Sergio Navarro

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Taliban Rules for Scrounger Twitter Users

Posted on June 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM

The success of an user on Twitter is usually measured by its number of followers. It reflects its influential ability. Eventhought some people states this is not necessarily true, they point more precise measures are those which evaluate the influential ability of an user based on the number of mentions or retweets obtained by the user. In my opinion it is a sensible idea but still it is not enough. The point is it doesn't take into account the scrounger users.


Usually you can see between your followers there is a group which never reply or comment your tweets and never retweets them. Accept it, the most obvious reason for this it is your twits are not so interesting as you think!. Are you sure?

Then if it is the reason, why on earth they continue following you for ever and ever?. It has sense since that currently still a small number of Internet users produce the contents consumed by millions of people. So in spite you don't have retweets maybe you are influencing silently almost all of your followers.

Collecting impressions with other twitter users, I have find three typical groups of users who do not retweet you even if you produce worthy info. Each of these groups follow one of this motivations:

  • Those which are following you just to try that you follow them because they want to have the maximum followers possible for marketing purposes.
  • Those for which the subject they usually tweet is different from the subject of your tweets so obviously they don't want to share your tweets with their followers.
  • The scrounger users, those users who doesn't share meaningful information and are in Twitter only for obtainig information but not for sharing truly interesting info.

Obviously Twitter, forums, blogs, ... are alive thanks to people that understood that meaningfull sharing is the only way for moving forward individually and collectively. In order to convert scrounger users in collaborative users it would be useful to add extra features to twitter that penalizes those kind of users.


For finding a way of measuring how much scrounger an user is, let's review which behaviors could be typical scrounger behaviors:

  • To hide information: You receive a worthy tweet but you don't want to share it with your followers just because you consider it could make the difference with other competitors (Silly idea, I know). So instead of retweetting it, in the best case, you mark it as favourite to review it in the future.
  • To follow silently new users. When you receive an interesting retweet from someone you follow and instead of retweetting it you silently start to follow the original user who wrote the retweet but don't retweet its tweet.
  • To discredit a competitor user you follow retweetting only those tweets from the person you follow that can be misinterpreted out of its context with the only purpose of smearing the author.

The first two behaviors can be detected and measured, the third one is your responsibility, simply take care of what you tweet.


Furthermore, another strategy Twitter can carry on is to give points for sharing. For example if you are the author of a retwetted tweet you receive as much points as number of retweets the tweet receives. Furthermore those users who retweet a tweet receive 0.5. point per user that retweets its retweet and so on ... In order to avoid to cheat, if you receive a retweet from someone and instead of retweeting his retweet, you retweet the original author tweet then you receive no points and your points will be for the user who submitted it to you.


Finally, in order to promote collaborative behaviors, it should exist a limit of number of follows you can have if you are under a threshold of points. Moreover the points per share should be visible next to the user.


For concluding, I would like to give thanks to god for don't giving me the responsibility of managing Twitter cause applying this taliban rules for scrounger users its is likely it would reduce the current levels of popularity and success of Twitter just because almost the internet users are passive users.

So for me will be enough if this post helps a bit to make Twitter a more collaborative tool simply remembering everybody what is fair to demand to ourselves as followers of other people.


Related and more interesting reference than this aloud thought:

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