Monday, January 31, 2011

Twitter Twerps Respond With More B.S. And Number-Gaming

I'm not going to pretend I understand everything Chris Rauschnot wrote in his belated, blathering reaction to the firestorm set off by my Las Vegas Weekly column and Chuckmonster's VegasTripping expose examining the nefarious and greedy tactics of the Twitter brothers who scammed Vegas.

I do know what's NOT in here:

* Any explanation or apology for their ham-handed and bullying practices of demanding freebies and threatening casinos and others when they're not sated.

* Any explanation as to how it is that their numbers have so stunningly plateaued in the past year if they didn't build them fraudulently rather than organically. Is there any reason why popular Tweeters with 40,000 or 50,000 robust and engaged followers would suddenly just stop gaining more people? This stuff feeds upon itself; the more people who see your stuff, the more they pass it along, the more new followers you get. It doesn't stop, it grows exponentially as you gather steam. How does it make any sense that Tweeters as popular as they claim to be and as prolific as they are would not continue to grow -- especially after that puff piece I mistakenly provided them six months ago.

* Any accounting, in the blah-blah about impressions and numbers, for the notion that just because you say something on Twitter doesn't mean anyone notices it. That is, I have about 3,450 followers right now. If I Tweet something, I don't get to pretend that all 3,450 -- if they're all real people anyway -- read it. This is where data from Twitter is dicey, because it's a whitewater river flowing by. Engagement is far more important than "impressions," especially since it seems clear that the vast number of followers of @24k and @VegasBill are not real people anyway. There are a lot of Twitter engagement assessment tools out there that folks like The Twerps take as gospel but which have never been independently evaluated by statisticians or other credible figures. But they fail the common-sense test, just as Chris' claim that he was only fishing for birthday Tweets for his dear brother is an idiotic suggestion that no thinking person would accept.

As I -- and Chuck! -- have said, my greatest talents don't lie in the technological realm. I am, however, an expert on the English language and just want to note that this passage...

To say that Tweets from 24k or VegasBiLL spur little to no action, do not know the analytics behind what they can do, especially when dealing with positive or highly relevant information to the followers and network. According to TweetReach, a service that analyzes reach and impressions on Twitter, is as Brian Solis says, ". an essential part of any digital influence program. the mark of an illiterate man.

Chris goes on about YouTube and how a couple of his videos enjoyed very large viewerships. Terrific. No way of knowing if maybe some major celebrity site picked it up, which would be a lark and not a trend. What I do know is that he has 765 videos in his YouTube channel, Gershwin9, and a whopping 14 comments.

Chris can talk and talk and talk about the long tail and boast using non-credible metrics for engagement, but the fact is that he's got 50,000 or so followers and only ... FOUR of them have gone to watch this video posted three days ago?!?

Come on, dude. Give it up. You're a phony. Case closed.

P.S. It is endlessly funny that Cody has altered his Twitter name from VegasBill to VegasBiLL and that he and Rauschnot have started using that in casual writing as well as on Twitter. They did that, of course, to differentiate from @VegasBilll, the hilarious parody account that in just nine tweets cut to the quick of what's wrong with these poseurs. I also love that, following on @EricWhitaker's suggestion, the parody account is now @VegasBilLL.


Anonymous said...

I think you're right about the TTs on just about everything. But I'm not sure the fact they plateaued at 40k or 50k followers proves anything. You state followers grow exponentially. But there are only so many people using Twitter, and smaller number of those are interested in LV-specific info.
While, in this case the TTs might be frauds, to me it seems pretty plausible that even a legit LV Tweeter would hit some sort of ceiling at some point.
Vegas, er Seattle Rex wrote a post awhile back about software that allows people to boost follower numbers by trolling out and following people so they thoughtlessly follow back and, well, you get the picture.

Anonymous said...

Sorry very long post here.. but trying to answer some of the things in the 24k post.. This is what I added to VegasTripping, so adding here too...

VegasBill and 24k's response.

So some edification...
First - Definitions >
Impressions: Just means it showed up somewhere on the net where someone could see it. This can be done in a million ways and means zip especially since the accounts have many bots.

Lists: can be bought just like followers. Go to the lists and see you can see lots of auto added (people i follow like me or added by auto list - the presence of these does not always indicate faked accounts some people legitimately use these, but being on 1k+ lists does not mean that you did not fake XXX of them)

More on “We Don’t Use AutoBots”
Bot indicators... how can you tell if they are bots. Well if you want to see if an account has bots one way is to go look at all the # with long lists of @ mentions.. SO in this case the many #FF and #gratitudes on the accounts right now (esp days after #FF) while they are not tweeting much - needles in a haystack of the usual multitude of tweet / retweets but right now you all I can say if it walks like a duck and all that...

So how to see it...
Go to and put in @24k or @VegasBill you will see that many of the accounts that are talking to them end in a series of numbers (usually the first indicator of a bot account - click thru to see they have 0 followers and many auto rts. These are full bots accounts. There are others where people are paid to just tweet/retweet. These are harder to detect at first, but they usually just say things like Hey. Cool. Thanks for the follow. #FF. Can't wait to read your tweets or #gratitude whatever it is and do it to many accounts. (I know because we tested it to see how it works.)

