Monday, January 21, 2008

Everything You Know Is Wrong (or, why Junta thinks "succinct" is bad)

Since I'm in the middle of trying to reverse game Tweeterboard - namely, send my Tweeterboard score DOWN into single digits - I read this B.L. Ochman post with interest. Here's the excerpt that caught my eye (from What's Next Blog 2007 B.L. Ochman's weblog - Internet strategy, marketing, public relations, politics with news and commentary):

Junta which has a Top 42 Marketing Content Blogs list where What’s Next Blog is currently number 19.

They emailed me and asked me to put a badge on my blog to promote their list. I looked for the criteria and saw that “our experts” determine which blogs should be on the list and how they should be ranked. “Who are these experts?” I emailed, noting that without transparency, the list is meaningless.

Today, they added an explanation of the criteria and its ridiculousness boggles the mind:

“We are assuming that longer content is 'meatier' and therefore higher quality content.”

At this point I had to laugh.

For those of you who are new to this blog, you may have noticed that its slogan is "succinct and all-encompasssing." This slogan is, in part, a reaction to what was happening on my former blog, in which posts would drag on and on and on, and go off into several unrelated tangents created by my warped mind. It wasn't "meatier"; it was just "rambling." This new mrontemp blog, I swore to myself, won't do that. I don't think I've succeeded, even when I use such subtle strategies as leaving plural letters off of words to decrease post length ("The result are mixed," indeed).

Back to Ochman:

To paraphrase Tina Turner: What’s length got to do with it? Who’s got time, in our information-overloaded age, to read 1000-word posts?

If you can’t say what you have to say, most of the time, in a 350 word or less blog post, you need to re-write.

Clarity, research, writing quality, links to further information, relevance, news value, and heart all have a lot more to do with the quality of a blog post than length.

I should end this post here, but I'm going to continue. I never learn.

Why am I trying to reverse game Tweeterboard? Well, while I've been thinking about doing this for a while, the final impetus came after I read Geoff Livingston's post on Tweeterboard, which says in part:

The core metric of the Tweeterboard remains @s, both given and received....@s heavily weigh the score, and it’s better to receive than it is to give. Giving in comparison to receiving creates a negative box score.

Which leads to @bait. By writing highly provocative tweets, users can bait fellow tweeters into conversation. Responding to some, but not all or mass replying with a singular tweet creates positive equity for your box score.

Livingston tried his own experiment.

Last week, I openly tweeted my @bait experiment and threw out Tweets comparing a would-be Green Bay Packers vs. the New England Patriots Super Bowl to a battle between Rocky vs Darth Vader. The @s flew and sure enough, I shot up to the top ten on the Tweeterboard. Compatriot in crime Doug Haslam made it to #3!

And apparently another experiment was going on, as Adele McAlear noted:

I am confused. How can @bugman1984 be #1 on Tweeterboard? <30 followers/following+167 updates total. 131 reputation points? Huh?

Well, all things self-correct. bugman1984's Tweeterboard profile currently shows a score of 15 reputation points.

Since it appears that receiving is valued more highly by the Tweeterboard algorithm than giving, it follows that those with high Tweeterboard scores are receiving a lot of replies. In at least some cases, this is because of the value that they are providing to the Twitterverse, and the fact that many people are recognizing this value.

Susan Reynolds is a special case, inasmuch as she has become the visible symbol of a community - although frankly, I'm absolutely sure that Reynolds would much prefer to have a low Tweeterboard score, and no cancer diagnosis.

Well, anyway, if I succeed in dropping my Tweeterboard score into single digits - it usually fluctuates between the teens and the thirties - I'll let you know.

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