5 years on Twitter – infographic

Apparently I joined Twitter five years ago today, on Nov 14, 2007. It’s been a fascinating development and back then I couldn’t envision how important Twitter would grow and how many followers I could gain in these years. In fact, 8 months earlier, in March 2007, I mentioned Twitter for the first time on this blog and my first impressions were all but positive. Here is my first comment about Twitter:

“I’m clearly totally out of fashion when I say that I have no desire to try out the new mega hype Twitter.”

At least, I have no problem admitting I was wrong. Today, Twitter is one of my most important news sources and tools for building relationships online. That said, here is a short infographic of my first five years on Twitter, courtesy of Visual.ly and Amstel Beer (!). Click on the image for a larger version.


Footnote: The detailed data for the infographic probably is only for the last 12 monts, so there is a possibility that other tweets and dates have generated more engagement. I am @kullin on Twitter, by the way.

Infographic: Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney on Twitter

The 2012 U.S. presidential election is a tight race with both candidates getting about the same amount of votes in recent election polls. During the election race, social media has played a very important role. Here is a quick infographic outlining the Twitter battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Obama has ten times as many followers but Romney has more mentions per tweet.

Click on the image for a larger version or here for a pdf.

infographic Obama vs Romney Twitter

Fake photo of hurricane Sandy goes viral on Facebook

During breaking news stories like natural disasters, social media can be an invaluable news source. The problem is that with increasing attention the likeliness that someone will take advantage of the situation also increases. Yesterday, it didn’t take long for spam links to appear on Twitter under the hashtag #hitsunami which was used to report about events during the supposed tsunami that would hit Hawaii.

Also, pranksters and people who are just misinformed tend to spread false rumours and fake photos and videos because social media is so fast and few of us actually stop for a moment to check the source of the information. A photo from the hurricane Sandy, aka Frankenstorm, has just gone viral on Facebook with currently more than 177,000 shares. The problem is that it is fake, and definitely not taken today. A quick picture search on Google reveals that the image appeared already two years ago.

The viral image:


A two year old version of the image from Sept 16, 2010 was posted on Urban Legends.

The person who posted the image on Facebook also did some research and concluded that it was fake:


Here is the original photo of the thunderstorm that was used to create the fake image:


As always, it if looks to good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Stop for a moment and check before you share.

Hat tip: I found this via Andreas, @Iam_Curtis on Twitter.

The most retweeted tweet of all time

Yesterday, the NFL reached an agreement with the NFL Referees Association to end an ongoing lockout. Before that agreement was reached, temporary referees were used during the start of the season. But some calls by replacement referees were criticized. After one such questionable decision, Green Bay Packers lost a game on Monday evening, which lead Packers’ guard T.J. Lang to tweet this message.

most retweeted tweet NFL

This tweet has now become one of the most retweeted tweets of all time, currently at close to 100,000 retweets. One older tweet that had thousands of retweets, is the same-sex marriage tweet by Barack Obama that has been retweeted more than 61,000 times. (Update: I forgot about Justin Bieber. Never forget Bieber. As you see below, one of his tweets has 120k RTs).

Twitter BarackObama tweet

However, the tweet that is still the most retweeted is this one by Justin Bieber with 120,000 retweets (found via Buzzfeed):


NHL boss dismisses tweets about lockout as “uninformed ramblings”

NHL lockout 2012Maybe you’ve heard about the NHL lockout, an ongoing labour dispute in the North American hockey league NHL? As with any dispute between two or more parties, there is always a risk that much of the battle will be fought in public, traditionally in news media but nowadays also in social media. The public perception of your arguments may help you win the battle, so a good PR strategy is vital in cases like these.

In the NHL lockout however, social media doesn’t seem to be a central part of the league’s PR strategy. At least not if this quote by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly is representative of the strategy. Asked about the criticism on social media over NHL labour tactics, Daly said negotiating a new collective agreement (CBA) is still Job 1.

“We do not intend to abdicate that responsibility in reaction to uninformed ramblings on Twitter,” he said in an e-mail.

The NHL doesn’t seem to be able to get much sympathy for its case in social media and according to the article in the Globe and Mail, the NHL is losing the social media battle. It is not unlikely that it will effect the outcome of the dispute in the end.

How much sales does Pinterest really generate?

Do you want the recipe for the ultimate viral piece of social media content? Take one part statistics (of questionable accuracy). Add the most hyped social sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Put the information in an infographic which you can then pin on Pinterest, blog, tweet etc. I am sure you will see a huge number of likes, retweets, repins by people who think your content is absolutely brilliant, or rather, people who are too lazy to examine the accuracy of the content. Because that is how most of us behave online these days, me included. We read something about a topic we find interesting and we share it instantly without reflecting much on whether the information is likely to be true or not.

When blogs began to appear we got all excited over the prospect that there were now an army of watchdogs out there, just waiting to bite into any piece of twisted fact, inaccuracy or lie. Transparency would rule and the world would become a great place again. Instead, the pace of social media has turned most of us into an army of watchers, often only passively looking at what others produce, only capable of amplifying a message, or worse, distorting it along the way so that what was initially a factual piece of information, becomes something erroneous. Much like a game of Chinese whispers.

For example, do you think it is possible that Pinterest will drive 40% of all social media sales in Q2 2012? I think that sounds unlikely, but that is what this infographic is stating.

pinterest drive 40 percent of social media sales infographic

The infographic has been published by Tamba in the UK and is a few months old, but is still being passed around online, for example a post was published yesterday on Ragan.com also claiming that Pinterest is “to drive 40 percent of all social media purchases”.

To start with, what does that mean? All sales on the entire planet, or are we talking about the US? After a bit of digging I eventually found the source of this piece of data. In April, Venturebeat published an article by the CEO of Convertro, that projected Pinterest to increase its share of social media sales from 17% to 40%. But this is not for all businesses online, this data is based on “measurements we made across 40 of our client sites — most of which are top 500 internet retailers”.

So, data from an undisclosed set of 40 retailers are supposed to represent every company on the planet that sells stuff online? That is just ridiculous. You cannot make any statistical conclusions from that type of data collection other than that you will know what sites that drive sales for these 40 retailers. Typically, these kind of details are often missing when someone else uses them to make an infographic and suddenly the Chinese whisper game is on.

Besides, as I blogged some days ago, there are some signs that traffic to Pinterest has levelled out. Since there are no official statistics from Pinterest that show us if the site continues to increase, we can only guess. But if you ask me, I would not state that Pinterest drives a certain percentage of all the traffic to e-commerce sites, because we simply don’t know.