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.
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!
About Dan Martin
Dan Martin has 10 years experience as a journalist writing about entrepreneurs and the issues that affect them.
After three years working as a researcher for Sky News, he joined BusinessEurope.com as a reporter. This was followed by two years working as news editor for Startups.co.uk during which time Dan also contributed to Growing Business magazine. In 2006, he joined Sift Media as business editor before being promoted to editor of BusinessZone.co.uk. He also has responsibility for UK Business Forums, the UK’s most active online forums for small business entrepreneurs. In addition, Dan founded The Pitch, BusinessZone.co.uk's nationwide competition for small business owners. He host the grand finals in 2009 and 2010 in front of an audience of 300.
As well as interviewing many entrepreneurs, Dan has written content for leading business organisations such as the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, British Chambers of Commerce, Forum of Private Business, Investors in People and Business Link for London. Among the publications that have quoted Dan are The Times, Mail On Sunday, Financial Times, Personnel Today and Bristol Evening Post. His articles have also been published by publications including eGov Monitor, Virgin Express in-flight magazine and Personal Success.
Dan regularly speaks at events about small business and social media issues. Among the events he has presented at are the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies' annual conference, Learning Technologies, Publishing Expo and World of Learning. He has also chaired high profile debates featuring senior representatives from Business Link and the Federation of Small Businesses and Dragons' Den judge James Caan.
Dan was named the 10th most influential political blogger on Twitter by the Independent and won the public award for best B2B tweeter at the Golden Twits 2010. He also organised the Bristol Twestival, part of a global Twitter driven charity initiative, in February 2009 and March 2010. Volunteers from 175 cities around the world organised events using the social network. In total, $350,000 was raised for charity: water in 2009 and $500,000 for Concern in 2010. In Bristol, £1,500 and £5,600 was raised.