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The One Person to Follow on Twitter

November 26th, 2013 · 3 Comments

If you could follow just one person on Twitter who would it be?

[A #ThroughGlass Perspective on Twitter and Real-Time Data]

A lot has been written lately about the importance of data and analytics in real-time. Often during talks with new customers of our text analytics platform OdinText the question comes up about how often the data can or should be updated. Quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly or in “real-time”? Of course as someone who has spent their entire adult life in analytics, I have an opinion. If you’re doing analysis and reporting of anything monthly or more often, don’t expect many to take what you do too seriously. True analytics involves careful examination and interpretation; that is not something done in real-time!

This past weekend as I was adding the Twitter app to my Google Glasses. I follow about 500 or so accounts on Twitter, but unlike on my desktop where maybe I check twitter once or twice a day, on Google Glass a new tweet flashes across my screen instantaneously and the bone conduction transducer gently vibrates a tone into my ear letting me know I’m getting a tweet.

Luckily Twitter realizes that getting instant updates on any mobile device from all those you follow would be annoying. Mobile alerts are therefore by default turned off for each of those you follow on Twitter and it’s up to you to decide whom to also follow on the go.

Great, all you have to do is decide which 20 or so of your Tweeps are important enough to warrant interrupting you at any time during the day.

If my wife, my brother, my parents or maybe even my best friend from high school or college tweeted I MIGHT consider following them on mobile/Glass - but none of them are on Twitter. Only some of our clients are on twitter, the few that are really aren’t active, and certainly don’t expect to use it as a communication tool with me.

OK, so who else’s updates are important enough for me to allow them to interrupt my day in real-time anytime? Harvard Business Review? NO! Forbes? NO! Any of the other 500 or so colleagues I happen to follow? Sorry guys, I like you a lot, but no.

It occurred to me more than ever before just how unimportant tweets, especially in real-time are.

Luckily Glass allows you to follow yourself in real-time, which allows you to reply to @ messages etc. So it looks like there might just be one person worth following after all?

PS. Ironically a lot of companies have been convinced that they need to follow and analyze Twitter in real-time. If you need to reach Anderson Analytics we trust you’ll prefer to use email or phone. I’m on Twitter as @TomHCAnderson and also sometimes tweet under our company accounts @OdinText and @InfoAdvantage. While we’re honored if you follow us on Twitter, if you’re looking for just one person to follow on Twitter I doubt that person should be me/us ;)

[Full Disclosure: Tom H. C. Anderson is Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics, developers of a new patented approach to text analytics. The text analytics software platform is called OdinText]

Tags: Glass Explorer · Text Analysis · Text Analytics · Twitter · Uncategorized

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Isaiah Adams // Nov 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Really interesting perspective, Tom. From a text analysis standpoint, I completely agree. There’s no need to track in real-time. I do see the need for (somewhat) real time monitoring for managing social brand interactions (responding to mentions, PR, etc.). I am a little hurt you didn’t pick us as your one person to follow ;)

  • 2 Margaret Waage // Nov 27, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Real time following would be overload. Google is smart to include preferences. What else does it do… I need to Google Google!!

  • 3 Tom H C Anderson // Dec 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Actually, these are preferences you set within Twitter. So it seems even Twitter realizes too much Twitter is too much ;)

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