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I’ve developed something of a reputation amongst some of my Twitter followers for an obsession with numbers.   Indeed it’s a reputation I’ve had amongst my friends for most of my adult life (“Stato Jak” they call me).  Some think it wierd, others come to me for advice on their Twitter Stats.  For me it’s all about patterns, but the more I look at them the more meaning I want to impart on them.  

For example a while ago it became clear to me that every time I posted about 10 updates, I gained a follower.  And indeed my total updates were about equal to 10 times my followers.  I had develpoed a golden ratio  of 10:1.  I have stuck with approximately this ratio for some weeks now, slipping behind, then catching up again.  I consider this to be what my followers deserve, a kind of value ratio.

Others have asked me to judge theirs.  One came in today at fewer than 3 updates per follower.  He felt this was lame and should be increased.  However I wondered whether in fact he offered considerably more value than I; it takes me 7 more updates to be attractive to a new follower than him.

A number of people have posted blogs on Twitter types  [ Alex Iskold, back in March 2008 and the Ed Techie, also in March ] to name but two.  They do have a tendancy to concentrate around the volume of followings and followers or the reasons people use Twitter.

Type Trait defined by:
Selective interaction you have MANY more followers than you follow No good reason
Twitter as added bonus follows noone, tweets little, his followers No good reason
Talker  you have more followers than you follow
Listener  you follow more than follow you
Hub you have equal followers and followed
Chatty High Golden Ratio me!

I have to say I am more interested in the update ratio than simply the following stats.  Although I do like my “follow” stats to look good.  By this I mean they are at their best when there is some kind of mathematical relationship between them: the divide equally one into the other, they are both multiples of 5 ( or even better: 10), they are identical etc.

So here I have chosen Twitterers who satisfy, nay exemplify the types above:

Type User Name Following Followers Updates Golden Ratio Twitter Grade
Selective interaction dwarlick  50 3107 1476 0.48 100
Twitter as added bonus Downes  1 605 503 0.83 99
Talker  dubber  140 1444 3158 2.19 99.9
Listener  shortyawards  16876 5849 17441 2.98 99.7
Hub stevebridger  1083 1097 3516 3.21 99.6
Chatty graphiquillan  155 164 3397 20.71 93
ME parboo  183 158 1657 10.49 93


You’ll see I’ve mainly chosen people with high Twitter grades. For me this is a validity check.  It seeks to ensure that they have a habit which is well enough established to confirm a pattern.

There is no doubt in my mind that the addition of the Golden ratio creates a different distinction between different users.

What is your Golden Ratio?  Are you happy with it? What does it say about you and your Twittering?

And a final thought, whether or not any of this makes any sense or indeed matters much, it keeps a very simple stato happy!


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