My most interesting conversation on the Internet

I’ve been spending a lot of time plurking lately. It is similar to twitter, but is much easier to get into conversations with other users because the plurks and responses to plurks are threaded.

The website plurkmania.com has stats on each user.  There are over 52,000 plurkers, but over 34,000 described their relationship as “Not saying”. The next most frequent answer was “Single”  with around 4,900.

I somehow got into a sociological conversation on plurk last night about why so many people (including me) declined to state their relationship status. Is it, as I thought, because it’s really none of other peoples’ business? But then, why throw yourself into the world of social networking if you value your privacy?

I can understand why many divorced people would decline to state their status, but why do so many single people do so? Is it because there is a stigma attached to not being married or in a relationship (which was another possible answer.) I went out on a limb and guessed that this might be more of an issue for women, who may still have to answer to being an “old maid.”

Of course, I really don’t have the foggiest idea why people would decline to state their relationship status, but it was the most interesting conversation I’ve ever had on plurk.  So many questions, so few answers…

Edit 7/9: Fixed spelling of “plurkmania.com.”

My new Internet obsession

I recently joined Plurk, which is best described as Twitter on a timeline. The more frequently you use it (by making posts (plurking), inviting friends, etc.), the more “karma” you get, which can earn you various upgrades on the site. However, your karma can also go down for various reasons, including posting too infrequently or by losing friends.

My work blocks social-networking sites so I can’t access Plurk at work from my computer, though I can mobile Plurk via my cell phone. When I got home after work today, I noticed that my karma had gone down from 29.47 to 29.31.  The first thing I said to myself was “DA*n!”

This is an obvious indication that this could become an addiction. If I spend more time plurking, I may be spending less time blogging, which could be a good thing for readers of this blog 😉

Am I being twitterstalked?

A while back, I wondered why every Twitter user seemed to have more people who follow him than people he follows. Amazingly enough, I am now in this situation; right now I have 8 followers, while I am following 6 people.

When I went to look at the profile of the latest person to follow me, I found that he is following 15,890 people while 93 people are following him. I may have a twitterstalker on my hands (though it is good to know that the odds are at least 15,890 to 1 against finding him at my front door.)

My friends are so 20th century…

I finally found another (real as opposed to virtual) friend on Facebook, about three weeks after I added my last “real” friend. (I still don’t have any actual friends on Twitter.) I guess when you’re old and decrepit (my best friend’s younger brother has a son graduating from high school…)  you don’t go for these things. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to stick to my virtual friends…

How can everybody have more Twitter followers than “followees”?

I noticed that most people on Twitter seem to have more followers than “followees.” (Yes, I know this observation has no scientific validity.) So I decided to do some not-exactly random sampling.

  1. On the Twitter website, I searched for “Davis, CA” and looked at the profiles for the first 15 people who had activity within the last month. 12 of them had more followers than followees (for a total of 135 followees and 210 followers.)
  2. I checked the profile for Robert Scoble, who now follows 21,124 people and has 26,374 followers. I did a random sampling of the first two pages of his followers list, checked their profiles, and found that all of them had a follower:followee ratio of at least 6 to 1 (and some at least 10 to 1.)

How do these people, most of whom seem to be not famous (judging by their profiles and their blogs/websites), get such a large follower:followee ratio? Obviously they are very good at social networking, but shouldn’t they be following more people?

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I obviously have the wrong types of friends…

When I signed up for Facebook several months ago, I discovered that none of my (actual) friends have an account. Basically, I’ve added relatives and classmates, so I can still count the number of Facebook friends on the fingers of my two hands.

I decided to sign up for Twitter today, and none of my email contacts are on there either.

I clearly need more Web 2.0 savvy friends…

(Update 5/18: One of my friends just joined Facebook, so I actually have a real friend on Facebook.)

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