Twitter by the #numbers

@jack sent the first tweet

#numbers Monday, March 14, 2011
Five years ago this week, a small team of people started working on a prototype of the service that we now know as Twitter. On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent the first Tweet. via Twitter Blog: #numbers.

  • 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
  • 1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
  • 50 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago.
  • 140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
  • 177 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
  • 456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
  • 6,939. Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day.
  • 572,000. Number of new accounts created on March 12, 2011.
  • 460,000. Average number of new accounts per day over the last month.
  • 182%. Increase in number of mobile users over the past year.
  • 8. 29. 130. 350. 400. Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2008, Jan 2009, Jan 2010, Jan 2011 and today.

A Win-Win: #MBteamS and Green Bay Packers [UPDATE]

I think I’m going to UPDATE this blog until I’m blue in the face. There’s more blogs about this race coming out every day.

UPDATE: References

Let’s show the power of the higher ed community!

Friday Five: Go #MBTeamS Go!

Under the radar – #sachat needs to follow @tsand

The Power of Social Media – The MB Tweet Race

content + connectivity: analyzing the brand of @tsand.

The #MBTeamS Poster Project

Mercedes Tweet Race Case Study

What #highered can learn from the #MBteamS and @tsand social media win

The best social media is always the most fun

Thoughts About MBTeamS and the (First) Great Tweet Race – mStoner – Blog

Twitter baptism by #MBTeamS

Final score on MBTweetRace.com

Two epic battles occurred in the past week: one on Twitter and the other at the Super Bowl. On Twitter, “Team S” (hash tag #MBteamS) was racing against 3 other teams in the first-ever Twitter-fueled race sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. Team S drove a 2011 Mercedes-Benz S400 coupe from Los Angeles to Dallas, while the other teams drove from Chicago, New York, and Tampa. During the 3 day race, the teams and their Twitter followers accumulated points by completing challenges. The team with the most points won.

Super Bowl XLV was played on Sunday, February 6, in the new Dallas Stadium between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The billion dollar stadium was completed in June 2009 and is home to the Dallas Cowboys. Attendance for the game was 103,219 people. (FYI: that’s more than the population of Green Bay which was 101,025 in 2008)

Even as I write this, a day after the Super Bowl, both topics are still smoldering on the Internet; still trends on Twitter.

Well, the short story is that both MB Team S and the Packers won. MB Team S amassed 131,643 points! That was more than the combined points of the 2nd (74,092) and 3rd (44,944) place teams. The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl 31 to 25; they never trailed.

So how did they win? Promotion.

Todd Sanders (twitter user name @tsand) and John Pederson (@ijohnpederson) were the drivers for Team S. They won the chance to drive in the first ever Twitter-fueled race from a promotion Mercedes held back in late 2010. They, along with their coach Pete Wentz (@petewentz), promoted the race from day one. They were the underdogs according to Twitter follower statistics. Todd works for University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, John works for WiscNet, Madison, and Pete is a famous musician (bassist for Fall Out Boy).

First, the race was a promotion for Mercedes-Benz. They are developing a new line of cars in the coming years and they want young people to drive them. Somewhere in the recent past they must have lost that demographic. This was the first time the luxury automaker has advertised at the Super Bowl.

[Sidebar: I find it a little ironic that Audi and BMW also had ads this year – the 3rd year of economic recession. I guess they’re hurting too and want a wider customer base.]

Second, the race was a promotion for donations to the charities of the coaches. Pete’s charity was St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Mercedes donated $45,000 to the winning team’s charity. Todd and John, additionally, raised over $5,000 from their friends, followers, and the social network community.

Third, the race was a promotion of social media, or, more accurately, the power of social media. Through crowd-sourcing, Todd (it was mainly Todd) was able to reach out to the people that follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and they in-turn reached out to their followers, and so on. With that number of people, most of whom are proficient users of social media, Team S was able to keep their car “full” of tweets – from start to finish – each day.

