June 29, 2007

Rock Werchter Music Festival on Twitter

The Rock Werchter music festival, the biggest music festival in Belgium - my home country, started Thursday June 28, and will last until Sunday July 1. The Rock Werchter music festival has an impressive line-up including Beastie Boys, Björk, Faithless, Keane, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Muse, Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel and Tori Amos.

Several Twitter accounts have been created especially for the Rock Werchter music festival. People at the festival can get updates on their mobiles phones on what's happening where. People that were unable to buy a ticket or unable to attend for whatever reason can feel part of the atmosphere receiving updates in their prefered tool to read Twitter messages.

These are the Twitter accounts.
Werchter updates twitter.com/werchter

marquee twitter.com/marquee

mainstage werchter  twitter.com/mainstage

DSO Festivals twitter.com/dsofestivals

It is interesting to see where, when and how Twitter is being used.

June 28, 2007

Twitter : Buzz statistics from public sources

I have compiled statistics from a few public sources tracking the buzz refering to Twitter.com.




The sharp increase in number of blogposts or websites refering to Twitter.com detected by the tree public sources is gone. There seems to be a stabilisation or slight decrease of the number of blogposts refering to Twitter.com. Perhaps the explanation is very simple. People are either using Twitter.com or ignoring it. Those who ignore it do not write about Twitter anymore. Those who use Twitter do not write about Twitter on their "normal" blogs but continue to publish Twitter messages. This blog is another case, reporting on Twitter.com and the Twitosphere.

PS The trends graphs shown above look remarkably similar to the graphs showing the visitor statistics in the previous post on this blog.

Twitter : Visitor statistics from public sources

I have compiled visitor statistics for Twitter.com from a few public sources.

Twitter.com : rank 38,104
Estimated Monthly Unique Visitors from the US : 46,688

Traffic Rank for Twitter.com : worldwide : 595
Traffic Rank for Twitter.com : US : 285

The number of unique visitors : 122,112 (05/2007)

Web rank : 3,649

Looking at the numbers and the different screenshots, one can wonder if these statistics are all for the same site (yes they are ...).

Public source statistics must be handled with care. Can we trust the data they are reporting ? May we consider the data to be complete and correct ? Different tools give different results. Interpretation of the quantative data is not easy, as each site has its own vocabulary. While looking for alternatives for Alexa, Compete, Quantcast and Ranking.com, I came accross rather disappointing news.

It appears that the external metrics available for competitive intelligence on the web today simply do not provide a significant source of value. ... Services like Alexa, Ranking.com, Compete.com & Netcraft are nearly useless when it comes to predicting traffic or comparing relative levels of popularity, even when used on a highly comparable set of sites in a similar field. ... The sad conclusion is that right now, no publicly available competitive analysis tool we're aware of provides solid value. Let's hope the next few years provide better data.
I have to be very careful with my interpretation of the graphs from the different sites. The three graphs do show the same trends. I think it is save to say that the sharp increase of traffic towards Twitter.com is over. There seems to be a stabilisation from April 2007. The level at which the traffic stabilises is difficult to determine.

June 23, 2007

First State of the Irish Twitosphere

I published already several blogposts on this blog with an analysis of the Twitosphere is several European countries : Belgium (April 17, 2007), the Netherlands (April 22, 2007), Italy (May 7, 2007) and Spain (May 18, 2007). The next country analyzed is Ireland.

Using the same approach as for the previous countries, I managed to find 284 still active Twitter accounts from Ireland. A Twitter account was considered to be held by someone from Ireland if the location explicitely refers to Ireland or if the Twitter user was located in Ireland according to one of the Twitter mapping mashups. The actual number of Irish Twitter users is probably higher as only a litle bit more than half of the Twitter users specify their location in their profile (see this previous post). For a population of 4,1 million people, Ireland has 284 Twitter accounts, which means that there is a Irish Twitter account for every 14.437 inhabitants.

History of the Irish Twitter accounts
This graph below shows the history of the Irish Twitter accounts. The graph is based on the date of the first message posted on each of the public Irish Twitter accounts.

Oldest Twitter accounts from Ireland
http://twitter.com/fergalbreen - Fergal Breen - first message on 24/10/2006
http://twitter.com/PaulMWatson - Paul M. Watson - first message on 31/10/2006
http://twitter.com/thoughtwax - Emmet Connolly - first message on 2/11/2006
http://twitter.com/eoghanobrien - Eoghan O'Brien - first message on 7/11/2006
http://twitter.com/shellycahill - shelly - first message on 9/11/2006

Public of Private
Only 11 Twitter acounts from Ireland or 3,9% have chosen the keep their updates only available to their friends. This percentage has to be compared with 22% for Belgium, 9,5% for the Netherlands, 8,3% for Spain and 3,5% for Italy.

