Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott & TwitterNomics (Twitter Economics)

Posted by Pete Caputa on Apr 15, 2008 6:28:00 PM

I'm officially sucked in to Twitter. I resisted it for so long. Then, I thought I'd just dip my toes in. I'm totally knee deep now.

I wrote a post today on the HubSpot blog listing "Internet Marketing Blogs You Should Be Reading".

I shot a quick email including a link to the post to the bloggers that I listed. (See Blog Sales Tip #6 & #10.)

Almost all of them responded with a quick thank you. David Meerman Scott, author of "The New Rules of PR & Marketing" was one of them. His signature linked to his Twitter page. I subscribed.

He subscribed back and is now reading my Twitter feed.

I didn't expect him to subscribe back. He's following 121 people and he has 275 followers.

I wouldn't call David Meerman Scott "internet famous" in marketing circles. He's not as well known as Jeffrey Gitomer or Seth Godin. But, he's kind of a big deal. He is very well known and is a very successful author, speaker, blogger, consultant, etc.

He only follows <1 in 2 people who follow him. So, I'm atleast 2x more followable than his average followee. That's the economics.

This interests me because it becomes infinitely more difficult for people like David to "be responsive" to individuals as more and more individuals require his attention.

In August 2004, I wrote a post called "What Does A Connection Mean in a Social Network". I argued that a connection on MySpace and LinkedIn, etc didn't really mean much because it "felt" obligatory to connect with people who requested it. Relationships were automatically forced to be "bidirectional" in nature. Whereas real world relationships are unidirectional. Examples: I am a fan of Jeff Gitomer's. He doesn't really know me although he did autograph a book for me. I am a fan of Jason Calacanis's. I think he dislikes me. I am a fan of Seth Godin's. If he remembers me at all, it's because I've bashed him a few times on my blog. You get the idea.

The question I have is "Where does this breakdown?" We're already seeing "uni-directional" social networks like Twitter supercede (or atleast compete with) "bi-directional" ones like LinkedIn. LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook were never suitable for someone like Seth Godin to use it as a communications platform. With Twitter, he can use it because he doesn't have to respond. He doesn't even have to pay attention to you. In fact, if you look at Seth's Twitter profile, he doesn't pay attention to anyone.

I'm sure there's a breakdown point where someone like David Meerman Scott cannott pay attention to one more person. How close is David Meerman Scott to that number?

At what point in the accumulation of social capital, does it become impossible for someone to reply with a "thank you". Seth? It seems like you know the answer.

Update: I realized after rereading it, that it looks like I was calling Seth out for not thanking me. That's not what I meant at all. It doesn't matter whether someone thanked me for linking to them. I linked to him because he deserved the link, not because I was looking for a thank you. Plus, If I were as successful as Seth, I wouldn't respond to me either.  

Topics: twitter, linkedin

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