Thursday, February 21, 2008

Twitterers: How old are you?

3/5 UPDATE: The average Twitter age is 37 with 150 responders.

I've been asking twitterers, people that microblog on, to tell me their age. The Twitterverse has been very patient as I've been asking "how old are you?" over and over on Twitter for the last 24 hours.

Why am I asking? Why are twitterers retweeting, aka reposting, the question to their Twitter followers/friends? It started yesterday afternoon.

I was in a qualitative research readout meeting. I, of course, can't give any research specifics as it's a closed project. Thanks for understanding.

We were discussing questions regarding online communications. I voiced my surprise that Twitter wasn't mentioned by any of the participants. The reply was something along the lines of "Twitter is for the young that it takes someone young to get it."

Having turned 40 this year and being an avid twitterer, I was a little taken aback by the youth comment, but heck, I didn't have any Twitter demographic stats. I posted a tweet about my surprise and my friend @kimdushinski responded:

So I posed the question, asked people to retweet it, kept posing it. And the ages rolled in.

Currently, the average Twitter age is 37 with 120 responders.

The youngest age reported so far is 14 and the oldest is 68.

Of course this is just an informal poll, with mostly my followers/friends responding. I know it's not scientific and it's self-reported, but my gut is telling me twitter's average age is in the mid-30s. Several twitterers that direct messaged me agree. Would love your thoughts @ev on twitter's average age.

And the unexpected benefit of asking a question to the twitterverse - new followers. What a wonderful surprise! Thanks to all my new friends for sharing your age with me and helping me out without knowing me. I'm looking forward to staying connected.

Thanks so much to all my Twitter friends that spread the word. A few that are top of mind are @warrenss, @chrisbrogan, @rickmurray, @jeffisageek, @conniereece, @creativesage, @pistachio and @linuxchic - I know I'm leaving out so many - Merci, merci, merci!

I'm going to continue to update the stat as more people send me their age. I'm not going to close the poll, there's no reason to, though I promise not to ask the question again :).

I'm keep you all posted through Twitter. I think we all are microblogging more than blogging these days anyway. More to come - thanks again!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Community sourcing taking crowd sourcing up a notch

I hear the term crowd sourcing quite a bit when people are talking about social networking experiences. I picture a cattle call when I think of the term crowd sourcing. In my mind, it's an open call out to the masses hoping to get some expert thought on an issue. A shotgun approach. Though it has it's place and can be valuable, to me, it's a sterile, faceless term.

When thinking about the discussions that occur in social networks, when topics are thrown up for discussion on a blog or microblog, crowd sourcing just doesn't give justice to the expertise, kinship, and heart that is woven into the conversation. I have experienced several crowd sourcing events in the online socnet space that are taken up a notch to community sourcing.

I picture a table of friends discussing a topic of interest when I think of community sourcing. Warren Sukernek, @warrennss, helped me with the following community sourcing defintion:

Community sourcing is taking crowd sourcing to the next level: Outsourcing a task to a connected group of people for the benefit of that group.


Monday, February 11, 2008


Along with 97 million other people, I watched the Super Bowl last Sunday evening. Along with over 200 other people, I tweeted during the Super Bowl about the game and of course the ads.

On the Friday before the Super Bowl, Robert Rosenthal invited all members of the facebook group, What I Saw at the Direct Marketing Revolution,
to join him on Twitter to comment about the game.

Our family had opted out of Super Bowl parties this year, so Rosenthal's invite was a great way for my family to be part of a virtual party and still squeeze in toddler baths, homework and make little one's bedtimes.

So a little before kick-off, I logged into Twitter and saw this tweet from Jeremiah Owyang:

Jeremiah created an easy ad critic rating system and dubbed his experiment “the twitterbowl”.

So my family and I found ourselves evaluating ads on a 1-5 scale. Our kids took turns sitting in my lap or near me watching the Super Bowl conversation unfold on Our 4 yr old asked me to change my twitter profile picture from “a cartoon” (an avatar) to “real” (a photograph.) I’d read them comments and we’d debate other people’s ratings.

I was truly surprised with how engaged I stayed with the twitterbowl. I didn’t venture off, multi-task online (do bills, catch up on email, etc.) as I thought I would. I was glued to the twitterbowl and occasionally looking up at the TV to check out the game and watch the ads. Occasionally, I’d venture to the URL posted with the ad, such as Tide’s (Loved it!), but everything I did online during the game was about the game. For someone with adult ADD, this is a feat.

As posts came in literally seconds apart, I was amazed at the variance in ranking. Commercials I loved, others absolutely hated. Also, during halftime as I was doing laundry, helping kiddos with baths, etc, I carried my mobile phone with me to keep tabs on the twitterati pulse via on the half time entertainment and ads.

The reason I titled this iSuperBowl is because, this was the most interactive Super Bowl I’ve experienced. Where the pulse was immediate, compelling and twitterati controlled. Of course, I went to the Super Bowl spot’s microsites when there was a call-to-action (did I say how much I loved Tide's ;>); however the true online buzz, from my perspective, was pure community commentary – again another example of
community sourcing, twitterati-style.

To view the results of Jeremiah’s experiment, please see his recap post.

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