Thursday, January 22, 2009

Scoble's Law of Twitter

Disconnect from Twitter when you are receiving more than one tweet per second.

Over the weekend I have been thinking about how much web (2.0) information we can reasonably absorb, and what hard limits can be used to frame the question.

With respect to Twitter if we assume that a tweet takes 20 seconds on average to read and follow-up, how many can be processed by an individual in a day? That's 3 per minute, 180 per hour, which let's round up to an even 200. So a hardish limit for daily twitter processing would then be 4800 tweets, assuming no sleep.

We can try for a harder (higher) limit by making more optimistic (not realistic) assumptions. If we assume that a tweet only takes 1 second to handle then this yields 86,400 per day assuming no sleep.

I didn't imagine that anyone was actually receiving (let alone processing) tweets at this rate. But in fact, Robert Scoble recently announced that he would have to cut back from Twitter given that he was receiving one tweet one per second from a follower base of over 40,000. Apparently Scoble was spending at least 7 hours every day monitoring Twitter and FriendFeed - which amounts to the equivalent of a full-time (unpaid) job.

This leads to Scoble's Law for Twitter as stated in quotes above.

Robert Scoble, Twitter martyr, died 2 AT (Anno Twitterum).

Jeremiah Yowang may be next.


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