Thought-provoking if rather minimally scientific mini-study on levels of engagement (measured as responses to tweets proportional to number of followers) within the social network facet of Twitter, which suggests that 1% would be an astonishingly good engagement level, though responses from 0.1% of followers would be reasonably good. The logic is impeccable even if the figures are slightly anecdotal.
This suggests to me that we need to pay much more attention to modelling networks, especially those where timeliness is unusually significant, in four dimensions. We need to be paying much more attention to pace and dynamics. Even when using a system that sends email alerts, IMs or on which we spend a significant amount of time, most of us do not spend all of our time responding to posts, even though it may often feel that way, and different kinds of social networking system work at different speeds. So, our networks are continuously and burstily expanding and contracting, not the fixed and concretised things that we tend to model when doing more basic forms of social network analysis.
Many of us (me included) are deliberately limiting the time we spend in response mode because it became life-destroying to try to stay connected many years ago. I have been operating a policy of non-responsiveness outside office hours for some time and try very hard not to look at the torrential flow over the weekend or in the morning until I have at least reached a state of mild equilibrium. I do quite frequently break my own rules and make exceptions for those in my close social circles (automatically flagged and channeled) but, despite that, the consequences include a morning mailbox of a couple of hundred messages that typically take a couple of hours to even organise, let alone respond to. This in turn means that, even with a lot of intelligent mail filtering that bundles messages into different folders before I even start, I miss things pretty often. Flagged messages wind up lost in a sea of flags. And that’s just the ones that I’ve recognised as important. Throw in holidays of even a day or two and it becomes impossible to track. Several people I know (e.g the ever-wonderful Eric Duval) have reacted by simply auto-responding to things out of hours by saying that messages sent at certain periods will be deleted unread. Seen in this light, unless we have superhuman powers of attention, or strong filters on what and who we choose to see, it is amazing that there is any engagement at all.
Address of the bookmark: http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/twitter-engagement-levels_b7765