Peter Kafka of Recode interviews writer Chuck Klosterman, who has a new book out, “Chuck Klosterman X,” a collection of magazine pieces, such as profiles of Taylor Swift and Kobe Bryant.
I was fascinated by this part of the conversation about Twitter:
It’s a super flawed metric. I also noticed that a lot of people who were really interesting on Twitter back in 2008 or 2009 have stopped. Whenever I use Twitter — not whenever but often when I use Twitter — I think, “Wait a minute, so and so used to be on here but now they’re not. What do they know that I don’t?”
I don’t know. Here’s something I was thinking about recently. How many people do you follow on Twitter roughly?
I don’t know. I’m sure it’s thousands but I’m sure there’s only a portion of them that are actually tweeting regularly.
Yeah. Okay, so let’s say that Twitter went from being a free medium to a paying medium, and it cost $1.00 a year to follow a person. If you followed 850 people, you had to pay $850.00 a year. How many people do you think you would follow if it were $1.00 a person for 12 months of content?
100? That seems like a good number. Even that seems high.
You think you’d still follow 100?
Yeah, I think probably professionally. I’m on a Twitter diet right now so I’m trying to cut down. One of the things I’ve figured out is you actually don’t need to look at Twitter at all to follow what’s going on on Twitter. You don’t need to follow President Trump to learn what President Trump tweeted because everyone else will tell you.
The full transcript is here.