Good news, bad news regarding Twitter rank

Written by Mike Ellsworth   

Today I went on over to Twitter Grader and checked myself out.

The good news is, I’m in the top 4 percent of Twitterers!

The bad news is, that means my rank is 234,399 out of a total of 5,233,919 Twitterers. Now I know that being in the top 4 percent of anything is a good thing, but the ego gets dented a little when you realize there’s more than a quarter of a million folks who are more, er, more what, exactly? More betterer? More twitteringer? More in-need-of-finding-a-life-offline?

Anyway, I’m going to revel in my lofty status while seeing if I can climb that ladder.

It seems the way Twitter Grader works is to take into account the number of followers (OK, I already have a problem with that metric – could be meaningless), the number you follow (also potentially meaningless) and “friends,” which I take to be how many of the folks you follow follow you back.

I’m a bit confused on the last, so I googled “twitter friends” and was reminded that there’s a service called TwitterFriends that also assesses your Twitter status. TwitterFriends says that my conversation quotient is 33.3% (above average), but my link quotient is 100%, meaning all my tweets have links in them. This last is pretty much true. Conversation quotient means how many of my tweets are replies. I think that’s a bit high, actually.

TwitterFriends seemed like one guy’s side project, and so I was reluctant to input my Twitter password, which I guess would have made more of the features work.

Then I tried TwitterCounter , and they said my rank is 90,838! Wow! That makes me feel a whole lot better. They also predict that I’ll have almost 3,000 followers in 30 days.

From there I blundered into SponsoredTweets , which will pay you to tweet. Now that’s more like it!  Of course, Guy Kawasaki’s Adjix is trying a similar thing, combining ads with an URL shortener.

Another site, Twitoria, lets you find deadbeat followers who haven’t tweeted in a while so you can give them the boot. Exactly why you want to do this has to do with your Twitter ratio. If you’re following way more people than are following you, then you probably don’t have anything interesting to say yourself, at least so goes the conventional wisdom.

According to the site:

Your TFF Ratio (Twitter Follower-Friend Ratio) is the ratio of your followers to friends (or people who you follow). The higher the ratio, the more Twitter heat you pack.

  • A ratio of less than 1.0 indicates that you are seeking knowledge (and Twitter Friends), but not getting much Twitter Love in return. Check your pulse, you might be a bot.
  • A ratio of around 1.0 means you are respected among your peers. Many people think that a ratio of around 1.0 is the best – you’re listening and being listened to.
  • A ratio of 2.0 or above shows that you are a popular person and people want to hear what you have to say. You might be a thought leader in your community.
  • A TFF Ratio 10 or higher indicates that you’re either a Rock Star in your field or you are an elitist and you cannot be bothered by Twitter’s mindless chatter. You like to hear yourself talk. Luckily others like to hear you talk, too. You may be an ass.

Tffratio says that my TFF Ratio is 1.00 – Respected Among Peer Group. This is because, somehow, recently I achieved exact parity: My number of followers is exactly the same as the number I’m following. Dunno how that happened. I’m not using a bot to manage it. However, my ratio compares poorly with Ashton Kutcher with a TFF of 15020.34 – Likes to Hear His Own Voice. Heh.

But back to Twitoria. Something seems to be wrong, since it claims none of my followers have ever tweeted. Some Twitter API failure, I’ll bet ( ).

Movin’ On Up 

So I figure the only way I’m going to move up is to follow more-highly-ranked twitterers. Twitter Grader claims that only one of my followers is highly ranked (which I at first thought might mean that only one of them has ever used Twitter Grader, except I found other followers in their Elite list). So if I could follow some of the top 100 twitterers, and get them to follow me back, my status would increase, right?

So I take a look at Twitterholic , which ranks twitterers by number of followers.

OK, I can’t stomach the idea of following pretty much any of the top 100, at least any who might actually follow me back. Here’s the top 10 ranked twitterers:

Sure I could follow Obama, but he’s not tweeting anymore, and wouldn’t follow me back. And most of the rest are gag-me celebs. And Oprah, with more than 3 million followers at #11, only follows 17 people!

There are some top 100s who follow lots of people, including Guy Kawasaki (hmmm, he already follows me. Why didn’t Twitter Grader list him as an influential follower? And how about another top 100 who follows me, Perry Belcher?) Other high-following possibilities include Britney Spears (not on your life), the Onion (possibly), Lady Gaga, and Yoko Ono (no and no).

I’m beginning to think Twitter Grader’s methodology is suspect, though. Two high-profile twitterers follow me, but I don’t get any influential love in their rankings. And Twitterholic seems no better, apparently basing their ranking of me at 670,705th by followers on stats from stinking April! However, they do rank me first in my hometown: ‘55426 . But how can I believe this when they say I joined Twiter 484 months (40 years) ago!

So what am I to do? Just keep plugging away, following interesting folks and tweeting on an irregular basis. I don’t buy in to the numbers game on most social sites. Twitter is the only one, IMHO, on which the number of followers actually can do you some good, however, so I guess what I’ll have to do is – the same thing you, or even the Top 100s need to do – tweet more interesting things.