Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Guy Kawasaki Might be a Robot

This post starts from the assumption that Guy Kawasaki is not a robot, even though his tweeting behavior implies that he might actually be one.  However, Honda has a robot called Asimo, Nissan has one called EPORO, and Toyota has the Partner Robot.  Maybe Kawasaki Robotics created a robot in the 50’s called Guy but didn’t tell anyone because it was so life-like.

If Kawasaki was human and wanted to prioritize when he would tweet, he would probably pick a particular hour of the day to do so.  He's a busy guy and I'm sure he can't tell people at Google to stop a meeting because he needs to tweet in the next minute.  If this assumption about his tweeting habits were true, we would expect to see some spikes in the number of tweets posted at certain hours.  But, if we look at the graph of number of tweets by hour when they were posted in my previous blog, we don’t see any huge spikes.  Sure, we can see that about a third of the tweets happen between 5 and 10 a.m., but no spikes that would poke your eye out.

If we look at the number of tweets by the minute when they were posted, we do see really big spikes.  The following chart shows the number of tweets posted for every minute in an hour for a two week time frame.  In other words, the first bar on the left shows the number of tweets posted between 12:00 to 12:01 a.m., 1:00 to 1:01 a.m., 2:00 to 2:01 a.m., and so on.


Kawasaki is way more likely to tweet during a minute that ends in 3 or 8.  To be exact, Kawasaki is 5 times more likely to tweet during a minute that ends with a 3 or an 8 than during minutes that don't.  What kind of person would optimize their tweeting by the minute?!?!  A robot I tell you.

Well, maybe he isn't a robot.  He probably uses a tool such as HootSuite, CoTweet, or SocialOomph to schedule future tweets.  The tool either needs 5 minutes to process the next tweet or has a scheduler that iterates every 5 minutes starting at minute 3.

Automation tools are commonly used by tweeters to reduce the effort of posting a high volume of messages while still appearing human.  However, the analysis above shows that some of the automation tools still have little flashes of robotic behavior that can bee seen if you look closely enough.

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