So I ran some analytics tools over the #edtech community for a month and discovered a few interesting points.
1. There are 65,000 contributors
Circa 65K regularly involved in discussing contemporary practice. Sure there could easily be another 65K not using Twitter but this provides an interesting baseline. #edtech is definitely a movement.
2. 25% are bots.
Well 24% actually but that doesn't round off so nice. So that makes around 15,600 bots and a total number of real tweeters of around 49K.
Some bots are simple, using iOS apps like Bobird. Others are more complex, using a workflow of FeedBurner, Yahoo Pipes and Twitterfeed to trawl popular hashtags, select random tweets, strip out @mentions and then republish the tweet as their own.
Some are open about it, like EdTech Retweet, others a tad more deceptive.
3. The most popular user is a bot.
We don't do so well on the digital citizenship test here. The most retweeted individual @Primary_Ed, is a bot.
Just copy/paste one of its tweets into a Twitter search. You'll always find an earlier version posted by someone else that has been stripped and republished. Interestingly there is seemingly someone monitoring the account to occasionally address @mentions and claims of authenticity.
Given that roughly a quarter of the #edtech community are bots you could probably assume it's the same for other big hashtags out there.
Just how many bots are we following, retweeting and endorsing?