Number of friends
29% of the Irish Twitter accounts have no Twitter friends at all. An average Twitter account from Ireland has 8,8 friends, which is lower than all other analyzed countries : 9,6 friends for a Belgian Twitter account, 13,5 friends for a Dutch Twitter account, 15,8 friends for a Spanish Twitter account, and finally 32 friends for an Italian Twitter account.

Top 5
http://twitter.com/TomRaftery - Tom Raftery - 195 friends
http://twitter.com/topgold - topgold - 180 friends
http://twitter.com/CaptSolo - Uldis Bojars - 166 friends
http://twitter.com/conoro - Conor O'Neill - 112 friends
http://twitter.com/burkie - Burkie - 94 friends

Number of followers
A follower is someone who has indicated another Twitter account as friend and receives all updates of that other Twitter account. 32% of the accounts have no Twitter followers at all, meaning that no one else on Twitter has indicated this account as a friend. An average Twitter account from Ireland has 11,2 followers. For a Belgian Twitter account there were 10,5 followers, for a Dutch Twitter account there were 12,5 followers, for a Spanish Twitter account there were 16,9 followers, for an Italian Twitter account there were 26 followers.

Top 5
http://twitter.com/politics_ie - David Cochrane - 383 followers
http://twitter.com/TomRaftery - Tom Raftery - 175 followers
http://twitter.com/topgold - topgold - 141 followers
http://twitter.com/burkie - Burkie - 115 followers
http://twitter.com/conoro - Conor O'Neill - 105 followers

Only 2% of the accounts from Ireland are still waiting for their first update to be published. Currently an average Twitter account from Ireland has 83 updates, compared to 72 for a Belgian Twitter account and 88 for a Dutch Twitter account, 106 for an Italian and 106 for a Spanish Twitter account. Please keep in mind that these averages are only snapshots, as lots of new Twitter messages (or Tweets) are published every day.

Top 5
http://twitter.com/wxman - wxman - 6433 updates
http://twitter.com/conoro - Conor O'Neill - 1290 updates
http://twitter.com/topgold - topgold - 1063 updates
http://twitter.com/mattverso - Matt - 727 updates
http://twitter.com/mmbhg - brian greene - 686 updates

Degree of activity
46% of all Twitter accounts from Ireland with a public feed did not post an update in the last 20 days. They can perhaps be considered as inactive accounts. For Italy this was 33%, for Spain this was 25%, for the Netherlands 10% and for Belgium 12%. 41% of all Twitter accounts from Ireland with a public feed did post at least one message in the last 7 days, indicating that these accounts are still alive.

This state of the Irish Twitosphere is only a snapshot, meaning that the figures mentioned in this post have already changed because the Twitosphere is a very dynamic environment with several new accounts being created every day, new connections being made between accounts (friends/followers) and of course new messages being written every hour of the day.

There was a sharp increase in the number of Twitter users in Ireland from mid April 2007. From the beginning of May this growth slowed down, but continued until now. From this graph it is clear the Twitter hype is not yet over, at least in Ireland.

June 22, 2007

Twitter Down

In case you haven't noticed today, Twitter was down for a couple of hours.

The TwitterTroll stats page provides an overview of the number of Twitter messages indexed by hour for the current day. There is a big gap between 1:00 and 6:00. I bet this gap is due to the outage of Twitter.com.

June 21, 2007

Twitter - number of tweets per day

Some people would like to know the answer to questions such as "how many users are there in the Twitter community", "how many Twitter messages have been published since the start", "how many Twitter messages are published every day" … Unfortunately, I have not yet found a source with correct and reliable answers to all these questions.

Two weeks ago I discovered the stats page of Twittertroll. Twittertroll describes itself as "the coolest real-time Twitter search engine!". This week I had a look again at their stats page and I was surprized to see the evolution of the number of Twitter messages (tweets) indexed by Twittertroll by day. This number was going doing, pretty hard.

As the Twittertroll stats page only shows the number of tweets for the last seven days, I looked for sources to find number of tweets for the prevous days. Luckely I was able to find a previous version of the Twittertroll stats page in the Google cache and also a printscreen in a message on the Twittown blog. The graph below shows the number of Twitter messages indexed by Twittertroll by day since June 9, 2007.

