Measuring Worth?

16 April 2009

measuring-tape-v2

A long time ago, a clever man once said, “A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions” (the Roman Emperor Philosopher, Marcus Aurelius).

This may have been true in AD150 but is it still relevant in the always-on world of AD2009? These days a more common measure of worth is your connectivity. Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn co-founder) summed this up nicely when he said, “Your network your net worth.” One of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Top Life Tips is to, “go to more parties”. The express reason for this is to expand your network and expose yourself to more positive Black Swans.

A couple of weeks back we received an invite to a London networking event. The speakers were sold on the basis of the number of Twitter followers they had. This made me smile as it reminded me of recent conversations about the pressures and politics of maintaining relationships online.

Is the number of followers a true proxy for how valuable someone’s opinion is? I give you Britney Spears (903,274 followers).

My stepson Newton (694 Facebook friends) loves the fact he’s “more popular” than his younger brother Richard (389 Facebook friends). Phil (646 Facebook friends, 433 LinkedIn connections, 244 Twitter followers) and I (232 Facebook friends, 431 LinkedIn connections, 251 Twitter followers) regularly pull each other’s legs about how ‘popular’ we think we are.

To finish off this post, here’s a list of people we’ve either met or hear about regularly who are attached to the Internet scene here in London. We’ve used Twitter followers to help us measure their worth. Not sure old Marcus would agree with our methods but here you go anyway:

London’s 50 Most Networked Internet People by Twitter followers (As of 14th April 2009)


1. Jemima Kiss

10,568 followers

http://twitter.com/jemimakiss


2. Mike Butcher

8.888 followers

http://twitter.com/mikebutcher



3. Nick Donnelly

4,329 followers

http://www.twitter.com/nickdonnelly



4. Paul Walsh

4,094 follower

http://twitter.com/PaulWalsh



5. Paul Carr

3,551 followers

http://twitter.com/paulcarr



6. Amanda Rose

3,436 followers

http://twitter.com/amanda



7. Michelle Dewberry

3,360 followers

http://twitter.com/michelledewbs



8. Hermoine Way

2,431 followers

http://twitter.com/hermoineway



9. Sam Sethi

2,189 followers

http://www.twitter.com/ssethi



10. Nick Halstead

1,847 followers

http://twitter.com/nickhalstead



11. Michael Acton Smith

1,757 followers

http://twitter.com/acton



12. Richard Morross

1,246 followers

http://twitter.com/stewarttownsend



13. Mat Morrison

1,424 followers

http://www.twitter.com/mediaczar



14. Nathan McDonald

1,362 followers

http://twitter.com/nathanmcdonald



15. Joff Arnold

1,253 followers

http://twitter.com/toodlepip



16. Joshua March

1252 followers

http://twitter.com/joshuamarch



17. Stewart Townsend

1,246 followers

http://twitter.com/stewarttownsend



18. Basheera Khan

1,098 followers

http://twitter.com/bash



19. Andy McLoughlin

1,069 followers

http://twitter.com/robertloch



20. Benjamin Ellis

1,007 followers

http://twitter.com/BenjaminEllis



21. Sam Michel

1,004 followers

http://twitter.com/toodlepip



22. Ben Way

936 followers

http://twitter.com/benbpway



23. Sophie Cox

890 followers

http://twitter.com/sophiecox



24. David Terrar

883 followers

http://www.twitter.com/dt



25. Bindi Karia

803 followers

http://twitter.com/bindik



26. Alex Hoye

765 followers

http://www.twitter.com/alexhoye



27. Stephanie Robesky

756 followers

http://twitter.com/nerdgirl



28. Luke Razzell

736 followers

http://twitter.com/weaverluke



29. Bastian Lehmann

683 followers

http://www.twitter.com/basti



30. Elizabeth Varley

660 followers

http://twitter.com/evarley



31. Robert Loch

656 followers

http://twitter.com/robertloch



32. Sokratis Papafloratos

652 followers

http://twitter.com/sokratis



33. Nic Brisbourne

643 followers

http://twitter.com/pmross



34. Mario Cacciottolo

629 followers

http://twitter.com/mariosotm



35. Andrew Scott

626 followers

https://twitter.com/andrewjscott



36. Danvers Baillieu

610 followers

https://twitter.com/danversbaillieu



37. David Langer

602 followers

https://twitter.com/langer



38. James Cherkoff

600 followers

https://twitter.com/cherkoff



39. Nick Bell

593 followers

https://twitter.com/nickbelluk



40. Barry Vitou

557 followers

https://twitter.com/bazv



41. Steve Kennedy

499 followers

https://twitter.com/stevekennedyuk



42. Chris Osborne

422 followers

https://twitter.com/chrsoz



43. Emma Haslett

415 followers

http://www.twitter.com/emmahaslett



44. Fabio De Bernardi

399 followers

https://twitter.com/fabiodebe



45. Meriem Aissaoui

375 followers

http://twitter.com/mernas



46. Robin Klein

375 followers

http://twitter.com/robinklein



47. Dug Falby

349 followers

http://twitter.com/dug



48. Nikhil Shah

344 followers

http://www.twitter.com/nikhilshah



49. Stephanie Bouchet

328 followers

http://twitter.com/rougefrog



50. Paul Mackenzie Ross

325 followers

http://twitter.com/pmross

The master version of  this list appears on the Snagsta website. View it here to share it with your nearest and dearest.

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The River of Twitter

9 May 2008

Alex Moore’s post 2 weeks ago resonated with me for a few reasons. One of which is the fact that I think he copied my idea – I am convinced I talked to him about this concept a little while ago 😉

But more importantly, back to the river. There is no bigger river than the river of Twitter. Thanks to my Facebook status updates several people have asked me recently what Twitter is. In a way it’s a bit like micro-blogging – here’s a commoncraft clip that explains it a lot better than I can. And here’s another good link.

It’s great if you’ve mastered continuous partial attention but you have to pick who you follow carefully as you can be inundated with the most trivial facts about people’s lives (Sorry Chris, couldn’t resist… my dad also loves Indiana Jones).

The Twitter signal-to-noise ratio is terrible though. The highly regarded Nassim Nicholas Taleb has strong views on this. He doesn’t read newspapers for this very reason.

On the flipside, Nic Brisbourne reminded me that ‘when you are in the business of trying to predict where the hype will be in 12-24 months then [you] don’t have the luxury of ignoring the breaking news.’ And I have to admit, amongst the froth, Twitter certainly has delivered some timely nuggets that have really helped us as we strive to stay ahead of the curve. Or, in Alex’s case, just behind.

Here’s a useful list by Paul Walsh that includes some tips for new users.

Most people will only spend a few seconds reviewing your Twitter page before deciding whether to follow you or not. The more followers they have, the less time they’re likely to spend. So, these tips should help increase the chances of people following you.

1. Fill in the bio. Include a few words that describe you. Try to make it punchy.

2. Link to a Web page that’s relevant, preferably a blog or biog.

3. Don’t follow everyone you find interesting at once. Wait for some to reciprocate or you’ll look like ‘billy no mates’.

4. Using a company name as your screen name is ok for some people. Loren Feldman and Mike Arrington are amongst the ‘exception to the rule’ category. I personally prefer to follow people, not companies.

5. Be honest, open and above all, be yourself.

6. Be patient. You won’t build relationships or feel the community spirit over night. It takes a little getting used to. Use twitter to have conversations with people for at least a few weeks before forming an opinion.

7. If you’re unsure whether to publish a comment, publish it. Ok, that’s probably not the best tip, but it’s what I do all the time. Sometimes it doesn’t work in my favour but mostly it does as people know that what they see is the real me.

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