Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Poll: Do you use Twitter?

With the annual C# vs. VB poll now done, it's time for a new poll, and this time I've got a fun question: Do you use Twitter?

I think there are many people in the tech community that assume everyone and their dog (literally) is actively engaged in Twitter mania. Yet time and time again, when I speak to audiences of "normal people" at different .NET events and ask them how many people use Twitter, I see one or two hands out of a group of sixty-plus. That lead me to really ponder, how many people really use Twitter? Is it almost everybody as the hype would suggest? Or is it simply a small, but vocal minority that promotes Twitter as the best thing since sliced bread? Hopefully the new survey running on Telerik Watch- and you- will help provide some insight.
There are four choices in the new survey for answering the question, "Do you use Twitter?":
  1. Regularly - This is for those of you that read and post updates to Twitter on a "regular" basis. This doesn't have to be daily, monthly, or hourly (as it is for some people). As long as you plan to post updates to Twitter with some frequency, this is you.
  2. Tried it, but quit - According to research, Twitter only retains 40% of its users month-to-month, suggesting that many people create an account, try Twitter, and then stop using it. If that's you, this is your choice.
  3. Never - If you either have no interest in Twitter or are actively choosing to avoid it, this choice is for you. If you choose this option, you've never created a Twitter account.
  4. "Read-only Mode" - This unique choice is for those of you that enjoy browsing and reading Tweets, but you never make updates of your own. If you use Twitter in this one-way "read-only" manner, select this choice.
For the longest time, I qualified in the "Tried it, but quit" or "Never" categories, subscribing heavily to Stephen Forte's op-ed on Twitter. As Twitter has evolved, though, and the need to participate on behalf of Telerik has increased, I have become a more regular user. In fact, you can find my updates at @toddanglin.
But very recent research from Harvard Business Review suggests that the top 10% of Twitter users produce 90% of all tweets. On top of that, the average Twitter user only posts 1 update for the lifetime of their account. Clearly, this is a survey of the broader, "general" Twitter crowd, so I'm very curious to see how the .NET crowd compares.
Vote now using the poll box on the right-side of Telerik Watch to let your voice be heard! (And don't tweet this post- that's sure to dramatically bias the results.)


Gabe Sumner said...

Twitter is just another place where the pulse of the Internet can be monitored. As an "evangelist" I feel obligated to use it.

This being said, Twitter is mostly useless. It's almost impossible to say something useful in 140 characters. So what we're mostly left with is the most self-indulgent knee-jerk observations imaginable.

The web site TweetingTooHard.com put Twitter in perspective for me.

All this being said, be sure to follow me on Twitter at @gabesumner or @sitefinitywatch. :)