The Pew Internet and American Life Project has found that 8 per cent of Americans use Twitter.
If I were an American, I would be among the one-in-four Twitter users who check several times per day for updates — not the one-in-five who never checks.
I once cleaned out about 15 per cent of my followers because it was clear they were dead accounts.
BusinessInsider.com has a chart-like view of how people use Twitter. It shows that of those who are relatively intensive Twitterers, only about 12 per cent of their time is spent sharing links to news sites.
Ah yes, the miracle of the link economy.
Mandy Jenkins, who blogs at Zombie Journalism, had this to say:
This news shouldn’t be surprising, but maybe it is to those who live in the Twitter echo chamber.
When all of your friends, your coworkers, your spouse and the media you consume are on Twitter, it may seem logical to believe a great deal of America is as well. This is a dangerous assumption for journalists and media organizations to make – and I know I’ve been guilty of it from time to time.
While I still think it is very important for journalists to use Twitter, the following facts must be emblazoned on the brains of media Twitterati:
- Twitter represents a very small group of people in your area.
- Being popular on Twitter doesn’t necessarily make one popular or important in real life.
- Re-tweets, replies and Twitter referrals do not adequately represent the larger interest in or importance of your work as a journalist.
- Most people that use Twitter don’t use it to get news.
She had some useful tips on diversifying one’s crowdsourcing efforts beyond Twitter.
Click on the Twitter tag for more from my archive, but allow me to highlight this one Nov. 20 post: Remember, Mr. Rusbridger, that Twitter has weaknesses.