My Twitter profile is worth $286- measuring influence on social networks

So says, which is one of many sites in the Twitter ecosystem.  Yet I’d ask– how did it calculate the $286 and how do I go about redeeming that money?

What’s my profile worth?

As of March 22nd, I have 1,233 followers on Twitter and 188 updates.  Perhaps a follower is worth about 20 cents?  But what if my followers are people who are popular and influential, versus spambots?  Does the system account for that?  There is nothing on the site that shows how they calculate, so we have no idea what level of sophistication, if any, exists.

The problem of calculating value is the same one that search engines have with calculating PageRank.  Instead of pages that are linking to one another, you’re working with people.  There are a ton of services that will value what your domain is worth, what level of trust/authority your site has, how many LinkedIn/Facebook/Myspace/(insert the name of your favorite network here) friends you have– all to calculate some measure of influence and popularity.

Where do I sell my Twitter profile?

And even if you could measure popularity– measured by how many friends you have x how deeply you are connected to those friends x how popular they are– there is still the question of what your friends are worth.  Just how much is that rookie Willie Mays baseball card worth you had since elementary school actually worth?  Answer: depends on what someone else is willing to pay.  If there doesn’t appear to be a liquid market (like the NYSE stock exchange) for Twitter profiles, then it’s completely subject to speculation.

For someone else to buy it, they have to be able to monetize it, in turn.  Might as well be selling Dutch tulip bulbs.  And since Twitter themselves don’t publicly have a business model or know what a tweet is worth, then how can anyone be preposterous enough to claim that they know what an individual profile is worth?  One thing you could do is add up the total of all Twitter profiles within tweet worth and the sum would be what Twitter overall would be worth.  Else, you could take the $500MM or $250MM value and then divide that in a logical way among all Twitter users to calculate what a user is worth.   Run the PageRank model and then go backward– has anyone done that yet?


Update: I now have 2,321 followers and am in the top 98% of Twitter users.  But it’s quality not quantity– not sure how many of these 2,321 are even real people.

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