Jul 012008

Ellyssa Kroski has written an excellent introduction to twitter and why it matters in the School Library Journal, All a Twitter.

Librarians who twitter have tonight been all atweet about the “Top Ten Librarians Who Twitter” list included in the article – based on the number of followers. List below.

10 Most “Followed” Librarians on Twitter

(with Twitter name and number of followers)

  1. Jessamyn West (jessamyn) 1,200
  2. Connie Crosby (conniecrosby) 1,188
  3. Andrea Mercado (andreamercado) 698
  4. K.G. Schneider (kgs) 606
  5. David Lee King (davidleeking) 548
  6. Amy Kearns (akearns) 463
  7. Michael Stephens (mstephens7) 429
  8. Michael Sauers (msauers) 396
  9. Blake Carver (LISNews) 374
  10. Beth Gallaway (infogdss29) 321

Because I like counting things, and I wanted to see whether there were any patterns or similarities, I grabbed some  other stats from the profiles of the listed librarians. As at 9:30pm Western Australian time on 1 July, it looked like this:

  1. Name (login) followers, following, follower:following ratio, number of updates, followers per tweet
  2. Jessamyn West (jessamyn) 1351  196  6.892:1  1392  0.97
  3. Connie Crosby (conniecrosby)1326  1115  1.189:1  8158  0.16
  4. Andrea Mercado (andreamercado)761  204 3.73:1 4761  0.16
  5. K.G. Schneider (kgs)665  324  2.052  4330  0.153:1
  6. David Lee King (davidleeking)775  906  0.855:1 1213 0.63
  7. Amy Kearns (akearns) 521  603  0.864:1 4090 0.13
  8. Michael Stephens (mstephens7)477  77  6.195:1 626 1.31
  9. Michael Sauers (msauers) 420  255 1.647:1  6075 0.06
  10. Blake Carver (LISNews) 406  438  0.926:1  1200 0.34
  11. Beth Gallaway (infogdss29)317  219  1.447:1 1521  0.21

What does it mean? Apart from the fact that there is no discernible pattern and I need to get a life ? Not much.

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  28 Responses to “Top ten twittering librarians”

  1. Oh, and apart from the fact that this is listing from Elyssa is quite americentric (which is a real shame) the idea might be good to help the information flow. Gosh even my numbers put me way up the list and it would be the same for other good librarians too! Perhaps we need a counter list!! if you are feeling like doing more stats digging 🙂 Global lists/stats for twitter would have to be the go wouldn’t they?

  2. I thought the list in SLJ was a fun list that would give people who didn’t know about twitter a few examples to look at.

    By global stats, do you mean number of twittering librarians by geography?

    I *was* hoping that by playing with my calculator I’d discover some kind of consistent ratio that gave a clue to why these people had a number of followers.

    May be interesting to compare to number of subscribers to their blogs? Ratio of index finger the thumb? Dewey numbers of their favourite books on LibraryThing?

  3. So as I read this, I follow most those that follow me (1.647:1) and for the number of followers I have I tweet way too much (0.06). Oh well… 😉

  4. Ah – but didn’t do a time analysis. So, you may have fewer tweets per follower per day 🙂

    I could do a quick ‘n’ dirty time analysis by indicating where a person shows on the images on my sidebar – as the icons are arranged by date person joined.

    Beth, for example is number 2 and Andrea number 4 . Scoble by comparison is number 9. You come in at number 66, right after Karen Schneider.

    Jessamyn – 23, Connie – 49, DLK – 56, Amy – not in the first 100, Michael – 48, Blake – not in first 100.

    Guess it points to people who have been on twitter for a long time.

    Again – meaningless fun with number 🙂

  5. Most of the top ten are folks who are already popular librarian bloggers, so it’s no surprise that they would have a high number of Twitter followers. That’s why I’ve been fairly underwhelmed by the stats, both these and the original list from Ellyssa. It’s just a reaffirmation of their popularity in the Web 2.0 world.

  6. So here’s a question. If the author had just said “here’s 10 librarians that are popular” and left out the “top ten” bit, would people then be ok with the list?

    Or would it need to be “ten librarians I think you should follow” and not even imply any ranking at all?


  7. Although Blake is listed, that is actually the LISNews tweeter that the Drupal software uses. Blake has his own, separate Twitter account for himself. I’m surprised that made it into print that way.

  8. I would have preferred the title ” 10 Ten Librarians to Follow on Twitter” or something to that effect. The Top Ten part bugs me. Are the librarians listed only American? Some of my best tweets are from Australian, Canadian and European Librarians. Oh well better luck next list.

