Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

If the idea behind Twitter is to encourage constant bite-sized chatter, the majority of the online flock ain’t chirping:

It seems that Twitter is becoming more of news feed than a social network, said Paul Judge, author of the report and chief research officer at Barracuda Networks. And that raises questions about its growth potential, as well as how the Internet phenomenon will make money.

As of December 2009, only 21% of Twitter account holders were what Barracuda defines as “true users,” meaning someone who has at least 10 followers, follows at least 10 people and has tweeted at least 10 times. That indicates that most Twitter users “came online to follow their favorite celebrities, not to interact with their buddies the way they would on Facebook or MySpace,” said Judge.

On a basic level, this is normal: Most networks, online and off, are driven by a dedicated minority-vanguard of members. That’s the nature of any organization, social or not.

Still, the service’s nature does encourage a stalker-ish approach. Certainly, the celebrity accounts often sport a huge imbalance between “following” and “followers”, as practically a badge of honor. Their fans are bound to emulate that approach, even on a vastly smaller scale.

I’ll also point out that the notion of Twitter as more of an information stream, and less of a clubby hangout, is the chief reason I bothered to start using it. So maybe my instincts were right in the first place; or else the rest of the Twitteratti have come around to my viewpoint.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/10/2021 10:54pm
Category: Bloggin', Social Media Online
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In the same sense that trees falling in the forest don’t make a sound, the recent global wave of earthquakes have taken on deadly significance only due to the presence of more people:

“Look at some of the big ones recently,” said Debarati Guha-Sapir, director of the World Health Organization’s disaster epidemiology research center. “Had the Izmit or Bhuj quakes happened 30 years ago, the events would have been relatively insignificant as the population of these cities were a third of what it was when it did happen. Increasing population density makes a small event into a big one.”

Same dynamic is at play with hurricanes, mudslides, and other natural disasters: They’re occurring just as frequently as they ever have, but nowadays, there are more people in the way. I’m guessing we’ve reached maximum capacity for the planet — short of colonizing deserts and ocean floors and such.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/10/2021 11:02am
Category: Science, Society
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