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Who's on the "Top 10" list of Twitter users in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco? There's no question but that Twitter, the microblogging service, has become a "must be on" new media system with an engaged and loyal core group of users, all microblogging about events, activities, news and opinion. The San Francisco-based firm has grown from small beginnings just three years ago to 19 million visitors (or 17 million if one goes by the digital research service ComScore.com) in April in what was a dramatic 83 percent jump over March, and in that month alone Twitter went from 9.8 million visitors to 17 million visitors, perhaps the fastest expansion of a new media service in the short history of the industry. It's clear that Twitter, as Eric Schonfeld with the tech industry website TechCrunch.com said, is working to become "the pulse of the planet."
As Twitter has grown so have the number of ways of measuring a twitter account holders effectiveness, or "Twitterers" as I call us. Perhaps the best Twitterer evaluation system is "Twitter Grader" made by self-described "serial entrepreneur" Dharmesh Shah. I am rather addicted to his application because it not only lets one know how effective they are on Twitter, but how they rank in their city, which is the most fun part of it all. In his blog at the site, Mr. Shah or "dshah" as he goes by explains how the final Twitter Grade is calculated:
1. Number of Followers: More followers leads to a higher Twitter Grade (all other things being equal). Yes, I agree that it’s easy to game this number, but we are looking at measuring reach and I did say all other things being equal.
2. Power of Followers: If you have people with a high Twitter Grade following you, it counts more than those with a low Twitter Grade following you. It’s a bit recursive, and we don’t get carried away with it, but it helps.
2. Updates: More updates generally leads to a higher grade — within reason. This does not mean you should be tweeting like a manic squirrel cranked up on caffeine and sugar. It won’t help either your Twitter Grade or your overall happiness in life.
3. Update Recency: Users that are more current (i.e. time elapsed since last tweet is low) generally get higher grades.
4. Follower/Following Ratio: The higher the ratio, the better. However, the weight of this particular factor decreases as the user accrues points for other factors (so, once a user gets to a high level of followers or a high level of engagement, the Follower/Following ratio counts less).
5. Engagement: The more a given user’s tweets are being retweeted, the more times the user is being referenced or cited, the higher the twitter grade. Further, the value of the engagement is higher based on who is being engaged. If a user with a very high Twitter Grade retweets, it counts more than if a spammy account with a very low grade retweets.
As you can guess, one's Twitter grade can be all over the place. As of this writing, mine is 99.8, which means out of out of 2,747,790 Twitters, there are just 4,953 who are better than me at this point in time. But a month ago my grade was 99.9 and last week it was 99.7. But since I'm hyper competitive, adding followers at a regular daily clip, I want to know where I stand in Oakland, California, where I live. With that, here are the top 10 users on Twitter who live in Oakland, followed by Los Angeles, then San Francisco, and listed by name, grade, and number of followers:
1. mistahfab - 100 - 22,270
2. acedtect - 99.99 - 16,070
3. mollywood - 99.98 - 20,394
4. mrdaveyd - 99.9 - 3,094
5. bulldogreporter - 99.8 - 1,736
6. pandora_radio - 99.9 - 26,434
7. zennie62 - 99.8 - 5,988
8. ktvu - 99.8 - 2,445
9. mc_lars - 99.8 - 3,912
10. stocktwits - 99.8 - 85,623
1. christinelu - 100 - 10,760
2. ijustine - 100 - 601,005
3. wilw - 100 - 958,546
4. laist - 100 - 7,398
5. mattsingley - 100 - 18,166
6. drew - 100 6,003
7. Mayhemstudios - 100 - 30,569
8. eonline - 100 - 1,040,375
9. lotay - 100 - 56,319
10. mitchelmusso - 100 - 211,947
1. missrogue - 100 - 28,127
2. briansolis - 100 - 27,621
3. ev - 100 - 1,095,917
4. parislemon - 100 - 10,084
5. Techmeme - 100 - 14,604
6. wired - 100 - 71,402
7. kynamdoan - 100 - 23,681
8. loic - 100 - 28,743
9. widgetbox - 100 - 14,093
10. gigaom - 99.99 - 5,674
Oh, and just for grins, the top 10 Twitter cities are:
1 London H9 United Kingdom 63.53
2 Los Angeles CA United States 70.80
3 Chicago IL United States 67.08
4 New York NY United States 71.52
5 San Francisco CA United States 74.00
6 Toronto 08 Canada 67.12
7 Atlanta GA United States 70.60
8 Seattle WA United States 67.91
9 Boston MA United States 69.14
10 Austin TX United States 69.98
Nope, Oakland's not on the list.
Top Cities have celebrity Twitterers
You may wonder why Los Angeles and San Francisco have so many Twitterers with 100 grades. The answer's a simple one: the vast majority of them are celebrities and micro celebrities who have vastly more followers than people they follow. In San Francisco, the number-one-ranked "missrogue" is Tara Hunt's the queen of online community consultants, and just wrote a book called "The Whuffie Factor" about how to improve one's use of social networks. "EV" in San Francisco is Twitter CEO Evan Williams, who has over a million followers. In Los Angeles, "iJustine" (Justine Ezarik) has over 600,000 followers and that number's sure to grow because today she's a "trending topic" on Twitter due to her new live show on USTream.Tv and as I watch this, she's actively trying to push "Harry Potter" out of the way for the number one topic spot today.
What all of this says is if you want your message to get out a large audience you have to work with these Twitterers or become one of them. When one gets over 2,000 followers, and updates over 10 times a day, they can cause others to share their news and information in a process called "retweeting". Or think of how Ellen DeGeneres used her 1.9 million followers to gain signatures for an online petition to stop the proposal to reduce the time animals are held in shelters before being euthanized. Some question the value of Twitter, but those who do, universally also just aren't good at it.
Oakland needs to grow more celebrity Twitterers, and of the top 10 in Oakland only DaveyD and myself are consistent bloggers. Considering the number of bloggers in Oakland, that's a shame. Maybe I should move to San Francisco or Atlanta. And on that, one can make a strong argument that the top Twitter cities are also the best ones for the consumption of online content.