UPDATE: As the number of references grows, one can really begin to see the power there is in social media, and the influence one man can have on an entire community. Todd even had the cojones to visit us at HighEdWeb 2010 from his home via videos, tweets and pictures; he’s that good.

Super Bowl or Social Bowl?

To coin a phrase, “the Super Bowl ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race.” (Taken from the Fall Out Boy lyrics.) The Super Bowl, or SBXLV, is going social, or more accurately advertisers are turning to social media with ad previews and contests and races (oh my).

Mercedes-Benz, a first-time Super Bowl advertiser, is launching a “Tweet Race” in which four teams use Mercedes vehicles to race to Dallas. The teams are “fueled” by how many times fans tweet using a hashtag from their favorite team. Source: TODAY Show website | It’s the Super Bowl – let’s get social!.

I’m involved, sorta, with one of the teams in this race. Team S (hastag #MBteamS) consists of two Green Bay Packers superfans from Wisconsin, Todd Sanders (@tsand) and John Pederson (@ijohnpederson). Their coach is Pete Wentz (@petewentz), the singer that wrote the Fall Out Boy lyric. I’m twitter friends with Todd because of Higher Ed Web Conference as are a lot of his tech-savvy followers. I also copied one of Team S web pages about Participation on to this blog.


January 30 Texas Weather

So there you have it, 2011, the year we socialize, and we’re kicking things off with Super Bowl XLV, held February 6, the biggest party (i.e. social event) in the world. It promises to be a good game (Packers vs. Steelers) both on the field and on social media; may we all win.

Mercedes-Benz Tweet Race To Super Bowl XLV With #MBteamS

Guide to #MBteamS Victory
Full text available at http://mbteams.com/participate/

#MBtweetrace Prototype Test 2: Parking next to SLS AMG

#MBtweetrace Prototype Test 2 “That’s Close”

Official Site: http://www.mbtweetrace.com/mercedes/prototype/

This effort needs to be coordinated for us to move this vehicle.  That said, there are a few details that our supporters, both Twitter ninjas and Twitter newbies, need to know.  This is still a draft.  Please use the comments below to ask for questions, clarification, etc.

1.  What You Need

You need a Twitter account.  http://twitter.com.

You need to follow @tsand on Twitter.  http://twitter.com/tsand.

If you don’t, can’t, won’t do the Twitter thing, skip down to “Following #MBteamS Online” below.  We understand.  There are other ways to play.

2.  Tweet Fuel

We receive 1 unit of Tweet Fuel each time #MBteamS shows up on Twitter during race hours.

Example:  I am cheering for #MBteamS.

We receive 3 units of Tweet Fuel if you re-tweet something that @tsand puts on Twitter during race hours.

Example:  RT @tsand I may hire my Co-Driver to be my life coach after this trip.  #MBteamS

*IMPORTANT NOTE*

Many Twitter applications, including the Twitter website itself, have a handy “Retweet” button.  This “Retweet” button is poison.  Unless you know what you are doing, it’s always better to manually retweet by typing in…

RT @tsand I may hire my Co-Driver to by my life coach after this trip.  #MBteamS

*UNDERSTANDING HOW TO RETWEET PROPERLY IS A HUGE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE*

3.  Challenges

A.  Our primary challenge is to keep the car filled with Tweet Fuel.  This requires you, the Pit Crew, to be typing #MBteamS into Twitter (1 point) and re-tweeting @tsand (3 points).  It’s our job to do fun things along the way in order to keep things interesting.

B.  Mercedes-Benz will be issuing challenges to both Todd and I in the car as well as challenges for our Pit Crew to participate in.  We won’t know what these are until we hit the road.  Follow @tsand at http://twitter.com/tsand for the latest on the challenges and how you can help.

