Reaching 500 Twitter followers – Does it mean anything?

Update – 25.11 PM – Danny has followed up with his own response here.

I’m possibly a bit biased but when I hit 500 ‘Followers’ (people who have chosen to ‘subscribe’ to my updates on Twitter) I thought that was pretty cool. It begs the question though, what does it all mean, if anything?

It’s not really something that I presume people generally even give a moment’s thought about, but when I was gradually climbing to 500, I thought to myself, this was a milestone figure, something to be proud of, in the geekiest, self congratulatory way, there’s some people out there who value what I’m saying. It didn’t really mean anything but I wanted to say thanks to the person who clicked ‘follow’ and in turn made themselves my 500th follower.

Welcome, @dannywhatmough to the equation who works at Wildfire PR and their blog is here, and who also turns out to be a top bloke. I understand he’s been spreading the Twitter word around the company and getting a whole host of Wildfirers on board the Twitter train, welcome all. Hope you stick around.

At first I thought, I’d ask him what his favourite sweets were and send him a load of them.. Then I put a message out on Twitter, something along the lines of “How should I commemorate my 500th follower?” to which @KerryMG said “Make a cake shaped like the fail whale!”.. Brilliant I thought, that’s more like it. It got my creative juices flowing.. I can do better than a few sweets surely. I thought that the fail whale was a bit out of my creative cake making depths so for the next few days I wondered what on earth I was going to do. I’ve told him I’m going to send him something now! I’d decided it was going to be cake orientated because it has that celebratory vibe about it, a cake means a special occasion, it was perfect.

I fired off an email to Danny being as cryptic as possible yet asking a bit about him, his interests and hobbies, with a view to making a truly personalised cake..

He was a great sport throughout and I soon found out that Mr Whatmough was in to Tech (Apple) Football, Food and Tennis.. It was as if I was looking at myself in the mirror, it was bizarre!

Initially, I had visions of making a cake shaped like the Apple logo/motif type thang, in the colours of Hearts FC and with a mini man playing Tennis.. I was day dreaming about a cake, that didn’t even exist, a true sign of a genuine nutter. As time went by, I realised that it wasn’t really going to happen but soon after I ordered a cake, a cake with a champagne bottle, balloons, party poppers, brilliant I thought. Obviously I wasn’t aware of what it looked like until it arrived with Danny on Monday morning so I was quite excited myself as to how it had turned out.

So what dyu think to the finished product then guys? It wasn’t until Danny, sent me a tweet and uploaded a pic of the cake from his iPhone no less, using Twitterfon to tweet and then Twitpic to upload the pic. Danny I could tell was down with the kids, and I liked that!

PS – Here’s the original Twitpic link

It’s funnily enough proven to be a quite different kind of relationship building exercise. Who’d have thunk it? We’ll meet up for a drink in the coming weeks I’m sure and live happily ever after.

PPS – I wanted it to say @Dannywhatmough, Thanks for being my 500th follower. @LitmanLive – but character restrictions only allowed the above.. so it’s not perfect, but I think it still gets the message across 😉

Can anything be garnered from this whole thing? The world of social media does definitely bring up some utterly fantastic yet hugely bizarre scenarios that you’d never experience otherwise.

In a weird way, I think it’s great that our paths collided and I wanted to reach out and make something happen. I’m not sure I believe in fate and destiny and all that kinda stuff but then there are the odd occasions that you think, wow, right place, right time, it’s great to be alive. There wasn’t any gain from me, it was one of those genuine feelings of, I want to do something different, to reinforce the value that all these people have put in me for following me when there’s an unbelievable amount of people to follow on Twitter.

It was my way of giving something back, saying thanks.

[update] UK ‘Preeple’ on Twitter

UPDATE – The below is now outdated.. I’ve created a landing page of sorts for it here but to go straight to the Wiki Wiki Wikid then click here

Stephen Davies of Prblogger is a list machine. Following on from his brilliant list of ‘Jeeple’ (Journalists) where he categorised all known UK journalists on Twitter, he brings another list flavoured installment to the Twittersphere this time following up with ‘Preeple’ (PR People)

It’s been a rampant success thus far with it surely being hard to keep up with the deluge of comments, 36 to date, from users who have been missed off the list to be added. For the purpose of the new category page and the need for it to be abbreviated I’ve now added Tweeple to the mix!

Depending on which way you look at it, there is the possibility of a negative viewpoint being attributed to lists like this, so there’s two sides to the story. For example, case in point, it’s merely providing people with a prospective list of influential journo’s / PROs to use for their own advantage or commercial gain. It has caused Stephen problems before, for example, have a look here.

