Why I too cant believe the Tweetminster report

You know what – I really can’t get too exercised about the Tweetminster report – for I’ve long believed we won’t see an Internet election in 2010. The biggest swing at the most recent elections (in the UK) took place in Bassetlaw during the County and Euros where it was a feet on ground, paper through letterboxes, and talking on the doorstep traditional campaign. Why? Well it works!

Now I found it amusing that Tory Radio was excluded from the Tweetminster report. So I asked why, and helpfully Alberto Nardelli gave some enlightened replies which I think I should share with you given recent events given they have already had to re-assess their findings.

So why weren’t Tory  Radio included? According to Alberto they,  “purposely have excluded artificial numbers from our report.” So initially I assumed it was an ad-hoc decision to exclude Tory Radio. No apparently they “don’t choose – it’s all based on scripts and algorithms” (Show us the methodology and don’t hide behind scripts and algorithms. It would be like me saying I have a script which detects bulls**t and it’s ringing pretty loudly at the moment).

What was my sin? Actively following as many people as possible. Not using any Software as was alleged but using a website where you can follow people. In fact many sites which judge twitter influence suggest that is exactly what you should do to increase your reach and influence.

Then the allegation was made that the majority of my followers are ‘Bots’. Again – no evidence to say 11,000 of the followers I have are ‘Bots’ – just an assertion that I assume it is shown by these fabled scripts and algorithms). Now according to Alberto “each time you follow one, 10 more auto-follow you and so on – our scripts detect such patterns.”

Again no evidence – but that’s where it falls down.

If I have one bot according to Alberto 10 more follow giving me 11. He says ‘and so on’. So from those 11 multiply by 10 and you are at 110. That means by 6 days I would have 110,000 following ‘Bots’ if it continued (which is what and so on means). I am the first to admit loads of my followers may well be marketeers. They are likely to be none UK based. Is that against twitter rules? Sorry I’m not sure Alberto can make the rules on WHO you can follow.

Granted followers are not the sole measure of influence. I agree. I KNOW I am nowhere near as influential as the likes of @TimMontgomerie and @IainDale. I actually don’t think I am as influential as the Mark Thomson @markreckons who is prolific on twitter and whose tweets I enjoy to read.

What I find amusing is that Tweetminster launched this report with lots of fanfare. I questioned it and was told they were right – yet since then they have had to reassess their findings in a big way. They focus on twitter which is all about engaging – yet as far as I can see you can’t comment on their blog (so not sure if I would let them on mine actually).

And when I did a bit of digging to find a different tool (tweet level) to measure twitter influence, I came off quite well. But what is even more interesting – is tweet level publish how they measure things. Tweetminster do not. For that reason even though Tweetminster  may think they have the best measurement tool, I cannot put any faith it their findings.

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One Response to Why I too cant believe the Tweetminster report

  1. Watchman says:

    I think I've seen this somewhere before – government linked agency makes declaration, declaring it supported by scientific evidence but not publishing.

    When challenged, can't substantiate claims.

    Now where was that again?

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