Monday, May 11, 2015

Speculating on follower counts

As much as I speculate on other things figured why not toss something out there about follower counts. And my opinion after looking at follower counts across a lot of places is that they represent an expectation of entertainment value.

So to me they're like stadiums, or town halls, or smaller depending on the total.

That they represent expected or potential entertainment value to me explains, well, everything about them.

So, if you see ten million people following, it's like they see a potential entertainment value that can satisfy the needs of that many people, maybe. If that account isn't delivering you'll see far less engagement.

And that's my speculation. Which I like testing out.

So it's like the size of Madison Square Garden is the follower account, but how many people actually show up? Depends on the act, or the performer, or the event.

I guess if consistently the account doesn't deliver that can shrink, so social media accounts are more dynamic, like if Madison Square Garden could slowly shrivel up if too few performers actually delivered at the expected level.

And for instance on Twitter I have 122 followers at time of this writing. And yeah, I have no interest in being entertaining. I focus on retweeting news of interest, and expressing my opinions here and there where I tend to be very serious. I'm not trying to entertain anyone.

I've looked at two entertainers, of roughly equal level in my opinion and seen ten times the follower counts for one versus the other, and looking over the accounts it's like, yeah, one person is clearly, in my opinion, trying harder to be entertaining than the other.

But what is entertaining on a particular medium? I am not really sure. I like to think I know, but I've been puzzled often enough only to slowly figure it out over time why a particular account is extremely entertaining. Those rules I guess are being worked out, and it varies from platform to platform. But somehow some people are doing it.

People don't seem to care about your personal life, unless it's entertaining. They don't care about what you're working on, unless telling them is entertaining. And they don't care much of anything at all relative to you no matter who you are, unless, yup, it's entertaining.

Weirdly enough though because I see follower accounts as primarily a measure entertainment value, I don't think they necessarily measure influence.

Some of the most influential accounts out there, are government accounts, which have the most consistently paltry numbers. While entertainers have the biggest accounts.

And that's my long-winded explanation which to me is really just repeating the same thing over and over again. But maybe I just wanted to fill this thing up with far more words than necessary.

Oh yeah, so how do you get millions of followers then? Be entertaining to that level.

If you're not entertaining? Well then, you already know.

But it's such a self-serving kind of thing to decide must be it, since my follower counts are all so low. And it's such a relief to be able to say, well, I don't entertain.

But is that the correct explanation?

Does it matter, really? Yeah. It DOES matter, which is why I say, speculation.

Someone will figure it out eventually, for sure. In the meantime, I like what I have, as quite frankly, I feel better about myself with it.

It's NOT my fault I'm not here to entertain you.

James Harris
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