It’s lonely out there in Twitterville

Sad, but not so startling, news on Twitter today. It seems the median user account at the micro-blog service has only one follower.

One, as in uno.

One, as in why the heck would anyone even bother to HAVE a Twitter account in the first place if only ONE follower is following him/her?

In a fun post over at O’Reilly Radar, John Bruner raises a very good point about the buzz around Twitter:

Writers who cover Twitter find the grandiose irresistible: nearly every article about the service’s IPO this fall mentioned the heroes of the Arab Spring who toppled dictators with 140-character stabs, or the size of Lady Gaga’s readership, which is larger than the population of Argentina.

But the bulk of the service is decidedly smaller-scale–a low murmur with an occasional celebrity shouting on top of it. In comparative terms, almost nobody on Twitter is somebody: the median Twitter account has a single follower. Among the much smaller subset of accounts that have posted in the last 30 days, the median account has just 61 followers. If you’ve got a thousand followers, you’re at the 96th percentile of active Twitter users. (I write “active users” to refer to publicly-viewable accounts that have posted at least once in the last 30 days; Twitter uses a more generous definition of that term, including anyone who has logged into the service.)


And speaking of that Twitter buzz, here’s another item to chew on: apparently New York Times columnist Nick Bilton’s book on the San Francisco-based tech darling, Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, may be headed to your local TV screen. As TechCrunch points out, the book:

 on the origins of Twitter, has been optioned by Lionsgate for production as a TV show. Bilton will write the screenplay and get producer credits.

Back in October we heard there was interest in the book from the Hollywood sector, but it looks like it’s going the serialized route instead of to the big screen. Given the ins and outs of the creation of Twitter, this is probably a better option as there’s plenty of material here.

So here’s the skinny: one day soon, we may all be able to sit back with a cold one in front of the set and actually watch a show about a social-networking communication tool “used” by millions of people around the planet, with the large majority of them writing to an audience of . . .

Well, you get the picture.





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  • It doesn’t look like he did anything to filter out bots. That’s sort of like trying to draw conclusions about how lonely email is based on all of the spammers’ accounts confined to our junk mail folders.

    Also, I think a lot of people approach Twitter as a relatively consumption focused thing and don’t really care how many followers they have personally. They’re happy to follow interesting celebrities and/or trending topics, regardless of their own following.