Friday, August 5, 2011

Twitter MDs Can Change the World. Not so much. Part II

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged that MDs might not be able to change the world via Twitter. My analysis was that even some seemingly influential Twitter MDs really had insignificant numbers of followers compared to the population of the United States. And a cursory look at my own list of followers revealed that about a third were probably following me for commercial reasons.

Douglas Mann of Popular Mechanics magazine took a similar approach. He took a somewhat more thorough look at his followers and those of a colleague and found that anywhere from 20-50% were fake or spam. He cited another study by a company called PeerAnalytics which found that only 35% of the followers of the average Twitter user are real people.

What does it all mean? To me it bolsters my opinion that Twitter is an unlikely vehicle for effecting sea change. Still, some feel that changing even one person's mind about an important issue is worth it. That's fine. But let's keep it all in perspective.

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