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A Digital Shrink March 15, 2011

Filed under: Ideas,Resources — Carla Bobka @ 5:06 am
Tags: , , ,

Dan Zarella has developed a tool called TweetPsych. Dan has a strong reputation for his scientific analysis of trends impacting social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and blogs. He’s a stat machine.

TweetPsych compares a Twitter users tweet stream attributes to the “average” tweet stream so you can (hopefully) learn a little bit more about what a person takes time to push out into the universe via Twitter.

It tells you things like: This user Tweets about learning and education 27% more than the average user. This includes Tweeting about school as well as self-teaching activities.

Of course, the analysis is only as good as the algorithm behind the analysis.

When I first saw it, I thought it looked pretty cool. Think about how you could use it:

  1. Before you go to a meeting you could analyze the tweet stream of your client to see what is important to them.
  2. You can use it to analyze your own tweet stream to see if your tweets, over time, are reflecting your overall Twitter strategy.

Then I put my own Twitter handle in and hit analyze. Boy was I surprised at a couple of findings.

Money – I tweet about money 78% more than the average user. Hmm. That was a big surprise (not as big as the sex surprise, more on that later.) As I think back on some of my tweets and retweets, I do occasionally tweet about economic developments, jobless rates and small business. Maybe Dan counts those within the overall category of money.

Sex – Dan’s tool says I tweet about sex 26% more than the average user. Bull. I can assure you I do not tweet about sex. Not mine or anyone else’s. I probably have never typed S-E-X into Twitter. I’m a 46 year old mother of 2, come on. Seriously. This makes me think the whole thing is a crock of huey.

Learning – I tweet about learning or education 27% more than the average user. That makes sense. I aim to help people use social media effectively.

Now onto the areas when I under perform the average user.

Constructive – I tweet about constructive behavior 3% less than the average user. This includes creating and building things and indicates an interest in development and creative processes. Hmm, I don’t really get that one.

Anxiety – I tweet about anxiety 6% less than the average user. That’s good.

Media – I tweet about media and celebrities 53% less than the average user. True, I’m not part of the Beiber/Kardashian patrol.

So my overall impression is to take it with a grain of salt. That said, there will be more of these applications coming down the pike. More attempts to learn about the people at the helm of the keyboards that produce the content on the web. We want to know each other, and tools like TweetPsych are attempts toward that. TweetPsych may or may not be a good tool. But the desire to know one another is definitely a good thing.

Tell me what you think.  Have you given TweetPsych a whirl? What do you think?



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