My question was wether the TwitterTroll data reflected the actual situation. Was there indeed a sharp decline in number of Twitter messages ? Was Twitter really in trouble ?

There is another source of information regarding number of Twitter messages published in the Twitter public timeline. Twitterment, the search engine from eBiquity, not only shows on its stats page graphs of the total number of tweets indexed by Twitterment, but it also publishes the total number of indexed tweets. Comparing the number of indexed tweets for different dates allows to get an idea about the number of tweets per day. I found again several sources where a copy of the Twitterment stats page was kept :
Twittown post - April 13, 2007 - 368103
Google cache - June 4, 2007 - 1633713
Twitterfacts post - June 8, 2007 - 1751613
Live.com cache - June 18, 2007 - 1988173
Own observation - June 19, 2007 around 12:00 PM (CET) - 2014643
Own observation - June 20, 2007 around 12:00 PM (CET) - 2042493

Making the difference of the number of indexed tweets and dividing this difference by the number of days between the two dates gives the average number of tweets per day, as shown in the graph below.

Conclusion : the number of tweets per day is not in sharp decline as may be suggested by the Twittertroll stats page. It is clear from the graphs above that Twittertroll is only indexing about one third of the tweets indexed by Twitterment (8500 compared to 25000). As there is no other source to verify, it is impossible to tell if the number of tweets indexed by Twitterment is the correct number of tweets in the Twitter public timeline. Perhaps the people from Twitter.inc can show some light on global statistics.

June 19, 2007

History of Twitter and the Twitosphere

Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site, where users can share their interesting sites. For each bookmark, a user can specify one or more tags to describe the bookmark. Tags are a great way to discover interesting things on the Web.

Many Del.icio.us users have created bookmarks for Twitter, for all kinds of Twitter tools and gadgets and for blogposts and articles discussing Twitter and the Twitosphere. I traced the Twitter and Twitosphere history by retracing the first bookmark for Twitter and the most popular Twitter tools. Furthermore I added also websites (blogs and wikis) set up to publish and discuss all kinds of observations regarding Twitter and the Twitosphere. Blogposts and articles discussing Twitter, Twitter tools or the Twitosphere from various sites were not taken into account in this overview, although some of these blogposts and articles had an influential role in the rise of the popularity of Twitter. It was my intention to focus on the dedicated tools and dedicated sites.

Del.icio.us is a dynamic environment, people add bookmarks on a daily basis, for already known sites or for new sites that are launched also on a daily basis. The list is below is only a snapshot of the situation today. The first bookmark for Twitter.com was made on August 8, 2006, the last one just an hour ago.

The list contains at first sight multiple entries for the same tool. This is caused by bookmarks for slightly different URLs, e.g. with or without www.

August 2006
  August 8, 2006 - Twitter : 4478 del.icio.us bookmarks
  August 8, 2006 - Twitter : 174 del.icio.us bookmarks

September 2006

October 2006
  October 6, 2006 - Twitter : 1655 del.icio.us bookmarks

November 2006
  November 20, 2006 - Twitter Fan Wiki : 585 del.icio.us bookmarks
  November 22, 2006 - Twidget : 39 del.icio.us bookmarks

December 2006
  December 1, 2006 - Twitter Wordpress Sidebar Widget : 68 del.icio.us bookmarks
  December 31, 2006 - Twadget : 26 del.icio.us bookmarks

January 2007
  January 15, 2007 - Twitterific : 621 del.icio.us bookmarks
  January 27, 2007 - Twitteroo : 218 del.icio.us bookmarks

February 2007
  February 15, 2007 - Twessenger : 53 del.icio.us bookmarks
  February 26, 2007 - AutoTwit : 88 del.icio.us bookmarks
  February 27, 2007 - Twitterbox : 52 del.icio.us bookmarks

March 2007
  March 8, 2007 - GeoTwitter : 39 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 11, 2007 - Twitterlicious : 33 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 14, 2007 - gtwitter : 52 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 14, 2007 - Twittermaps : 107 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 15, 2007 - Triqqr : 46 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 16, 2007 - Twitterbar : 91 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 16, 2007 - Twittersearch : 83 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 17, 2007 - Twittervision : 1990 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 18, 2007 - Twittervision : 833 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 19, 2007 - Twitterbuzz : 23 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 19, 2007 - Twitterholic : 235 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 20, 2007 - TweetBar : 70 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 21, 2007 - TinyTwitter : 41 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 22, 2007 - Twitterfeed : 232 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 22, 2007 - Twitthis : 272 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 22, 2007 - Twitthis : 107 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 25, 2007 - Rss2twitter : 136 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 26, 2007 - Twitter Hacks : 19 del.icio.us bookmarks
  March 27, 2007 - Twitterfeed : 80 del.icio.us bookmarks

