Secondly, I want to clarify that I am very fond of @yosit and @liorz. Their broadcasts are fun, smart, sometimes silly, and surprisingly entertaining. If anything, the experimental broadcasts prove that being real and having a compelling personality holds an audience regardless of the value of the content.
Still, the @shidurey vs. @ynet_co_il challenge is just a bit sillier than usual, so I felt compelled to comment.
Background: Yosi and Lior decided that they can get more followers @shidurey than @ynet_co_il. @shidurey, so far, doesn't broadcast much of anything other than news on this silly competition. @ynet_co_il is a bot put up by someone anonymous, to tweet the feed from ynet.co.il, the top news site in Israel. @ynet_co_il in fact says he/she/it isn't associated with ynet, so when you get to the profile, your inclination to follow the feed immediately dissipates. @shidurey, otoh, is friendly and funny and says it's run by some real people.
@shidurey passed its competition a day or two ago, and now has almost 800 users and @ynet_co_il has over 600. The race is apparently to 1000.
I started searching around and found some interesting tidbits, in no particular order:
- @ynet_co_il came alive and encouraged people to follow it, claiming that bots have feelings too.
- @nana10News, @nrgnews and @newsfromisrael are plugging for @ynet_co_il but even combined they have fewer followers than I do.
- In general, news sites in Israel don't have impressive followings. Haaretz (in English) has over 1300.
- It's unclear whether ynet knows this is going on, because their search engine is pitiful, but from browsing the site, it appears they are oblivious.
On the one hand, it seems like an unfair fight: A twitter ID with nothing to say against the top news feed.
On the other hand, it seems like an unfair fight: Two lovable guys with huge followings against a poorly-marketed bot whose feed is coming from an oblivious host.
Obviously, all of the parties benefit by getting increased followers.
Bottom line, as usual, is that this won't prove anything, but I think we are all having fun in the meanwhile.