If a Tweet is posted on the Web and nobody sees it, is it worth the bother?
That's essentially the question social media analytics company Sysomos posed in a survey of 1.2 billion posts made over the past 2 months and found that 71% of the posts from the Twitter microblogging site elicited neither a retweet nor reply.
Just 6% of Tweets got retweeted and 23% were apparently intriguing enough to warrant a reply. More than 90% of retweets take place within an hour, so the shelf life of a Tweet appears to be pretty short.
As for replies, 85% involve just a single reply, throwing some cold water on the notion that Twitter is bursting with "conversations."
Maybe all this will change for the better as a new generation is born with an online presence, with an increasing number of parents securing Twitter addresses for their offspring from the start.
Not that Twitter is standing pat.
The basic Twitter page got a revamp in September featuring embedded videos and pictures as well as threaded replies (though there are a lot of really short threats based on the Sysomos study). Twitter also recently revamped its search engine, boosting its speed and capacity to index posts.
Twitter has also had its hands full fighting off worms.
In addition, company founder Evan Williams handed over the CEO reins to Dick Costolo, who is charged with turning Twitter into a money-making machine now that it's established itself as a social networking leader. Costolo used to head FeedBurner, a news feed service that Google bought, and joined Twitter about a year ago to work on advertising services and licensing deals.
Don't ignore Bob Brown's Tweets. You can follow him at www.twitter.com/alphadoggs
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This story, "3 out of 4 Tweets Ignored" was originally published by Network World.