The benefit of having a large following on Twitter is that if I ask for someone’s attention, or point them towards something that I think is worthwhile, it drives a reasonable amount of traffic towards whatever I point out. I enjoy pointing out the occasional post on a friend’s site, and sharing something I’ve discovered out and about. At other points, I really don’t mind putting up the occasional interesting link, or getting the word out for a friend who requests it from me. If you’ve ever asked me to get the word out on something, please don’t read this post and think, “Wow, I’ve really put Chris out.” This is for a certain minority of folks who’ve cropped up recently.
I am not Digg.
Digg is a mechanical platform that uses the efforts of a crowd of people to promote interesting links, and get traffic to the ones voted most worthy by the community. The key points in this definition are “mechanical” and “crowd.” I, Chris Brogan, am neither mechanical, nor a crowd.
As such, it’s sometimes hard (becoming harder) to keep up with the sheer weight of people requesting that I link things for them.
I asked the question in Twitter today, whether anyone could cite whether my pointing towards something was even useful, from a stats perspective. Most folks couldn’t answer, and several wanted me to test it out by pointing to their site. So, for the most part, some folks who have asked for this don’t even know if it’s making a difference.
Beth Kanter said that there was a 30-something percent difference in traffic on efforts where she used me to get the word out, so thanks, Beth.
Where it gets tricky is scale. I’m one guy, with at tonight’s count, just over 6500 followers on Twitter. I’m happy to put out the word on something amazing you’ve done, or something you think is really meaningful, or a cause that really needs doing. But please continue to bear in mind that I’m one guy, with a day job, and a lot of other projects, and a writing schedule, and two kids, and I’m not a mechanical platform run by the voting of crowds.
I think Twitter is a great tool for promoting what’s useful, sharing what has our attention, and driving awareness of causes and information that’s really important. I’m sure you do, too. While you work on growing your network by building meaningful relationships and sharing useful information, I’m happy to help you from time to time. Very happy to help.
But I’m not Digg.