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Twifficiency: A hard lesson in how business news travels fast

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Those of you who have been tweeting today will be well aware of Twifficiency, a new service that has swept across the Twitterverse at a rate of knots. The simple service claims to calculate "your Twitter efficiency based upon your Twitter activity" and is the sort of thing social media geeks love finding out.

It started to appear on the social networking plarform this morning and very quickly Twitter streams were filled with users' Twifficiency rates:

But also very quickly, users began getting frustrated with how many updates were being posted; me included!

Frustration about the number of tweets soon turned into a realisation that the results were being tweeted without most people's knowledge. The service was automatically posting the statistics without asking permission as is usual. Accusations starting flying about with many calling Twifficiency a scam:

But a simple check at Twifficiency.com reveals it's highly unlikely to be a scam. The service is something a 17-year-old Dundee-based IT developer James Cunningham has created as a little bit of fun.

Not so long ago, such a service would only have reached the eyes and ears of a very niche group of IT fans but in the modern of world of social media, James has discovered that when launching anything - even something you don't intend to be a commercial business - you've got to be prepared for the feedback - both positive and negative - and test and test again.

James' service was so talked about it became one of the most tweeted phrases on Twitter:

 

James has started to respond to angry users and look into correcting the problem but one particular tweet from him reflects how the business world has changed:

 

Believe me James, the most unexpected of things do catch on nowadays and while in reality no real harm has been done, the young entrepreneur's Twifficiency experience should serve as a lesson to all that new business news doesn't travel fast in the 21st century; it travels very fast.

UPDATE (1445):

It's not all about hard lessons for James Cunningham. He has clearly shown an entrepreneurial spirit which at such a young age is very admirable. He could even get a new job out of it!

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Jon K's picture

Twifficiency - is it just the name?

am I just stating the obvious when i say that #twifficiency is fundamentally flawed,because 50% is the attainable optimum? Since when was 50%, ie 5/10 a perfect score?

Is this an example of modern life once again celebrating the mediocre? Fair play to @jamescun for designing it, but #twifficiency 2.0 should be a sliding scale with 100% in the middle, not at one end.

(follow me on twitter @kenjonnard)

Bill Ryan's picture

Twitter power

It seems that Twitter is getting more powerful by the week.

I keep hearing of businesses monitoring for customer complaints on the #FAIL hashtag and responding to them all due to Twitter.

AppletreePrint's picture

I think a 17 year old generating that much buzz on the internet is fantastic...

A simple calculation of data to give people a rank or number, brilliant and simple. Everyone loves the idea of being the best or competing with their mates, 2 thumbs up.

Once the issues have been ironed over, should be great for James and I wish him all the luck in the world - he has now made a name for himself. I'm sure many of you can remember what you were doing at 17, and would agree that it definately wasn't creating hype over a new service you created..!

Dan | www.AppletreePrint.co.uk  

betterlanguages's picture

Twifficiency lessons

Hi Dan, a very interesting and informative article on Twifficiency. As someone starting off with Twitter, I would love to get the exposure that James Cunningham has generated, or so I thought until now! Our online marketing approach has been to go for long tail search terms like label translation for which we are no 1 ranked on Google, great for anyone operating in a niche, and a great conversion tool. However, as for any small business the personal service, fast response and quick turnaround of quotes and work would all grind to a halt very quickly if we got so overloaded. This case has clearly been fuelled by two factors, people retweeting quickly without checking out the original, and also everyone loving a geeky online tool. Will I be downloading it, no, not til there is a fix. I have noticed this phenomenen elsewhere though, with some Facebook apps being particular culprets, writing automaticly to your wall without permission. There is nothing more annoying than all your friends getting 8 million notifications without your permission. Regards, Mike Hunter, CEO, betterlanguages.com Ltd.

Twifficiency

I agree, those Twifficiency tweeets were pretty annoying at that moment... There's always some annoying and rather viral stuff in social networking sites.  However it worked good for James, I'm glad for him.

 

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Online popularity

Wow That's how people can become famous!

This Twifficiency tool was an interesting one btw;) However it was wrong to post updates without the page owners' awareness.

 

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