4.  Timing

Understanding timing is key.  We only accumulate Tweet Fuel during race hours.  There is a 30 minute “Fuel Up” period each morning that will be critical as we start each day with no fuel.  Note:  We also “burn” Tweet Fuel on our travel, meaning that we’ll need a nice stream of tweets throughout the day to keep us moving.  We will be stopped if we run out of Tweet Fuel.

Wednesday, February 2

 

Fuel Up:  7:30am – 8:00am PST.  (8:30 MST, 9:30 CST, 10:30 EST)

Race:  8:00am PST. (9:00 MST, 10:00 CST, 11:00 EST)

Thursday, February 3

Fuel Up:  7:30 – 8:00am MST.  (6:30 PST, 8:30 CST, 9:30 EST)

Race:  8:00am MST.  (7:00 PST, 9:00 CST, 10:00 EST)

Friday, February 4

Fuel Up:  6:30am – 7:00am MST.  (5:30 PST, 7:30 CST, 8:30 EST)

Race: 7:00am MST.  (6:00 PST, 8:00 CST, 9:00 EST)

5.  Following #MBteamS Online

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/tsand

 

Follow Todd Sanders on Twitter. Twitter #MBteamS:  http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23MBteamS

See everything that everybody is saying about #MBteamS on Twitter.

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/mbteams

 

We are pushing fun pre-race stuff here for people to play with.

Website:  http://mbteams.com

 

This is a place to tie together many different pieces and parts associated with this adventure.

St. Jude:  http://fundraising.stjude.org

 

We have a site with St. Jude where we are trying to raise an additional $5,000 for our charity.  St. Jude received $25,000 for our participation and another $20,000 if we win this thing.

Spread it. Include #MBteamS in your Tweets

Outlook 2010 Social Connector

I’m putting this in the journal just in case a year from now this works out. I could totally see us doing this with some services at my department:

I’m happy to announce that a new member has joined the Outlook platform family. The new arrival has a long and formal name known as Microsoft Outlook Social Connector Provider Extensibility, but the name shouldn’t stop you from getting acquainted with this exciting new extensibility feature for Outlook 2010!

Here’s what I wrote in an email to my colleagues:

Basically, we could expose – with permission of course – profile information e.g. photo, @exchange email address, etc. to Outlook/Exchange users. This may have already been shot down by the powers that be, but I thought I’d mention it in the spirit of social networking and the future redesign of our intranet.

I installed Outlook Social Connector and connected it to my Facebook account, but I don’t see my photo yet.

Social Media In the Classroom [UPDATE]

Schools should educate kids about the world around them even if the kids get there first.

Instead of dismissing social media as distracting or destructive, schools should embrace it as an essential part of the curriculum. Not only does this limit the potential for students to abuse the technology, but it opens a new set of valuable educational tools. Source: 4 Tips for Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom | Mashable.com

Dangers in the virtual world like bullying, pornography, reputation, predators, or viruses,  are just as real out in the real world. I think teaching them how to play nice and be smart on all Internet activities should be integral to classroom curricula.

UPDATE:

On a more positive note, I kept my eyes peeled for other information about social media in the classroom and behold more stuff dropped on my desktop from the Twitterverse and beyond. I learned a new word, pedagogy, or method of teaching. I found stuff like a plethora of YouTube videos about Twitter in the classroom, tweets about videos that explain things in plain English, blogs about social media in higher education.

Source: The Twitter Experiment – UT Dallas | YouTube.com

I like what she says at the end, “It’s going to be messy, but messy doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be bad.” I think that means, students might use bad grammar in Twitter, they might not like going from 1000 word papers to Twitter and back, but the important thing is that they communicate their thoughts. If their thoughts are closely related to the subject being thought, then mission accomplished. In other words, the important thing is the message not the delivery mechanism.

I think the reverse is true too. How you get the message to the students brain can be important. We know that students learn in different ways at different speeds. If a student can watch and remember a YouTube video about a school subject, and then tweet comments about it, then why not try that method; the school might even save money.

