I’ll start off this post by saying that I don’t believe anyone should tell you how to use Twitter. I see many people using it various different ways and nobody should dictate how others should use the service. However, there are several factors that can be measured to determine what type of user you are on the service and now there’s a pretty simple way for you to find out more about your usage.
I wrote about Backtype entering the influence scoring game a few weeks ago. Aside from them entering this highly competitive service landscape, they offer pretty nice usage information for users. They display a stat dashboard with percentages to quickly determine what type of user someone is. I found this to be a very useful tool. For instance if you see that someone has a large percentage of updates and @replies then they primarily use the service as a communicator, someone who’s highest percentage is links is probably more of a curator, while someone who primarily retweets is a sharer.
There are several good uses for this data. Perhaps you’re not happy with the type of user you’ve become on the service and want to change your behavior. Maybe having learned what type of user you are, you might want to find ways to gravitate towards similar users. It would be so nice to have this stat dashboard as part of the new follower notification emails to help decide if you want to follow someone back. It could also be useful if you want to spend some time pruning your follower list. I’d love to see this feature integrated in ways like that. Perhaps something already does but either I haven’t found it, or it doesn’t offer a simple elegant approach like Backtype provides.