I was just having a discussion the other day on facebook about how people are using automatic posting tools so heavily these days. They post something on their blog, and a tool (er, “bot) automatically publishes that post to Twitter, which then is connected to their facebook and friendfeed accounts and is repeated there.
Personally, I don’t mind if people use bots to make updates on Twitter or other social networking sites IF (and only if) they’re also diving in to real communication in those locations as well.
Twitter’s great for 140 characters of communication. It’s a blink of the eyes, in all reality. But when you’re auto posting and nothing else, you wind up looking like a billboard more than a social networker. Rather than someone who’s looking to connect and communicate, you’re looking like a guy with a megaphone on the street corner… you know?
Anyway, in comes this email about a post titled An In-Depth Look at the 5% of Most Active Users that reports that almost a quarter of Twitter’s updates are done by bots (automatic posting tools).
Of the most active Twitter users updating more than 150 times/day, nearly all of them are bots operated by sources such as hotels offering deals, regional and national news services, regional weather services, the top news within Digg, games, anim services, tags within del.icio.us and financial aggregators. These very active bots account for one-quarter of all tweets.
There are lots of other interesting Twitter facts there on the Sysomos site, and I encourage you to check them out! They’ve asked that if you’re interested in discussing the article on Twitter that you use the hashtag #sysomossurvey or copy them @sysomos.