On the 24th of May 2011, Mez Merrett sent out a brilliant tweet:
If you prefer TWITTER over FB then please retweet, i’m trying to show @Jessmayporter how far one tweet can actually go, Thanks for helping
Mez has a hot avatar and bio, so does Jessika. The tweet is hot too: it’s got the right words (please, trying, actually, Thanks, helping), the right emphasis (TWITTER, FB), and it’s perfectly retweetable: 138 characters so the only quick way to RT it is Twitter old-style (or is that new-style now?): literally repeat as-is
It was a success. A great success. A brilliant success. From the conversations I’ve since had with Mez, I’m assuming it was an experiment, but maybe it was an accident as well (I’m putting my money on the former)
I RT’ed it myself, and started following the chain of events with Twuniverse. The average global TTT (Twitter Trending Topic) runs at 1-10 TPS (tweets Per Second), and this one ran at 30 TPM (Tweets Per Minute) at its height. For a mere mortal, that’s awesome.
Unfortunately, Twitter only gives you a maximum of 1,500 tweets, and no history. I neglected to save all tweets and build up an archive, but given the fact that it ran in between 15 and 30 TPM for almost a day and now is still running at 30 TPH, sometimes peaking at a few TPM, my estimation is that it got RT-ed at least 15,000 times, probably 25,000 times, and possibly even 35,000 times
At some point, Deborah Willemen cut in, replacing Mez’s name with hers. At that point she’d been on Twitter for 77 days, with 200 followers and 100 follows. Whatever the intention, she got sucked into the flow as a result.
What is the outcome for these three people? Mez, Jessika and Deborah? Klout gives a nice view of that, as it is a dumb and highly flawed counting application: here is Mez
Graphs tell stories so well, don’t they? Mez skyrocketed into Perkability here, as 70 seems to be the point where Klout draws their line to send expensive gifts to people, like “DreamWorks Pictures invites influential moms and dads to bring their kids to an early screening of Kung Fu Panda 2”
How did Deborah do?
Even better than Mez – but then her odds were very small to start with. 200 followers versus Mez’s 9,000 – noblesse oblige.
Jessika hardly moved – now that’s odd isn’t it? Didn’t she get thousands and thousands of mentions? Not according to Klout, who assigns her only 1,000 “unique mentions” – hey that’s what she got in half an hour when the tweet was at its height.
If Deborah got 5,000 unique RT’ers, and Mez 8,000 of those, how come Jessika got only 1,000 unique mentions?
Apparently, Klout chose to invest their venture capital into a nicer GUI rather than fix their programming errors – well that was to be expected from this Marketing 1.0 company, wasn’t it?
So, the verdict: it doesn’t mean what you say on Twitter, it matters how often you say it, and how many times that gets RT’ed by how many others; that’s what gets measured by so-called Influence tools – it’s a bit of a StoneAge for those
How will this story continue? Mez’s Klout score will grow a little bit more, and see a steep drop in 4 weeks from now, as Klout counts the last 30 days. The same for Deborah there: in a month from now they won’t be Twelebrities any more
Easy come, easy gone – however, my congratulations to Mez for an absolutely smashing tweet.
(Cross-posted @ Business or Pleasure? – why not both)