However, It depends how cynical you are but for me it’s a fantastic resource of the who’s who of the PR & Journalism world’s on Twitter. It’s great to think that these lists might become a bit of a competition for agencies to establish more of a presence online, proving the power of their own internal community.

Building on the brilliant usage of the list I thought it would be just as useful to get an instant snapshot of a listed agencies presence on Twitter in numerical order complimenting Stephen’s alphabetically ordered list.. So here goes!

At the time of writing (approx 12am 11th Nov having lost the entire post and redone!) :- I’ve created a bit of a league table of ‘Preeple’ below..

1. Hotwire (16)

2. Axicom (12)

3. Rainier (11)

4. Edelman (9)

5. Lewis (9)

6. Ruder Finn (9)

7. Cow (8)

8. Berkeley (6)

9. Freelance (6)

10. Wolfstar (6)

11. Hill & Knowlton (5)

12. Porter Novelli (5)

13. Six Degrees (5)

14. Text 100 (5)

15. ITV (4)

16. Liberate Media (4)

17. Mantra (4)

18. Microsoft (4)

19. Waggener Edstrom (4)

20. Weber Shandwick (4)

21. Diffusion (3)

22. Kaizo (3)

23. O2 (3)

24. Shiny Red (3)

25. Wildfire PR (3)

26. Fishburn Hedges (2)

27. Nelson Bostock (2)

28. Punch Communications (2)

29. Racepoint Group (2)

30. Splendid Communications (2)

31. Staniforth (2)

32. University of Warwick (2)

The greatest number being in the ‘Other’ section, either unaffiliated or possibly being their company’s Twitter champion.

Something to think about, perhaps Stephen’s list and this subsequent league table will encourage them to join their colleagues in making their company more visible in the Tworld (yeah, I just made that up..)

More about that thing called Social Media..

The results of a new survey have been released recently on media relations practices, specifically how journalists use social media to stay on top of the game. Original Source.

A few key messages to take home..

YOY more blogs are being read, only 25% of journalists don’t read one or more.. what are they doing, living in a cave with no access to the world wide web?

Who said blogging was dead?! It would appear it’s only just beginning!

Over half are using tools like Twitter to seek out new business opportunities, story leads and to connect with peers in similar work.

Similarly, over half scan Google News to follow world events, a sign that there’s much more to Google than just search.. How to monetize news stories though? (New fan of Google reader here by the way) Speaking of which 1/5th have 5 more or RSS feeds delivered to their readers each work.

The users surveyed and indeed the general public alike appear to becoming more tech savvy, where the online world is more intertwined with their every day working life. As a result they’re better connected.. social media you could say has played a part in all of the above.

Let’s take Twitter as an example of a tool at the very heart of the social media world. So much so that I’ve been noticing a few job specifications for social media related roles noting within the requirements ‘If you don’t know what Twitter is, don’t bother applying’

I have connected with extraordinary individuals whom I’d never have had any contact with in every day life nor would possibly be able to, without jumping through a few hundred hoops. Twitter itself single handedly breaks down the barriers of communication and allows me to communicate and engage with CEOs, Directors, and inspirational visionaries whom I can learn greatly from.

What are your thoughts on the explosion in interest in Social Media over the last few months and years. Do you use Twitter? Is it something you have integrated in to your daily life or is it something you just don’t ‘get’ ?

Results in full below.

  • 75% of journalists read one blog or more (compared to 70% last year) and 29% read 5 or more blogs to keep up with their beat (compared to 25% a year ago).
  • More than three-fourths of journalists surveyed use social media to research stories (compared to 67% last year).
  • More than half (56%) use NewsStreams and micro-blogs like Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku to identify new leads.
  • Almost 38% of journalists now say they visit a social media site at least once a week as part of their reporting, compared to only 28% last year.
  • More than half (53%) of journalists say they visit Facebook, YouTube and Social Bookmarks at least once as month as part of their research – up from 44% last year.
  • Nearly 19% receive five or more RSS feeds of news services, blogs, podcasts or videocasts every week, compared with only 16% a year ago and 44% receive at least one regular RSS feed.
  • The majority (76.4%) of journalists said that they use local newspapers to follow news, while 63% check the New York Times, 51% scan Google News and 32% visit Yahoo! News to stay informed.
  • 34% of journalists use Wikis as a living media kit for the companies and beats they cover.