Since they are not tweeting much right now these are pretty numerous in the accounts. Again walks like a duck? Also notice the lack of legitimate conversation the accounts are generating in comparison. If these accounts really had the power stated, you would expect to see very few of these lists of names tweets and many more conversational (real conversations, not hey, hello, cool, like your tweet). And to add to that especially given the controversy this week, yes? Yet the accounts are almost silent of conversation and their follower counts get bigger? Hmm why? I will let you answer that.

NOTE If you do this tomorrow, after this posts, check from today back. They might fluff them up again.

Now, most of these are just engaging with them (ie helps their Klout scores) But similar ideas apply, if you go through the followers.

As for the really botted followers they tell you to go look for (the 20k in a month)- they happened back more than year or so ago when VegasBill and 24k got banned for having "spam" accounts (Search Google for #FreeVegasBill). At the time I wondered how it was that they kept getting thrown in Twitter "spam" jail. Then a bit later I saw the adds and knew how. They were "jailed" for being spam because ??.

Check TwitterCounter Challenge...
These guys know TwitterCounter does not go back as far as what would be the botted adds, so they feel safe telling you to check it. I will see if I can find the site that has data from back then, so you can see for yourselves. I do have access to the execs at Twitter, but would have to ask for such a trivial thing from them, but will if I have to just to show that it did indeed occur.

::::I have to break this into several posts due to character limits...

Anonymous said...

And Finally from Klout.... some words..
24k's True Reach on Klout is 15k -
NOTE it was only 5k on the 18th of this month - it jumped 10k in ONE DAY.
I have emailed the CEO of Klout to find out how that is possible.
(maybe Klout had an error)
This means that Klout only saw 5,000 of the 50,000
or now 15,000 of the 50,000 as valid or valuable followers.
The rest are either inactive, bots or disinterested.

From Klout =>
About True Reach
True Reach is the size of your engaged audience. We eliminate inactive and spam accounts, and only include accounts that you influence. To do this we calculate influence for each individual relationship taking into account factors such as whether an individual has shared or acted upon your content and the likelihood that they saw it.

Hope this helps.. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

More notes on 24k and VegasBill's post today.

PSS I just checked "TweetReach" one of my tweets today had a reach of 106k people! wow and I have far, far fewer followers.. so there you go... my NON-Celebrity, NON-Event related, NON-Vegas Tweets about nothing special but my industry and some world events and me - One of them had 1/9th the reach of the oh so powerful 24k and VegasBill - sorry sounding snarky there, but feeling a little bit now lol

Proving that Twitter analytics are a fickle beast at best and that impressions mean what I said - nada!

Little further check on Tweetreach.. all it does is count the followers of the people who retweeted a tweet and multiply it by how many tweets if talking about impressions. So if @24k tweets it and VegasBill rewteets it and then they rt each other (yeah they have never done that) - it all counts in the impressions! More walking like a duck!! See the explanation below from TweetReach..

Remember - He was careful to use impressions and exposure is his post..
while reach is UNIQUE tweeters EXPOSURE is ALL TWEETS.. not unique tweeters
"generated exposure of 594,851 impressions."
Well with 100k users between them it only takes a couple retweets to reach 500k yes?
Ducks.. ducks and more ducks.. quack..

Understanding reach vs. exposure
Reach is the total number of unique Twitter users that received tweets about the search term. Exposure is the total number of times tweets about the search term were received by users. We call each receipt of a tweet an impression

Sorry if I seem a little driven, but now I am just starting to get a little irked lol
Quack Quack!

PokerVixen said...

There are millions of people on twitter and the twerps claim to have reach far beyond Vegas so their twitter count should grow as well. True celebrities are approaching 6 million followers, the twerps should be able to grow beyond that if they really did have reach and influence.

They seem to think people in this town have no memory. That we haven't had conversations with them where they talk about how they automate tweets. They use services (paid or free) where people join to gain new followers but they're flawed because everyone is putting out information, no one is listening to them. Its all noise, no engagement.

You're absolutely right though Steve. There is no response to any of the heavy handed approach to trying to get free stuff. The arrogance continues in Chris's deluded belief that he can throw out an illiterate post at 1am on a service he created just for that item, not his main blog, and, according to him, we're all supposed to move on and stop talking about it.

They're social media duds who lack social skills and basics in normal human interaction. They just don't get it. They never will.

Rich and Creamy said...

I thought I'd try doing a twitter search on @ replies to 24k and I counted 4 bots in a 24 hour period. On some days I get that many bots talking to me randomly. Everything else there are real accounts.

Anonymous said...

this link is busted, pls fix:

Michelle said...

Why do casinos deal with these people? Don't they get enough publicity from the legitimate press? I don't get it I guess. Btw, I enjoyed reading your article on this topic on the Weekly as well. Also, I wonder if the guy Rex mentions in his social media article ( is one of these brothers? He never mentions a name but my guess is that it is.