[tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]One of the arguments against social media research is that only crazy people are on twitter (or any other social network for that matter). Those 7% of online people are so strange that it just makes no sense to consider their opinions.
And sure there are “crazies” out there. There are lots of people just mouthing off, causing havoc, and generally providing useless data. Let’s consider some of that useless data.
– “I had frootloops last night” Well that’s pointless enough. Except that this person knows the brand well enough to spell it correctly, and they shared their nontraditional consumption of cereal in the evening.
– “U wang suck it ipad de best” Well this one is clearly garbage because it is one long grammatical error filled with rudeness… that reveals very specific psychographics about the user.
– “This box of Tide is half empty. I guess the weighing machine at the factory wasn’t working when it went through.” Finally, we have non-crazy message with clear grammar and a well reasoned idea. This is good data. But it doesn’t reflect the average person going about their average business thinking in an average, rational way. Because people aren’t always this rational.
If crazy people participate in social networks, what percentage of the world is crazy? Remember 500 MILLION people use facebook. 160 MILLION use habo. 130 MILLION use myspace. 80 MILLION use hi5. 65 MILLION use netlog. 70 MILLION use linkedin. And there are many more social networks with millions of users. These numbers are even more significant when you subtract from our 8 billion neighbours the people around the world who, as sad as this is, live in such wretched conditions that we would never consider marketing to them to begin with. Adding and subtracting all of these numbers means that possibly 50% of the world is crazy?
In this day and age, if you aren’t using a social network, you might want to turn the crazy mirror on yourself.
(Crazy does not refer to people who have real mental health conditions. You, my dear friends, are just as normal as the rest of us.)