April 2007
  April 2, 2007 - Tweetr : 149 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 3, 2007 - EmailTwitter : 34 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 4, 2007 - TwitterEarth : 42 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 6, 2007 - Twifter : 37 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 9, 2007 - Twitterverse : 177 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 10, 2007 - TwitterCamp : 147 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 11, 2007 - Twitterment : 186 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 12, 2007 - Twitterfacts (this blog) : 19 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 13, 2007 - Twitterati : 29 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 19, 2007 - MSNTwitter : 40 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 20, 2007 - TwittyTunes : 50 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 20, 2007 - Twitternotifier : 83 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 22, 2007 - Twittown : 44 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 26, 2007 - Twitterquotient : 14 del.icio.us bookmarks
  April 28, 2007 - MoniTwitter : 92 del.icio.us bookmarks

May 2007
  May 1, 2007 - Twitter.FM : 30 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 1, 2007 - TwitterLit : 63 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 2, 2007 - Twitku : 71 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 4, 2007 - Twitbin : 103 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 4, 2007 - Twitbin : 313 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 13, 2007 - 24oclocks : 143 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 18, 2007 - Twittervision 3D : 161 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 18, 2007 - TwitterLine : 32 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 19, 2007 - Twitter Reader : 66 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 23, 2007 - Tweetvolume : 147 del.icio.us bookmarks
  May 24, 2007 - Twitdir : 66 del.icio.us bookmarks

June 2007
  June 12, 2007 - Twittermosaic : 29 del.icio.us bookmarks

The graph below shows the complete history, from August 8, 2006 until today. For each bookmark, a column showing the total number of bookmarks appears at the date of the first bookmark. The first peak is for Twitter itself, at August 8, 2006. The second peak, on October 6, 2006 is again for Twitter (twitter.com/home). The next big peak appears at March 17, 2007 for Twittervision. All other Twitter tools bookmarked for the first time after March 18, 2007 have received less then 320 bookmarks.

If you would know other Twitter tools or sources of information regarding the Twitosphere that are not yet present in this list and for which there at least 20 bookmarks in Del.icio.us, please let me know. You can leave a comment below of mail me at twitterfacts at gmail.

June 9, 2007

Twitter search engines

I just noticed an announcement of Twittertroll, another Twitter search engine. As I have seen similar announcements, I found it worthwhile to have a closer look at several sites offering specific search functions for the Twitosphere.

Name : Twittersearch
URL : twittermap.com/search
Author : twitter.com/davetroy
Announcement : here
Launched : March 15, 2007
Description : Twitter zeitgeist will be searched and displayed.
Number of messages indexed : only a moving window of a limited number of days
Results of query "paris hilton" : 210 messages

Name : Twitterment, What are we twittering?
URL : twitterment.umbc.edu
Author : ebiquity.umbc.edu
Announcement : here
Launched : April 11, 2007
Description : Twitterment provides a search interface over an index of recent updates obtained periodically from the public timeline API.
Number of messages indexed : over 1,7 million posts, since April 2007
Results of query "paris hilton" : 407 messages

Name : Twitter.FM, Search what world's people are doing!
URL : twitter.fm
Author : twitter.com/ohkura
Announcement : here
Launched : April 29, 2007
Description : Simple but multilingual full text search engine for Twitter, supports CJK, Arabic, etc. Country specified search is also provided.
Number of messages indexed : ?
Results of query "paris hilton" : 20 messages

Name : TwitterTroll.com, the only real-time Twitter search engine!
URL : twittertroll.com
Author : twitter.com/williamsba
Announcement : here
Launched : June 4, 2007
Description : TwitterTroll.com indexes tweets from the public timeline. We index a large majority of tweets, but can not guarantee all tweets will be indexed.
Number of messages indexed : already over 75,000, since June 4, 2007
Results of query "paris hilton" : 83 messages

I discovered that several sites mentioned in an previous post on this blog (Monitoring the buzz in the Twitosphere) have stopped working. I have added information below for two sites that used to offer search. Perhaps they will back in a short while.