I re-found the blog, Social Media in Higher Education, which is one professor’s views about using social media in college classrooms. I won’t go into detailed description of his site, but suffice it to say he is trying to quantify what others are discovering by doing – that is using social media in a classroom has merit. There are caveats and benefits to this new mode of teaching.

Note-to-self: Likes are the new links. We can use facebook’s “Like” buttons on any content.

Gap Between Mainstream Media and the Social Web

Although blogs cover many of the same topics, the study found that bloggers tend to focus on more ideological and emotional stories — particularly those concerning human rights, like access to healthcare services or privacy on Facebook — and often with a personal or partisan angle. Bloggers also like to make a story out of “off-beat” or “buried” items in mainstream media coverage. Source: Huge Gap Remains Between Mainstream Media and the Social Web [REPORT] | Mashable.com.

You think… I’m one of the “off-beat” and “buried.” (Such violent metaphoric language.)

I just realized that I don’t have a “mainstream media” category. To me it’s all media: web and print and broadcast floods our world every day and we might consume 1% of it. If 99% of bloggers get their information from mainstream, and mainstream goes payware, what will happen to bloggers? I think they continue to seek free sources until there is none, at which time we’ll make up our own news from observation of our world. I think a lot of bloggers are already doing this. They add commentary on mainstream sources, but they also report what they observe; issues important to them. I also think if all mainstream media dried up behind the paywall then there would be fewer blogs. But so what. I blog to record my thoughts. I get news from broadcast, from the web and occasional from print. If I see or hear something that peeks my interest I blog about it.

It also suggests that if traditional news companies want to succeed online — that is, if they want to attract a large number of page views and be relevant to users on the web — they may need to alter their content to match readers’ interests.

Well, I for one, don’t what to read about RayWilliamJohnson on NYTimes.com or see what @justinbieber is doing on CNN TV. I think consumers keep the gap between mainstream media and social media for a reason: they fulfill different needs. I watch CNN TV  read NYTimes.com for world news. I watch YouTube videos because they’re funny or educational. I use Twitter to stay connected to people. At the end of the day I blog my thoughts about what these other media are saying.

Students Sans (Social) Media – UPDATED

According to a new ICMPA study, most college students  are not just unwilling, but functionally unable to be without their media links to the world. Source: A Day Without Media | http://withoutmedia.wordpress.com.

Knowing this, should we, as programmers, promote this behavior by writing applications that enable easy-to-publish, multi-modal content? Currently, I’m under pressure to  (or let a CMS) produce content in at least 4 modes. All of these modes are easily available through browsers, phones or mobile devices. As a programmer of multi-modal content, sometimes I feel like I provide the path to a media-addicted future.

I suppose we could play devil’s advocate for a minute and say, “if that’s where their focus lies, that’s where we need to go.” I can agree with this because I think the battle is lost if you want to fight media and make kids read paper books and go to class rooms and write with wooden pencils. That is so 20th century to them – and most of them have no concept of the 20th century.

Now, on the other hand, what if social media is not only harmful (addictive), but it can actually lowers communications skills. Is it worth risking addiction to a mind-numbing medium to test, challenge or enlighten students?

“I defend to the highest possible level that today’s youth are not addicted to social media and networking, the Web, and online media,” Mr. Whittaker wrote. “We do spend far more time on Facebook and accessing the Web for leisure use and socializing, but that is part of the natural progression of tertiary, noncompulsory education socialization.” Source: Students Denied Social Media Go Through Withdrawal | The Chronicle of Higher Education

This last quote brings up another issue entirely, health of modern, media-addicted children. It is impossible to ‘facebook’ (a new verb) or watch TV or do any media related activity when you are outside riding your bike or skating or playing. Kids are getting obese and unhealthy at an alarming rate. They’ve taken the lifestyle of ‘couch potato’ to a whole new level. But that kiddies, is for another blog – go out and play, DVR your TV program, tell your Facebook fans you’ll out live them.