The New York Times wrote about the new fad of “buying” twitter followers to enhance your popularity on the web, and added these compelling stats: “According to the StatusPeople tool, 71 percent of Lady Gaga’s nearly 29 million followers are ‘fake’ or ‘inactive.’ So are 70 percent of President Obama’s nearly 19 million followers.” We decided to take the StatusPeople tool – if it’s good enough for the Times to tout, it is good enough for us to use! – and apply it to the sports media. The results are below. The twitter following of each media member (as of this morning, 9 am) is in parentheses.
Bill Simmons, ESPN (1,795,488)
Adam Schefter, ESPN (1,730,829)
Erin Andrews, Fox Sports (1,469,596)
Peter King, Sports Illustrated (909,825)
Jay Bilas, ESPN (377,149)
Chris Mortensen, ESPN (843,698)
Michelle Beadle, NBC Sports (618,068)
Jay Glazer, Fox Sports (341,177)
Trey Wingo, ESPN (551,775)
Jason Whitlock, Fox Sports (138,883)
Darren Rovell, ESPN (242,585)
Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated (239,631)
Tough to draw any conclusions from fake/inactive/good numbers, but if you tally the “fake” and “inactive” columns like the Times did for Lady Gaga and Obama, you get … some sports media members with nearly 70 percent (higher for some). What does this mean, that sports media members are buying twitter followers to enhance their own brand and marketability?
It seems highly unlikely they would do something like that (maybe low-level wanna-bes, like Danny Sheridan). Their agent? Well, that’s another story. Others have floated the idea to me that twitter could artificially be enhancing the tally of media members to keep them coming back to twitter, talking about it, writing about it, etc.
– 32 % fakes seems to keep coming up. Why is 1/3 of the twitter following for so many sports media heavyweights fake? StatusPeople needs to tighten things up.
– Darren Rovell sure has a lot more “good” followers than everyone else. Is that because he’s so active? Or because he tweets so much information/news?
– Lastly, from the “about” section of StatusPeople:
For those of you with 100,000 followers or less we believe our tool will provide a very accurate insight into how many inactive and fake followers you have.
If you’re very, very ‘popular’ the tool will still provide good insight but may better reflect your current follower activity rather than your whole follower base.
And since four of you were curious, here are my numbers: