I have no idea why but for the past few days I have been obsessed with the number of followers I have.
It probably has to do with the fact that it is public and everyone can see it. Or maybe it has something with the fact that if someone has a ton of followers we think they are more important than others. I often find myself looking at how many followers other people have to determine if they are worthy of my follow.
Public stats has worked on me over and over again.
First it was YouTube. Since people could see how many views a particular video has, I wanted to promote the crap out of it. I also would email all my friends so I could get 1 more view. If a video is over 5 minutes long and it has less than a 1,000 views I will most likely turn it off before the 1 minute mark (unless it completely engages me).
Next it was LinkedIn. Since the number of connections was public I really wanted to hit the 500+ connections landmark. I quickly lost interest in connecting with more people after I hit the 500+ goal because you can’t publicly see how many connections someone has past 500.
Now it is Twitter. I find myself checking Twitter Counter on a daily basis to see if my # of followers has grown. Do I think it is pathetic?… yes, I do. Will I still check my twitter numbers tomorrow… yes, I will.
Conclusion: If you want your users to care. Show them stats and make it public for everyone to see.
Side Note: I wonder if I would have done better in school if my grades were displayed publicly.
Am I the only one that is like this? Do public stats make you care? Let me know in the comments please.