Ever wonder how many different “Tweets” are released into the Twittersphere each day? That’s what Tweetrush tells you. At first glance, it’s probably not much more than an entertaining look at how other people waste their time. Then you realize that you’re wasting your time seeing how much time their wasting and so on. Let’s see if we can use Tweetrush and Twist to inform our decision-making.

Tweetrush establishes a context for Twitter-based conversations.

No man is an island. No thought exists in a vaccuum. And in the same way, we all know that there are a lot of different conversations happening on Twitter about a variety of topics. Using tools like Twist we can monitor particular phrases on Twitter and know how many people are talking about that topic. But is that a lot in the larger world? What percent of the conversation is taken up by our topic? If we knew that we’d know if Twitter was particularly fertile or not for our message for this moment. Using Twist we have half the equation. Tweetrush gives us the other half.

An example: Tweetrush and Twist to measure the size of your conversational island

Let’s start by taking a topic: the vice president. That topic has been pretty active recently because it’s a current event. But we won’t use “vice president” because people using Twitter are more likely to use the abbreviation “vp.” If we wanted to be super precise maybe we’d do them both and add the results. For now, please humor me and go along with “vp” as the keyword for our example. Next we’re going to need a date range. Both Tweetrush and Twist are fairly limited in their historical presentation, so you’ll need something fairly recent. I’m going to use Aug 23, 2008. Now it’s time get the numbers. I’ll start with Twist because it’s harder. Twist is great because it presents a line graph allowing you to see changes in volume within a granularity of about two hours. The down side is that in order to calculate volume per day, you have to manually add up those numbers. I am using a spreadsheet to do this. For the keyword “vp” on Aug 23, 2008 I get the following: 8954. That’s how many times someone tweeted about “vp.” Next up, we figure out how many times did everyone tweet. Off to Tweetrush. They only get as detailed as a single day there. And according to Tweetrush there were 639,992 tweets on Aug 23, 2008. Finally, break open the spreadsheet and calculate the percentage: about 1%. That’s not too shabby. It also should help you keep things in perspective when you look at your own topic. This exercise is sort of like listening in on all the phone calls in the world and then counting the number of times someone says “vp.” Not sure what the benchmarks would be yet. But there you have it.

Recap of conversation-volume-o-meter using Tweetrush and Twist

Here’s the process in simple list form:

  1. Identify your topic
  2. Determine your date range
  3. Go to Twist and get the numbers for your topic and date range
  4. Add up the numbers from Twist
  5. Go to Tweetrush and get the numbers for your date range
  6. Divide the Twist result by the Tweetrush result and multiply by 100
  7. The result the size of your topic over your date range

Hat tip to Joseph Ferrara for alerting us to Twist. I may be getting a peek at a more powerful (though not free) social media measurement tool in the near future so stay tuned.