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Category - "Twittergrader":

The Mirage of Social Media Metrics?

I don’t need to go on, do I, I am sure you have got the drift! Anthologies of quotations are full of  similar advice handed down through the ages.

Despite this, many of us who are perfectly capable of cultivating a little amused detachment in the rest of our lives find ourselves obsessively checking and re-checking our listings in  Klout, PeerIndex, Twittergrader and Wikio (listed in alphabetical order to discourage the competitive spirit) as we seek the illusory will o’the wisp of enlightenment. If I have missed out any vitally important social media performance analysis sites, please, please do not tell me about them as I am having a hard enough time as it is trying not to become addicted to the ones I already know about.

You may well ask by what right I, a novice, presume to address my fellow bloggers and tweeters after less than three months’ experience. I will reply by offering you the old saw about foreign writers in India:
New arrivals excitedly tell all who will listen that they intend to write a book about the sub-contintent; after a year of fact-finding, they have decided that an article is all that they feel capable of; and after five years they hesitate to utter even a sentence, knowing that its opposite is likely also to be true.

I casually said on twitter that I thought all this social media needed to be treated as a game; to be any fun games need to be taken quite seriously, of course, but perhaps not as a matter of life and death. I was tempted into four successive tweets on this, to the surprise I think of my recipient, and one of my fellow tweeters suggested (hinting perhaps that I had delighted my audience long enough) that I should turn it into a blog post.

Some strange features of the blog and twitter assessment sites have emerged recently. Klout, for example, says that the Revd Pam Smith is an expert on beards and the Revd Maggi Dawn is an expert on coffee. Both deny these allegations. Unfortunately for Pam, the bearded Pete Phillips has taken the opportunity to give her a ‘K’ for her expertise on beards, saying that she has recently influenced him in this field. (I put it to the jury that I am not the only one who thinks this is a game).

I thought I would take a dozen of my colleagues and subject them to scrutiny by these four analytical websites. It seemed only fair to include myself (but if anyone objects to being included, I will of course remove their name). I began with the top 100 Wikio scores for May in the Religion category, and chose a dozen people whom I knew also to be members of Twitter because I follow them.

Here are the Klout rankings for some people who both blog and are on twitter.

  1. Pete Phillips (62)
  2. Maggi Dawn (62)
  3. Peter Ould (59)
  4. Church Mouse (56)
  5. Lesley Fellows (55)
  6. Stuart James (eChurchBlog) (52)
  7. Richard Littledale (49)
  8. Bishop Alan Wilson (49)
  9. Laura Sykes (48)
  10. Charlie Peer (44)
  11. Doug Chaplin (39)
  12. Lucy Mills (37)

For comparison, here are the respective Peer Index rankings:

  1. Church Mouse (58)
  2. Pete Phillips (49)
  3. Maggi Dawn (47)
  4. Peter Ould (47)
  5. Bishop Alan Wilson (32)
  6. Lesley Fellows (28)
  7. Doug Chaplin (22)
  8. Stuart James (eChurch Blog) (22)
  9. Laura Sykes (14)
  10. Charlie Peer (9)
  11. Lucy Mills (9)
  12. Richard Littledale (8)

Now, the same list according to Twittergrader:

  1. Church Mouse (100) 
  2. Bishop Alan Wilson (100)
  3. Maggi Dawn (98.3)
  4. Stuart James (eChurch Blog) (97.3)
  5. Peter Ould (97.3)
  6. Lesley Fellows (95.4)
  7. Pete Phillips (95.4)
  8. Richard Littledale (89)
  9. Charlie Peer (89)
  10. Lucy Mills (87)
  11. Doug Chaplin (86)
  12. Laura Sykes (77)

 And finally, Wikio:

  1. Church Mouse (1)
  2. Stuart James (eChurch Blog) (4)
  3. Lesley Fellows (5)
  4. Doug Chaplin (Clayboy) (8)
  5. Maggi Dawn (13)
  6. Bishop Alan Wilson (17)
  7. Peter Ould (20)
  8. Lucy Mills (34)
  9. Richard Littledale (39)
  10. Pete Phillips (43)
  11. Charlie Peer (45)
  12. Laura Sykes (still not listed)

As you will see, the rankings vary widely. Let us single out Pete Philips (whom I don’t somehow think will mind). Out of a field of 12 he comes 1st (Klout), 2nd (Peer Index), 7th (Twittergrader) and 10th (Wikio).  Triumph and Disaster, the two imposters? Oh yes, I think so.

So if it is all a game, how should we, the poor punters, treat it? Well, if you can honestly ignore these rankings – as many actors claim never to read their reviews – you are made of sterner moral fibre than I am, but I congratulate you.

If, on the other hand, you are made of the same clay as the majority of your fellow members of the human race, may I suggest that you pick the website which gives you the highest score and check no other.

If that is unacceptable, then you must play the hand that you have been dealt as if you were playing bridge, poker or racing demon, in other words with gusto – while relishing the fact that it really is all a game and while remembering that you want to be able to look your fellow bloggers and tweeters in the eye between games at the next conference of  the blogosphere!

1. The illustration (author unknown, but issued under creative commons licence) is of a hunt for will o’the wisps. School of Henri ‘Douanier’ Rousseau?

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