When Dave Cole takes to his whiteboard, good things happen.
On Monday, his whiteboard was filled with thoughts about social-media-powered quadrangles under the concept name of “AuthenTWicity.” Go ahead and laugh. Tuesday they were built into the backend of Dashter’s full profile views and named “Dashter Archetwypes.” You can laugh again, we don’t mind. Since an archetype refers to a generic version of a personality, an Archetwype refers to a generic version of a Twitter personality.
Sure, we could have just called them Dashter Archetypes, but we believe that anything having to do with Twitter should have a w after the t. Otherwise, you’re taking yourself way too seriously.
So what is Dashter? Dashter is the self-hosted social media management platform that we launched a few months ago. It is a WordPress plugin that allows you to turn social interaction into content, and content into meaningful and timely social interaction. Dashter empowers you to interact with Twitter in ways new and exciting ways. Archetwypes are a way to quickly glance at a users’ profile and get a snapshot view of what their Twitter personality is like.
We’ve classified 16 different Archetwypes. Each is determined using real-time social stats from a user’s recent Twitter history using four different measurement criteria. They are Laid Back, Replier, Hey You!, Casual Conversationalis, Random Though Guy (or girl), Conversation Follower, Frequent Flyer, Conversation Maven, Linker, Here, Taste This, Traffic Sign, Little Helper, Link Maven, Frequent Link Replier, Extra! Extra!, and News Maven.
A quick look at a couple of Archetwypes.
Laid Back – This person has a Twitter account. They tweet, they hang out, it’s not the center of their universe. The image on the right is a screen capture from the Dashter full profile view of @mortgagereports. I was not surprised to find that Dan Green’s most recent 150 tweets reveal that he falls into the Laid Back Archetwype.
I’ve known Dan for several years. Our interactions are not limited to Twitter. In fact, the majority of our interaction is outside of the public social networking spaces. Because of this, I know that Twitter is definitely not the center of his universe. His blog, The Mortgage Reports is the center of his universe and his main focus is building readership for his blog, by actually blogging.
My first few hours playing with Dashter Archetwypes was spent looking at people I know very well, close friends who I have interaction with in face-to-face and through a variety of media. It was the easiest way for me to quickly judge whether Dashter was doing a decent job of assessing a persons’ Twitter personality. And whether it matched my sense of how they were using Twitter. For the most part, I think it nailed it. Here’s another example.
Casual Conversationalist – This person is involved in casual conversations and replies to Tweets often to add their thoughts and link others. This will be the Archetwype with the largest number of people. You might call it the average Twitter personality. I don’t see @nik_nik as average. I would have pegged Nicole Nicolay for a Conversation Maven, like @debra11, @professionalone and @tericonrad.
But the main differentiator between a Casual Conversationalist and a Conversation Maven is the velocity of their tweets, as expressed in average number of tweets per day. Nicole has an average tweets per day of just 2.24, while Debra, Michael and Teri average 10+ tweets per day. When I went and looked back at Nicole’s Twitter interactions manually, it all made sense.
The four data elements analyzed are % of replies, % of mentions, % of links, and posts per day. A person with a high percentage of replies and mentions, with a low number of posts and percentage of links falls into the “Casual Conversationalist” Archetwype. A person with a low percentage of replies and mentions, with a high number of posts and percentage of links falls into the “Here, Taste This” Archetwype.
It’s a simple metric, but it appears to be effective. I continued to play with people I know pretty well, like @corcoran_group, Mathew Shadbolt, who measured as a News Maven and @bnix, Brad Nix, who measured as a Traffic Sign. I think it nailed both of them. And as I shifted from people I know well to people I don’t know as well, my sense was that the tool was doing what it’s meant to do. It’s designed to help me better understand who I’m talking to, or who I might want to talk to.
The goal is information, not judgment.
“Archetwypes aren’t about judging the value or worth of a Twitter user,” Dave wrote in the Archetwypes release post. “Rather, we’re trying to give you a quick way to understand the style of Twitter user that you’re looking at. Perhaps you’re only interested in people who are conversationalists; or you want to know whether or not the person you’re thinking about following posts a blizzard of tweets every day – or just a trickle.”
The goal of Archetwypes is to give you a quick snapshot of how someone has been using Twitter over their last 150 tweets. For some, this will be a look back several weeks. For others, it will only be a few days, but the snapshot will give you a sense of their twitter behavior very quickly. We believe that we can build better engagement and relationships if we have just a little better idea of what kind of relationship we’re jumping in to.
We’re not trying to measure influence.
Klout and Kred and other services attempting to judge influence are built for marketers. If you’re looking to advertise, these scores may have some value, though even that is debatable. But those scores really do nothing for me when it comes to determining who I want to have conversations with. We don’t judge our face-to-face friends by their influence, why would we attempt to do it in our virtual lives?
My opinion on this has been made pretty clear. And it’s an opinion that is shared by all of us at Dashter. “Influence” is a silly metric, when you care about relationships and ultimately believe that social media is a human endeavor,” Dave wrote to me last night, “and it’s better when we know whether or not a persons’ social profile actually matches our expectations of them as a person – or if they’re playing a role.”
Archetwypes are not meant to be the definitive assessment of a person’s Twitter use. They are a quick way to get a feel for someone’s Twitter communication style. If you’re already a Dashter user, Archetwypes are waiting for you in the most recent update. If you’re not, perhaps this will motivate you to see if Dashter might be your Twype.