around women - men follow content produced by women they do and do not know, and women follow content produced by women they know. Generally, men receive comparatively little attention from other men or from women. We wonder to what extent this pattern of results arises because men and women find the content produced by other men on Twitter more compelling than on a typical social network, and men find the content produced by women less compelling (because of a lack of photo sharing, detailed biographies, etc.).

Huh? Remember the pre-historic era of blogrolls? Remember the echo chamber? Remember Aggregators and top feeds? Remember Techmeme? Twitter is not a new Internet, it's just a new node with the same tendencies and hierarchies (and patriarchies) replicated in 140 characters. I really don't GET the assumption that men usually follow/read/link-to women, and that women do the same. It's just not true. Not online, not offline, not never.

An interesting fact to me is the sheer velocity of popularity on twitter, and how ACTIVITY (not content) may be what drives follows:
Specifically, the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets.

That may mean that tweeting OBNOXIOUSLY OFTEN gets you somewhere on Twitter. But then, I think we already knew that.

2 comments:

Indigo said...

Thanks for this post. I just joined Twitter days ago, so haven't seen any trends myself (consider following me, btw, http://twitter.com/IAmIndigoOcean). I was shocked however to find a guy on there using my real name as his screen name. Odd. Anyway, I agree that in the old days of blogdom there was a very strong male dominance of the blogrolls, hence the founding of Blogsisters, I believe. New day. Same old %_@#

Rumela said...

Although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers than women. Men also have more reciprocated relationships, in which two users follow each other. This "follower split" suggests that women are driven less by followers than men, or have more stringent thresholds for reciprocating relationships. thank you for shearing your post.

Thanks

Rumela
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