Name : Twitterverse, What is Twitter Doing Today
URL : www.twitterverse.com
Author : twitter.com/tw1tterverse
Announcement : here
Launched : April 9, 2007
Description : Twitterverse displays popular words based on time and popularity.
Number of messages indexed : down since May 11, 2007
Results of query "paris hilton" : no results

Name : Twitterbuzz, what are people linking to from Twitter
URL : twitterbuzz.com
Author : twitter.com/rsynnott
Announcement : here
Launched : March 19, 2007
Description : TwitterBuzz collects links that are mentioned on Twitter and arranges them in order of popularity. You can view links mentioned in the last hour, day, week, or forever (since archival started).
Number of messages indexed : no results shown
Results of query "paris hilton" : no results

The table below shows the traffic rankings for Twitter.com and the Twitter search engines mentioned above. Web traffic to the Twitter search engines seems to be limited.

If you cannot find the Twitter messages what you are looking for using one or more of the above mentioned Twitter search engines, you can always use one of the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Live.com, ... as they have also indexed Twitter.com :
Google.com : 693,000 pages
Yahoo.com : 229,000 pages
Live.com : 140,000 pages

June 8, 2007

Twitter messages per day - Twitterment stats

Twitterment, a search interface over an index of recent updates obtained periodically from the public timeline API, has a page with statistics about Twitter messages, also known as Tweets.

The total number of indexed Twitter messages by Twitterment is 1,751,613. As indicated on the graphs, the number of Twitter messages per hour is slighty above 70,000, the number of Twitter messages per day is between 200,000 and 275.000. As the Twitter public timeline only contains messages from public Twitter accounts, Twitterment has only data about public Twitter accounts and no data about private Twitter accounts.

A day counts 24 hours, so 70,000 messages per hour times 24 gives roughly 1.7 million Twitter messages, approximately the total number of Twitter messages indexed by Twitterment.

A week counts 7 days, so 240,000 messages per day times 7 gives roughly 1.7 million Twitter messages, again approximately the total number of Twitter messages indexed by Twitterment.

The Twitterment graphs do not show the average number of Twitter messages per hour or per day, they show the total number of Twitter messages indexed by Twitterment divided per hour and per day. The graphs do not give a direct indication of the average number per hour of day.

Perhaps an estimation of the number of Twitter messages per day can be made by looking at the graph of Twitter messages per weekday, comparing the heights per day. Assuming that the number of Twitter messages from Monday till Friday is about the same, the graph for today shows that the column for Friday is about 25,000 units lower.

On May 15, I published a post with a screenshot from Twitterment showing the number of Twitter messages per day. The difference between the heigths of the columns for Monday and Thuesday and the other days of the week is again about 25,000.

Twitterment was announced on April 4, 2007, more than 2 months ago. It started indexing Twitter messages probably from the beginning of April 2007. The total number of indexed Twitter messages by Twitterment (1,751,613) divided by the derived number of messages a day (25,000) gives 70, about the number of days between beginning of April and now. This confirms again that the figure of 25,000 public Twitter messages per day seems likely.

June 5, 2007


TwitDir is a Twitter users directory, launched on May 24, 2007. TwitDir offers the possibility to perform a search on names of public Twitter accounts (both name as screen-name). In addition to this, TwitDir offers Top 20 lists : Top 20 followed, Top 20 updaters, Top 20 favouriters, Top 20 followers.

The TwitDir Top 20 lists look very similar to the Top 100 lists from Twitterholic. My first impression was that TwitDir did not add much compared to Twitterholic. It takes more time to load and it only shows 20 accounts. After a closer look I noticed several differences in the lists generated by both sites. The Top 100 lists from Twitterholic are far from complete. Let's have a look at the TwitDir and Twitterholic lists for number of followers and number of friends.

4 Twitter accounts from the TwitDir Top 20 followed are not listed in the Twitterholic Top 100 Followers. The number of followers according to TwitDir is always higher compared to the numbers of Twitterholic.

12 Twitter accounts from the TwitDir Top 20 followers are not listed in the Twitterholic top 100 Friends. The number of friends according to TwitDir is higher compared to the numbers of Twitterholic for 5 of the 8 accounts that appear in both lists.

Even Steven Jobs wondered a month ago why his Twitter account is not appearing on Twitterholic. It looks like that TwitDir is the best source of information for Twitter Top 20 lists.

TwitDir has launched a little game, they want us to guess how many public Twitter accounts there are. This number has to be greater than 120k according to one of the guesses. I created a Twitter account for testing two months ago. I haven't published anything on this account, there are no followers, nor did I add friends. I was really surprised to notice that TwitDir was able to find this account. TwitDir seems to have access to the complete list of Twitter accounts. I am really curious to know the number of Twitter accounts.