I joined Twitter two weeks ago and quickly began dumping a back log of articles on there to draw people into the WordPress site. That’s what Twitter is used for right? Spam and hype… well that and insulting celebrities when you’re not stalking them. Oh that sounds very bitter of me to say. I’ve never actually been on Twitter, but I instantly had a lot of followers, about 20 within an hour.
Then for each article I posted after my initial flood of articles I noticed that number would go down by one. Like clockwork, I’d post an article and sure enough, lose another follower. That probably means I’m just not producing the content that people care about, which is fine since I really do it for myself.
I whittled down my followers to a good 6 people, one of which was an obvious spam bot. The others were indie game developers. Then I started to use not hashtags, but “ats.” I’d post at developers and Desura itself. Why not post a review of a game straight to the developer, when no one else is posting reviews even on Desura let alone fleshed out reviews.
Not all reviews are glowing of course, but they’d get retweeted. Some of my reviews that predate my Twitter account were being tweeted about by the developers.
I’m telling you all of this not as some sob story as to why I have 6 followers, but this is all background information to an issue with WordPress. Since I’ve been tweeting these reviews, they get no response, until the developers retweet them. That’s when I have a dozen or so extra visits from people to read the reviews.
The catch here is even with those extra dozen visits with a week old review that I know from Twitter aren’t marked as being from Twitter. One out of a dozen are marked from Twitter and its happened with more than one game. Suddenly a small surge of visits for a game with no other explanation than the developer tweeted about them.
There have been a few times that Twitter hasn’t been marked as a reference here on WordPress. There was one game review that had a small surge when it was never tweeted about, but instead it managed to get a link on the developer’s “press” page. I was pretty surprised, considering the review was pretty harsh, but with everything harsh, there is still praise in there somewhere, which is why Steam users harass my reviews so much. Even my negative reviews aren’t negative enough for that vocal crowd. The problem is that WordPress never acknowledged that press page as a reference. I had to find it there myself and look at the date when it was posted.
All of the traffic to WordPress is coming from somewhere, its just not accurately referenced. If people are finding my site in the reader, there’s no reason to click on the article, because I let people read the full article instead of trying to get that hit to my page. WordPress is a self contained bubble that cannot grow without outside sources like Twitter, Facebook and search engines.
It is also interesting to see which games people care enough about on behalf of their developers. A few developers have tweeted about a game review, only to have 1,000 or more followers just not care enough to click on the link. Maybe these are games that have been released for a while, so everyone knows about them. It could also be that once famous sites review something, there’s no need to read an independent review with the opinion of a madman.
I’ve also noticed that your Twitter followers are calculated in the number of subscribers you have. At least that’s what it looks like.