Image Credits: The Muppet Mindset

The Beginning of Big Twitter

I did some data mining recently and I realized how big Twitter has become.

I am a user since July 2008. You can say I’m an early adopter, I was the first one among my friends who joined. I started following people in my local community, mainly developers and bloggers I didn't know personally, engaged in occasional conversations, and it was fun.

Twitter got bigger, the numbers of followers were on the rise, so the race for popularity took off. Fast forward today, we have @katyperry and @justinbieber reigning supreme. I’m not following this kind of celebrities, I didn't even know who Katy Perry was before I did my data mining exercise.

Twitter is mainstream.

However I am following @newsyc20, @brainpickings and @SethGodinBlog. And I thought that whoever else is following all these three accounts would be interesting to me. So I wrote a script to find out these interesting users, and I got few hundreds of them. Many were interesting indeed, but one of them really stood out from my pack: @LILBTHEBASEDGOD.

I was puzzled by this individual, he was totally irrelevant to me, never heard of him before, but the guy has a verified account and 928K followers. His tweeting frequency and the number of retweets he gets are also impressive. But although he claims he’s an author that wrote a book, and he’s also into marketing, I just cannot picture him reading Brain Pickings and Seth’s Blog. It all made sense when I saw he is following 890K accounts.

Some HNers were complaining yesterday about the amount of noise they get on their timelines. Twitter definitely has a Lil B problem for these guys, but not for the 928K followers of Lil B himself, nor for the 50M followers of @katyperry and @justinbieber. For them, Twitter has just begun.

For the rest of us, I’m sure that somebody will figure out a way to solve the Lil B problem. It’s not easy, but I am definitely going to try. Anyone else?

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