  9. If everyone was OK with the list, no one would be talking about it. And that would defeat the purpose.

    Of course, it’s wildly inaccurate. At least this time, Ellyssa didn’t highlight her methodology for producing the list, which made it so much easier to pick apart with the top bloggers list.

  10. Some interesting analysis, Kathryn!

    I’m representing Canada I guess. I have found others who would have qualified for the top 10 so it is unscientific. E.g. Jason Griffey (currently with 406 followers) and infobunny (aka lo-fi librarian) (currently with 513 followers). I see these kinds of lists a bit as link bait to get us to link our blogs to them. 😉

    My follower list was largely created with a lot of work–I purposely seek out people in a wide range of areas (not just library) to follow. Mine has little to do with existing popularity. I also use Twitter a lot for conversation and relationship building, which is why the high number of “tweets”.

    As with the now-defunct tweeterboard http://tweeterboard.com you could knock yourself silly comparing people on twitter. Ultimately we each see a different network of people/twitter streams so ultimately it is a different thing to each of us.

  11. Stephen: LISNews on twitter gives Blake’s name. See: http://twitter.com/lisnews

  12. Glad to see you’re all enjoying (or hating) the list. I thought it would be a fun way to get people started on Twitter and give them a jumping off point. However, I now see that the list may have caused some hard feelings among librarians who didn’t make the ten – sorry ’bout that. The list is was meant to be fun, and certainly was not limited to American librarians – I did look at international Twitterers as well, however, I do admit that I don’t know everyone in the field who may be using Twitter ;), so to any of you who I missed, send me a tweet and I’ll be sure and catch ya next time. And Greg – hey now! I didn’t write that top bloggers list, that was the OEDb!

  13. Interesting post- I’ve been on Twitter for a few months now- and still coming to grips with it I guess. I just checked and I follow 8 out of the 10 that are on the list. I’ve been following people based on who is following who etc.
    I’d love to see more Australia library folk twittering tho.
    I’ve enjoyed the the ALA twitters- in some small way I’ve been able to get a sense of it all

  14. Fair enough, Ellyssa. I guess I was a little fuzzy on the relationship between your blog and the parent site. Their methodology was crazy flawed. Sounds like your approach was a little more informal, which is within reason and, again, less open to being picked apart. Glad to see you join the conversation.

  15. Yeah like a lot of things, longevity matters in terms of numbers. I mean do people really unfollow people once they’ve added them? I know I only do it if someone is on a tweet spree otherwise no.

    I’m easy to follow because I don’t update much and, to be fair, have a pretty even mix of librarians and people from MetaFilter (the massive blog that I moderate) following me. I do read everyone who I follow though, which has to count for something?

    This article is great for having a big list of useful links to get people started i find that twitter became realy useful to me when I stopped using the web page and started using a Twitter client [I use Spaz] and especially one that makes replying with a direct message simple so I don’t @spam everyone.

    Nice article Ellyssa, and thanks for the analysis Kathryn.

  16. It’s kinda interesting that the list is mostly based on numbers, because I see content as more important. I’m kinda surprised to see myself on the list, especially since the people I follow are less library-oriented and more “other”-oriented.

    I met Barbara Slavin (Twitter handle bslavinb), a fabulous librarian in Framingham who is taking a headlong plunge into social interaction online, seeking out different types of people all the time and trying new things (she’s doing *excellent* things on Utterz, and inspired me to finally set up my own account) at a Social Media Breakfast last week. She commented on how she’s always amazed when someone on Twitter who follows just a few people adds her as a follow, because then she feels really appreciated to be one of so few.

    I share the same sentiment on numbers, and I keep my following list as short as I can for similar reasons; I want to really get all the good content I can without what I consider much “filler.”

  17. Good point about content, Andrea. Interesting to remember that different people want different things. I am after connection rather than content.

    I see my content sites as this blog, and Flickr and YouTube. Twitter I see as a room full of friends where I can kick off my shoes and be happyrudesilly and no-one gets cross. I was totally amazed when I started using twitter that I would care that it was raining in England or that so-and-so just saw a hedgehog. Usually people need to be pushing out interesting and intelligent links and comments too, but I have a very high trivia:info ratio tolerance. That’s why I make my account private.

    Which makes the number things more interesting, because people with a non-private accounts don’t get to chose who follows them. I have about 80 follower requests sitting there waiting for me to stop being wishy washy and decide whether to approve them, and I turn away about 5 followers per week – many of them spam.

    I think the list is a pretty accurate list of librarians with interesting twitter content – but more because , as Anna said, they are already writing interesting blogs – maybe not due to any of the numbers.

  18. The question now: who are the top Friend Feeding librarians now that Twitter has jumped the shark?

  19. Hmmmm. Me, ditto? Followers = 1244. Definitely a librarian! 🙂

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