I had an interesting chat with my pal Kelly (@verso) about the listed metric Friday. She doesn’t see it as immediately useful since there’s no way to determine the impact being on a list has on followers, e.g. she is listed on Robert Scoble’s (@Scobleizer) “iphone” list, but has no way of knowing if that has directly impacted her followers count.
I suspect Twitter clients and one-off sites will explore the reputation aspects of lists, but it does seem like an impossible task to track the impact of lists on followers. Somehow I doubt the Twitter API would provide that type of granular information.
Lists are still very new, so ways interpret their effect on reputation are evolving. Twitter must have planned for lists to influence reputation. Otherwise, why include listed as a profile metric?
Anyway, lists have me thinking about the other metrics that are commonly used to establish a baseline for consumer-web reputation, i.e. followers/following on Twitter, size of network on classic social networks like Facebook, and subscribers to a blog.
I’ve noticed a critical mass lately, and yes, it’s lately because I honestly don’t track this stuff with much regularity.
My personal Twitter account (@jkuramot) has been hovering between 800 and 900 followers for several months after growing much more rapidly prior to that. Followers are a fickle bunch, but my tweets haven’t changed much to warrant either a large drop or rise.
I’ve noticed similar behavior in traditional social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn and Connect), and oddly, my networks on each have all reached about the same size, about 400 friends on Facebook, 300 contacts on LinkedIn and 400 connections on Connect.
Again, I can’t recall anything that would have caused a spike or valley in these synchronous networks. They just seem to be settling in that 300-400 range.
Finally, this blog has been around for about two and half years. For a long time, we were adding about 100 subscribers every couple months; then, a couple months ago, shortly after FeedBurner added FriendFeed to its count, we’ve plateaued at between 1,500 and 1,600.
It’s odd to me that all these metrics seem to have hit their ceilings after sustained growth over the past two to three years.
Maybe this can be attributed to my behavior, i.e. I don’t do much promotion of this blog and don’t seek followers or connections. So, maybe I’ve hit the ceiling of organic growth, at least until (or if) the content of my tweets and blog posts changes to attract new (or repel) people.
For Facebook and LinkedIn, I know why I’ve hit the ceiling. I barely use them anymore, other than to accept requests (and ignore Facebook game requests). With Connect, we’ve changed it into a public information source, de-emphasizing the networking aspects, so I get why I’m topping out there.
I’m curious to know your thoughts and experiences. Are you hitting the ceiling too? If so, maybe this is an early adopter thing. If not, why do you think your metrics continue to grow?
If you don’t care at all, be well and thanks for reading all the way to here.