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June 18, 2009


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Fred Abramson

Why the fixation on Twitter ratio? As a lawyer, why is it important to have a good ration? Do you think that clients are more apt to hire an attorney based on a 1 to 2 ratio than the other way around?

There are many ways to game the system as well. For example, I have approximately 200 more followers than I follow on Twitter (@fredabramson). I can easily change this by: decide not to follow back who follow me, block spammers and not follow people who do not reciprocated.

I agree with you that most people with a 1 to 2 ratio probably bring value, however, not all do.

Lawyers should follow anyone who provides value to them and disregard ratio stats.

Joshua Fruchter

Fred - hi, thanks for your comment and contribution to the discussion.

To respond: I don't know how many people are aware of the Twitter ratio so can't say it will help with marketing. If people are not aware of its significance, they won't make decisions based on it. That's why I think Twitter should display it - to give people another basis to decide who to follow.

Assuming someone is aware of the significance, then while I wouldn't say it's a basis to hire an attorney (that decision requires more due diligence), I would say it is a basis to seriously consider following someone if they are tweeting on a topic that interests you. That is, if said person has acquired alot of followers without having had to resort to following many others, they probably regularly have interesting things to say about that topic (otherwise they wouldn't be getting so many followers who don't care about reciprocity).

I don't agree with your view on "gaming" the ratio. For people who use Twitter to access valuable insights and network with like-minded peers, they are going to act consistently with those objectives. Which means they are not going to deliberately avoid following someone who is otherwise interesting to them just to boost their Twitter ratio. Instead, if they act consistently with the interest of maximizing the value of Twitter to access insights and publish their own, then, assuming they regularly publish compelling Tweets, they should find their ratio rising without actually doing anything deliberate to accomplish that.

I say that because, in the end, it's quite hard to religiously follow and correspond with a huge number of people so the number of people you follow would tend to be low (if you are primarily interested in using the service for networking rather than following as many people as possible). On the other hand if you publish great Tweets on a regular basis, you'll probably get alot of followers interested in the niche you are covering.

Hope this helps.


Great article Joshua. I just joined Twitter and completely agree with the ratio. First thing I look at when someone follows me is there ratio (guesstimated of course).

My only concern now is not following enough people. I find following 10 people a lot! It's not that I'm not interested what people have to say or what I have to say for that matter. I just enjoy quality tweeters and don't want to miss one of their msgs.

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