May 4, 2007

Traces of a Twitter User

If a Twitter user does not indicate that he wants his account to be visible only to his friends, all his Twitter messages can be read by anyone. To get an idea what someone is twittering about, you can have a loop at at his personal Twitter page. Twitter is also indexed by Google - with a very high pagerank - meaning that you can search specific words or phrases for a given Twitter user. There are two services that allow you to have a closer look at the traces of a Twitter user.

First let's have a look at the Twitter page of a random chosen Belgian Twitter user, Bart De Waele. He seems quite active with over 1000 updates. He is also popular in Belgium, having 54 friends and 106 followers. By the way, I know Bart personally and I am one of his Twitterfriends.


Twitterment is an initiative of the eBiquity Research Group at the University in Maryland Baltimore County. Twitterment scans Twitter messages from the Twitter public timeline. They have recently added the possibility to search Twitter messages by author. What does Twitterment reveal about Bart De Waele ?

- last messages : of Bart's over 1000 messages, only 192 are indexed by Twitterment


- hourly trends : at what time of the day is this author twittering ?


- daily trends : at what days of the week is this author twittering ?


- tagcloud : what are the most frequently used words in his messages ?


Twitterholic generates top 100 lists of Twitter users by number of followers, number of friends and number of updates. If you take a closer look, you can get some details for each of the users listed in the top 100 lists, and even for other users. Bart De Waele is not yet in one of the Twitterholic top 100 lists, but Twitterholic has some information about his Twitter account. Twitterholic shows a trendline for the number of followers and provides a detailed overview of the number of followers, friends, updates and favorites for the last month.


These graphs from both sources are not available for all Twitter users. For instance, my Twitter account (BVLG) is not showing up yet in both sources, although it is public.

If you want to find out yourself what these services know about you, you can use the URLs below. Substitute XXXXXX with your Twitter Username.
http://twitterment.umbc.edu/results.jsp?query=author:XXXXXX&maxresults=50
http://twitterholic.com/twitter/XXXXXX

2 comments:

wernerramaekers said...

interesting post bruno !
i have tried it with my twitter name and it seems both sites have collected data of my tweets ;-)

Olivier said...

Ongelovelijk interessant! Technisch gezien is Twitter op deze manier nog waardevoller dan Google Analitics als het gaat om zoektermen. Als de commercie hier opduikt ben ik benieuwd wat er allemaal kan gaan gebeuren.